A wealth of art on Paros…

This past week has seen a upswing in the opportunities one may have to view art,  or generally just wander around in a daze of artistic influence.  Like many people I have my favorites styles of artistic expression and I will try my best to not be a judge of either the art or the experiences of others.  True, much of what I saw did not appeal to me so I will focus on what I found to be charming, influential, skillful and expressionistic in a charged and inspiring fashion.  That being said I will be sure to give my opinions.

There are as many schools, i.e. ‘types’, of art as there are colors of socks in my sock drawer.  I can end a night of gallery openings feeling somewhat dizzy so it is best to wait a few days, let the dust settle and then post a short review.  On Friday night there were two openings that I enjoyed.  The first was that of my friend and mentor Jun-Pierre Shiozawa and his new collection of India ink paintings titled ‘Sacred/Wild’.  I have already written extensively about his work and his Kickstarter  efforts to get the show off the ground and flying.  I found the hung show to be inspiring, humorous yet also mysterious in the way that dreams are the mysteries of sleep.  The show was well attended and is up for a few more days.  As a member of the arts community here on Paros Jun-Pierre has been a positive force in an off-island art world that can often times be overly-opinionated and even callous.  His work speaks for itself and if you ask him about the current exhibition he is more likely to relate technical details or perhaps unwind his tale initial inspiration for these large monochromatic ink paintings of wild animals, at home in humanity’s domus sancti.

The second show I enjoyed was a very small exhibition of oil paintings by the artist Iokim Mineretzopoulos who has been working in conjunction with Euphrosyne Doxiadis, another Greek artist and art historian here on Paros.  The subject is ‘The Adoration of the Lamb’ and it will be combined in the near future with a small book of poems by the poet Rory Brennan and published by the Aegean Center Press.  Understanding that these few oil pieces were studies for a larger, more comprehensive work, I was charmed by their simplicity, delicacy and humility.   A few pieces  reminded me of the the dream-like backgrounds found in Renaissance portraiture.  Iokim’s work exudes ‘semnos’, or modesty, a trait that is often difficult to find, or perhaps absent, in the current market-driven art world.

The three other shows that opened this past weekend were, although not to my taste, a plus for the community.   I found their abstract expressionistic efforts mostly derivative, often mundane and, in one case, poorly contrived, but that is only this writers opinion.  The important aspect is that in two days there was a wealth of art on public display, as it always should.  It reminded me of my youth in Provincetown and Wellfleet, going from one gallery opening to the next: truly exciting.   For me, the experience was worth it.  It allowed me to use my eyes, absorb some color and socialize in a supportive setting.  In retrospect, it was a successful weekend for all involved.  People had fun seeing, being seen and seeing others.  The women were dressed up and everyone had the kind of color one associates with the summer crowd.  Even I, bumming about in my cargo shorts and Dr. Who t-shirt, felt at home in these dog-day galleries.


Some guests at the opening of ‘Sacred/Wild’ by Jun-Pierre Shiozawa


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