The work (2010-2012) is a frieze – a tetraptych oil on canvas painting with an overall dimension of 8,40 x 1,00 m. It refers to the contemporary history, beginning in 1945 and moving on to this today, while at the same time its four scenes converse with four poetic texts by the great Greek surrealist Andreas Embirikos. I wished to paint an epic. I begin with the “ark” of the Great Eastern (Megas Anatolikos) which is mixed in my work with the 1945 promising journey of the Greeks, mainly left-wing intellectuals, aboard the troopship Mataroa, to Paris, while the Civil War will soon break out in Greece. I continue with the ’50s and the execution of Nikos Belogiannis in conjunction with the text of Embirikos “Saltimbanques in the outskirts of Paris”: In Paris, next to the Seine, well known surrealists, Embirikos, Engonopoulos, Breton and Dora Maar are talking with Picasso, while the bleeding portrait of the just executed Belogiannis stands in front of them. The Third scene, unfolding in Venice in front of the Grand Canal and under its bright sky, is dedicated to the youth revolts in ’68 until 1974, in conjunction with Embirikos’ ideological manifesto, Oktana. The tragic mother of Cyprus mourns next to. I conclude with the fourth picture, where the scene runs over the last decades in Athens, with Pina Bausch at the Herod Atticus Odeon, until today’s crisis in combination with Embirikos’ text “Many times in the night”: next to the desperate man, carrying on his shoulder the skinned animal, Lucian Freud, old and naked, continues unabated to paint the truth.
The tetraptych is accompanied by 15 portraits of travellers to Paris, on Mataroa, in 1945: Kostas Axelos, Cornelius Castoriadis, Mimika Kranaki, Ianis Xenakis, Nikos Svoronos, Memos Makris, Nikos Chatzimichalis, Costas Coulentianos, Nelli Andrikopoulou, Matsi Chatzilazarou, Anna Kindyni, Aristomenis Provelengios, Manos Zacharias, Kostas Papaioannou. Finally, Melpo Axioti (she went later on).
The tetraptych, which was first exhibited at the Cacoyannis Foundation and subsequently at MIET, in Thessaloniki, is also available on DVD with texts and music.