When colors take hold and shadows take shape, when sirens call and the colors dance and wave. Stamkopoulos is experimenting in his new series of works with bigger scales where the forms and the lines are overruling the surface and seem as though they want to be set free from the canvas. The color palette has a strong referential point to nature. As he had already admitted his main inspiration is drawn from the abstract and altered color that is to be found on music and nature, elements that are visible on both works. While observing closely the new pieces there is an unexpected three-dimensional nature that is pouring from of the touch of the raw painting materials. Being faithful to the way he has worked, his gestures are straight on the canvas and the artistic outcome remains unknown till the very end, for him as well. It is as if there is a hidden meaning to which each of us has unique access.
The key word is “expression.” The expression is understood as the action that hangs on the idea of an intention to communicate a meaning, and the intention understood as a will to meaning that precedes its visual articulation. As Wittgenstein argued, this intention involves a picture of life that is private, unknowable to others but immediately available to ourselves. Stamkopoulos, through his visual expression, invites the observer to be part of his picture. His images are material, they do not simply consist of color but also represent its materiality. While his artistic approach appears to be the position of the traditional painter, his studio practice is closer to the methodology of a sculptor. The word sculpture derives from the latin word sculperethat means “to cut out.” That is what Stamkopoulos is doing: instead of “adding” he is “reducing.” He works into the pictures and skims layer for layer, until the moment when the matters that were hidden under the material come to light and make a bigger picture appear.
Text by Olympia Tzortzi
Photos by Trevor Loyd