CHRISTO DASKALTSIS (Düsseldorf, Germany)
The perceptible world is a distortion, claims Platon in his allegory of the cave. In his artwork, Greek-rooted artist Christo Daskaltsis tries to show that our process of seeing can not distinguish between what is truly there and our perception of it. „I want the observer to see that he sees nothing”, he says. He wants us to realize that - fooled by our eyes - we oftentimes judge too quickly by appearances.
If we watch Daskaltsis paintings, we first see a material surface made of layers of oil paint. But its structure is always hard to get a grasp on. Instead, we dive into the painting deeper and deeper and, by the influence of our memory and experience, we start seeing things; things that usually remind us of the beauty of nature. Here we may see a close-up of a crushed ice plate or the foam of the sea waves, there the structure of snowy mountain peaks or the desert‘s dunes viewed from outer space. Then we are suddenly taken back to the painting‘s surface and remain caught on its material properties again, reminding that what we have just seen is neither what is there nor what is meant to be there.
Where does the abstraction stop and when does our memory and imagination come into play without us even realizing it?
Christo Daskaltsis wants us thus drain our overstimulated perception and to recharge it with new insights about ourselves. His artwork shows the relation between object and observer not only in Platonic terms of distortion, but also in terms of identity. Because by experiencing his artwork, we are forced to put ourselves into question in terms of cognition, imagination, rationality and emotions – briefly, with all our most intimate senses.