The work of Thessaloniki-based artist Simis Gatenio (born 1976) ranges from poetic expressions of Original Sin to examinations of the subconscious to explorations of dualities like space and time, male and female, love and death. The forms he conjures are simultaneously dreamlike and disturbing, often hybrids of organic matter and geometric shapes. The scenes do not make sense immediately when you look at them. Rather, they seem to communicate the mysterious anxieties of the mind.
According to Athena Schina, critic and art historian at the University of Athens, the art of Simis Gatenio consists of “mirages” that are suspended tragically and ridiculously upon a surface:
like palimpsest patterns on space-time and on the constant upheavals of the subconscious. In any event, the artist depicts feelings which involve, to a greater or lesser degree, the contemporary life of the megalopolis, in order to exorcise them. Such feelings as we come into contact with, as individuals and communities, are, for example, terror, violence, nightmares, eroticism, the absence of companionship, existential loneliness, bankruptcy, corruption.
Simis studied graphic design in Greece and later obtained a diploma from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Arts Plastiques in Saint-Etienne, France. Here are two of his projects: “Primitive Fear” and “Adam and Eve”. In the first, the content is dominated by symbols, parts of animals and phallic innuendos. In the second, distorted imagery is set against brightly coloured backdrops.
Images used with permission.
ADAM AND EVE