While I was, as usual, walking through Instagram, I met Ioannis Lassithiotakis (a.k.a. @ioannis_lassithiotakis) and his awesome work. His style was very simple, minimalist as we say today. So, I decided to contact him to do an interview and maybe understand a little more what he was doing. He kindly replied to me, and this is what he said to us.
– First, can you telle me who is Ioannis ? Since when are you practicing painting ?
Hello ! So, I first studied applied arts in Athens and continued my studies in painting at the Florence Academy of Fine Arts. Now I teach at the University of Western Attica in the field of visual arts in the graphic arts department.
– What are your influences ? Do you have some icons in arts (maybe music, photography, or whatever) ?
Actually, I have many influences because my work has gone through many phases. Expressionism, conceptual art, metaphysical realism, etc. Photo and collage played an important role in my work and removal as well.
Music is a huge chapter for me, the jazz, the modern music and the new wave. Frank Zappa, B. Eno, A. Part. M.Davis, ECM Music, M.J.mc Laughlin, K. Jarrett, D. Sylvian, and many other artists. My art is related to the painting of the so-called color field, but more to Suprematism, De Style, and P. Mondrian, perhaps to Newman.
– What are you searching in arts ? What it is bringing to you ?
What always interests me is through a way of contemporary painting to talk about issues that concern human and the society. Geometric abstraction for me is not a game of formalism. It’s a bit deeper.
My current work is a commentary on current events, ideas, and opinions in a way that goes beyond fleeting references. I also reference art history, contemporary art and, of course, the influences of current artists. Because of this, I would say my painting is not only political but also erotic, psychological, philosophical, symbolical and much more. Above all, I want to create powerful and beautiful works with depth, simplicity, and substance. Many people today may think that it is easy to make contemporary art, I believe, on the contrary, that it is very difficult and it has knowledge in the theory of art in philosophy and in classical studies in the arts. A contemporary artist must be aware of what he is doing as he knew all modernists of the twentieth century when many modern movements were created that changed the way we see our art today.
– Are you presenting your work in a gallery by now ? Let us know where and when if you want to
I’m currently preparing my individual exhibition at the ENIA Gallery in Athens that will take place in November.
While at the beginning of August I will exhibit retrospective work in the archaeological museum of the island of Crete.
– Thank you Ioannis !
Thank you so much, see you soon !