This Is Opium \ Talks

How did you come up with your name? Your art has something to do with the message emerging from this name?
When I started I had to find a tag like everyone and it was the first that came to my mind. There have been several similes with opium in the past. Marx was saying that religion is the opium of the people. Later they told about football. I thought that mine is painting. My art does not have anything to do with the name, no.

What have you studied; Do you make a living from your work as a street artist?
Ha-ha. I studied at Panteion the School of International and European Studies. Interesting situation but not kept. Right now I graduate in illustration and visual media. Currently I do not make a living by art no. Generally that drawing public space I do not see it in any way as a profession, nor should be, except. I do it for different reasons. Now as it comes to the outside public space, I sell projects and make commissions either paintings or works related to the illustration but in no way this is not enough to live from them. I always do other jobs while either less or more relevant to the area. Generally it is very difficult for someone to live just from it.

Why do you do it? Is there a story you want to tell? Different from track to track or do you deal with the work like continuation?
I do it because I cannot not to. It’s something I think about constantly and affects my way to encounter a degree of reality and remain dreamer. There are many stories I want to say, atmospheres and ideas and I hope to convey. Definitely it is different from track to track both approach and outcome. Depending on the area, the purpose, means (as I do more applied things). But while standing as a follow up, it is done unconsciously I believe.

What are your main influences? Is there a street artist who you envy his job in a way that makes you every day better?
I am interested in religious mythologies and representations, the traditional art in all its forms, but most aspects of what we call ‘counterculture’ in modern times. Generally I think that I am affected more by older things, at least aesthetically. I cannot easily pick someone. An example of that is now coming to my mind is the Spanish Escif. It has an original approach and his works have a very strong sense of humor, social and political context but are not simple.

Partnerships that you have enjoyed? The art is a personal expression or it can become a group work?
Cacao Rocks. Apart from working on the way, we worked together in the studio for one year and we made a report on collaborative projects, based on Voltaire’s novel ‘Zadig’. Together again with Cacao and Theopsy the same time we had a group exhibition in Paros and interventions in different corners of the island. The art is a personal expression certainly. This is often lonely of course. So when you find someone to speak and think close to you and have the opportunity to communicate and get closer using a different concept and language is awesome. In general I think collaborations can work together and I’m certainly in favor of this. I am very happy for most of group work in which I have participated and to all the people I have met with the same virus, the same concern and the same appetite and energy to make and share.

Your opinion on the Greek street art scene and new talents who believe that will occupy us in the future.
The Greek scene is very strong in my opinion. It has its own idiom and there are many interesting and active artists. It is also important that in Greece we fortunately still have enough freedom to public space than other European and ‘western’ countries (Greece also probably is not exactly western country). I would be interested to see a new approach with regard to actions in the public space by all of us.

Are there corners in downtown Athens which are extremely painted. There should be a limitation or it is the concept of street art?
It is relevant. On one hand certainly it would not have been so meaningful to even create a circuit ‘billboards’ in the center. On the other hand if there is some limitation other things will be lost. Pluralism in the public area is very important. Aesthetics would have to designate those who experience it daily.

For years they were forming and even make the public feel big companies with their campaigns. There should be limits (colors – sizes etc.) – specifications for the public image and believe in general disarray?
It should. And missing it should. In this case it is not a matter simply of public image. The question is why controlling public aesthetic campaigns and those companies. Should not be missing would be preferable to their discreet presence.

The Greek scene increasingly becomes a political character with humor or more hard messages. Your opinion and where do you put yourself?
Although I am not sure that this is the case, it seemed quite reasonable. Definitely enjoyable.

In 10 years’ time from now?
For now I focus on the more immediate future. I think that in 10 years I would like to live closer to nature and wish to remain creative and energetic.

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Generally that drawing public space I do not see it in any way as a profession, nor should be, except. I do it for different reasons.

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The Greek scene is very strong in my opinion. It has its own idiom and there are many interesting and active artists. It is also important that in Greece we fortunately still have enough freedom to public space than other European and ‘western’ countries

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Via: Greek Street art – Talks