End of the 70s, disco music reached its peak with the movie “Saturday Night Fever” (1977) while Pop – art still dominated visual arts with Andy Warhol in the lead. One of his most popular works was Marilyn Monroe's portraits. They became the symbols of American pop culture which was spreading all over the world. Greece was no exception to this phenomenon despite the anti-americanism that was manifested in large parts of the Greek society after the political changeover and especially after the tragedy of Cyprus.
The tourism boom of the 70s and 80s infiltrated Greek society, altering radically its cultural characteristics. On every Island disco clubs and latter bars popped up like mushrooms. There, the native males were picking up - “harpooned” - foreign females, imagining themselves as hunters, seducers and depravers while being in fact the victims.
In Discoteque Athené, Warhol's Marilyn is flirting with Praxiteles' Boy, dancing in the hot, alluring Attic night. His is going to be seduced, inevitably.
The lith print's austere and unaffected composition is rich in semiological elements. The neon sign, the dancing postures, the facial expressions, the mannerism of Marilyn's dress and finally, her half – closed hand that seems to secretly place something on the Boy's palm, compose the spine of this open scenario, allowing the viewer to fill the gaps according to his/ her imagination.
It was not the first time that I tried to transcribe ancient greek themes in my work and blow new life into them by incorporating them in modern reality. However, for the first time I realized that the ideals of human beauty, curved on the statues of the classical period, are identical with those of our time.
If we leave aside the distortion imposed on female beauty by certain fashion centers (that serve the interests of the industry) during the last fifty years, the classical Greek ideal of human beauty hasn't change much.
This observation initiated the work of a new series that focused on highlighting values of the classical Greek esthetics in persons and objects considered as sublime ideals of modern beauty.
January 12, 1983
April 5, 2012
disco, marathon, Pop art, marilyn, monroe, athens, Praxiteles, Smyrnios