Author Mara Schiavetti
By Aris Katsilakis.
Human evolution and environment: A relationship completely connected in its duality, some times identical and harmonious and some times conflicting. Human evolution is formed in conjunction with environmental instability; sometimes it’s caused by the human evolution itself.
The Greek sculptor Aris Katsilakis was born in 1974 in Romania, where his parents had been expatriated. In 1980, he was repatriated to Greece where he currently lives and works. In 1998, he enrolled in the Fine Art School of the Tinos Island, famous for its long history in marble producing and sculpting. The artist graduated in 2001 and received a scholarship to continue his studies at the University of Fine Arts in Athens.
Katsilakis believes the environment has been looted and destroyed by human avidity, in favor of advancement in evolution. He focuses his artistic research to communicate his personal agony and concern about the alteration of genetic materials and organisms in order to adapt to the modern environmental requirements. Deriving elemental objects from the environment (plants, nests, cocoons, vital organs, fruits, and living organisms) and utilizing different points of view and angles of perception, filtered through his personal aesthetics, Katsilakis builds new ‘bio-forms.’
“I am not trying to copy the external reality; I’m merely representing it without losing the absolute freedom of creativity. My work is aimed at waking up the conscious mind to a dialog between nature and art. Art that is required today more than any other time in history that points out the need of harmonious coexistence between man and environment,” says Katsilakis.
The artist uses basic material for the series Mutation, like colored packaging paper, which undergoes a repeating process of layering and molding with glue to create the conceived color result. He considers recycled, useless materials to be signs of a hyper-consuming society and plastic, rubber, carton, newspapers, strings, unprocessed wool as industrial residues of the modern world. In his work, materials that are worn by time, charged with the ‘memories’ of their previous use, are being put through a process of re-composition and transformation to be given a new life, and with their unique properties and ‘memories’ they become part of the creative process, by which the artist is attempting to present a new reality. His new reality aims to trigger viewers’ senses, so they don’t stay uninvolved, but feel as a co-perpetrator and a part of this charmingly ugly, imaginative nature that reflects the mutation that organic life suffers by modern man.
Katsilake’s works have been exhibited in many influential galleries and are currently on display in private collections and public spaces worldwide.