Dimitris Ntokos at Blender Gallery
Metamorphosis: The exhibition by Dimitris Ntokos at Blender Gallery
Dimitris Ntokos became widely known through his art collection in which the beetle was used as the central motif. In these artworks, we notice a repeated motif, which in association with its elaborate ideograms compose the diary of his thoughts.
In ancient Greece, we notice the usage of the beetle in the works of Aristophanes, Aesop’s fables and in ancient Egypt where the beetle functioned as a symbol of the sun’s strength and of rebirth in the afterlife.
A symbol that is indissolubly linked to Egyptian mythology, sometimes functioned as a frame, through which maps, portraits and narrations appeared, and other times as the skeleton on which more abstract, but always symmetrical and detailed arrangements were crafted with persistence.
The works of Ntokos project the idea of a deep metamorphosis, of personal rebirth, of fertility and therefore of creation. Metamorphosis is the title of his new project.
In Fransis Kafka’s “Metamorphosis” we notice that the main character symbolically transforms into an insect.
However as with every symbolism, in this one as well, the transformation of a human into an insect contains its own dynamic.
It is the dynamic of change, a polysemous word, that appears in myths, ceremonies and literature works of all cultures, thanks to the irresistible attraction it exerts with the prospect of a new beginning, the degree to which the idea enriches the world of the imaginary, but also its, possible, symbolic dimension.
Ntokos, in continuation of his collection of works with the beetle as its central axis, dares to sideline the insect and to focus on a form of his own “language” which reminds us of the known to all hieroglyphics, aiming to present the before to us and not the after. Namely, he encourages us to “read” his artworks beginning from the upper-left corner.
Hieroglyphic writing is found in Egypt, Minoan Crete and other civilized people.
The Egyptian hieroglyphics create a composition that attributes an inner idea.
Almost all the symbols represent a living or lifeless object, and in their most processed form they constituted tiny works of art on their own, and were thus ideal for monuments or decorative purposes.
The especially impressive aspect of Ntokos’s work is the arrangement of the colors he uses and the fact that he doesn’t use the technique of repetition anymore, but rather every symbol is unique and doesn’t repeat itself in the painting.
The materials he uses are acrylics, oil, wood and sheet metal, and he breaks ground by using the canvas upside down, refrigerator doors, scraps of old magazines, a car hood, mirrors and more.
These artworks are trying to tell us a story.
A story that every one of us will “read” differently.
Firstly, the viewer is surprised with the multidimensional, imaginary subject matter, and secondly he surrenders to illusions, which are created from the combination of geometrical designs of different patterns and strong color shades.
The surreal aesthetic remains the basic element of Ntokos’s creations, even when his work transposes itself to the sphere of art’s acceptable conventions, into spaces unaffected by the rhythms and the roar of the city.
The principle of Marxist surrealism is to “Change the world” and Dimitris Ntokos manages to change it through his artworks transforming it into something more beautiful and meaningful.