Publication in Art IDEAL Magazine v.3 (June 2023)
"To live means to leave traces"
The manufactured image in today's culture has not only taken center stage in contemporary art making, but it has forced us to review/rethink our embodied selves and relationships with time and memory. Yiannis Galanakis is a digital artist who lives and works in Chania, Crete, where he reflects on the myriad of possibilities life provides for art and vise versa. When I first saw his work I was impressed by his uncanny sense of colour, poetic cadence in his compositions and the "thing-ness" of his photographs. I was drawn into his multilayered, mesmerizing worlds, seeking to extract their secrets.....
Galanakis' raw material starts with his own photographs and paintings, images collected over the years, that he then re-visits during regular Duchampian explorations in search of ideas. Then the real work begins at his studio with his computer where the images might be cut, re-photographed, and painted over, creating collages that defy the long-held notion of photography as a "window onto the world." His "stories" are reworked time and again until he creates haunting, cinematic narratives where the taken-for-granted is turned upside down. Galanakis' physical topographies appear out of joint with his characters—human, animals, objects— creating multilayered mental landscapes where lives are lived differently.
The works were created over the last years. Galanakis prints on surfaces that best showcase the bits and pieces of beauty that he has collected and made his own; sometimes these surfaces are paper, sometimes wood or aluminium. The printed works command space not unlike sculpture, requiring us to shift about, turn our heads and take a stroll into a world full of wonders, fragments of life in a constant becoming.
The Italian philosopher Umberto Eco in 1962 coined the term " open work" referring to works where artists in their practice allowed for many interpretive possibilities—the works were "completed" by the viewers.
Caterina Pizanias, PhD.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada