Lida Kazantzaki : The painter of the month

  Vasilis Soulis was born in Athens where he lives and works today.He studied painting at the Athens School of Fine Arts (2002-2007), taught by Zacharias Arvanitis, Rena Papaspyrou and John Psychopedis.

   He has participated in various group exhibitions such as ‘New Arrivals’, the Art Gallery ‘Expression Joanna Grammatopoulou’ and ‘Aegina painters’, the Historical and Folklore Museum of Aegina (2008), the ‘Secret Room’ in Thanassis Frissiras Art Gallery (2009), the ‘Naked Truth’ in Frissiras Museum and the ‘Human Action’ at the Cultural Centre of the City of Athens ‘Melina’ (2010), the ‘Human Resources’ in Frissiras Museum and ‘A Saturday in Athens’ in Genesis gallery and the ‘Face to Face’ in Frissiras Museum (2012), the ‘Multiple Shades’ in Thanassis Frissiras Art Gallery, ‘The Garden’s Secrets’ in Ianos in Athens and the ‘90 postcards for Smyrna’ in Ianos Gallery in Thessaloniki and the exhibition ‘Talking about the future’ in the  Cultural Centre of the City of  Athens ‘Melina’ (2013), the ‘New Gazes’ in Atrion  Art Gallery in Thessaloniki (2014).

   He has presented his work in a solo exhibition in Athens in the ‘Expression- Joanna Grammatopoulou’ Art Gallery (2009).

  The images Vasilis Soulis sculpts with his paintbrush reflect the perpetual battle of representation with abstraction, the real with the imaginary that began in the late 19th century and has not yet, thankfully, stopped because it is about a battle that has to do with the man himself.

   In his works we recognize the embodied knowledge of old Flemish masters, the pioneers of realism, impressionism and expressionism. We see faces that emerge through rash strokes and figures that sink without being lost in them. They stand against us and look us in the eyes without shame. Through the juxtaposition of dark and light tones, the mannerism of their body posture and the clear, tangible texture of their clothes, they project the feeling that pervades them: the pain, despair, fatigue, tenderness and love. His portraits are faces sculpted in Francis Bacon’s dark manner whereas their bodies are portrayed with a restrained sensuality similar to Egon’s Schiele. We have all of us, at some point met them, approached and later repressed and forgotten them. The deliberate alteration of their traits and their unconventional appearance leads us, according to Bacon, to the liberating function of memory where we can find the essence of life.

Lida Kazantzaki
 Newspaper: Avgi