„The perceptible world is a distortion“, claims philosopher Platon in his allegory of the cave.
In his artwork, Greek-rooted artist Christo Daskaltsis from Berlin wants us to realize that what we „see“ with our visual senses is not the truth: he wants to draw attention to the fact that, fooled by our eyes and our brain’s association processes, we oftentimes judge too quickly by appearances.
If we watch Daskaltsis‘ paintings, we first see a completely flat surface showing abstraction.
But instead of remaining on this abstract surface, we dive into the image deeper and deeper and, by the influence of our memory and experience, we start seeing images; images that usually remind us of the beauty of nature in micro or marco scale: we may see a close-up of a crushed ice plate, the bubbly foam of the sea waves, the structure of snowy mountain peaks or the desert‘s dunes viewed from outer space.
Then we are suddenly carried back to the painting‘s surface again and realize that what we have just „seen“ is neither what is there nor what is meant to be there: the painting‘s perceived depth and its resulting „image“ is no more and no less than a casual chemical reaction between oil paint, turpentine and alkyd on a canvas or a thin alluminium plate. It is not a photo on Alu Dibond, but a 100% abstract painting.
The artist consciously steps back in this process and lets the materials create this effect with as little intevention as possible.
Once we realize the illusion, we also remain surprised about the complete absence of tridimensionality and the absolute flatness of the artworks.
Where does the abstraction stop and when does our imagination come into play to create meaning?
With his art, Christo Daskaltsis’ aim is to drain our overstimulated perception and to recharge it with new insights about ourselves. His artworks, in fact, show the relation between object and observer not only in Platonic terms of distortion and illusion, but also in terms of identity. Because by experiencing them, we are forced to put ourselves into question in terms of cognition, imagination, rationality and emotions – briefly, with all our most intimate senses.