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Honoring Maria Callas Year September 28, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Arts Exhibitions Greece.
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Nikos Floros’s metal beauty exhibition currently showcased at the Melas Mansion on Kotzia Square in Athens > Canned knits. Sculpture inspired by Maria Callas in “Iphigeneia in Tauris” featuring ring-pulls that become a lace-like collar. A kimono sculpture inspired by “Madame Butterfly”

The shimmering folds and drapes on the sculptures create fairy-tale illusions of majestic queens clad in sumptuous fabrics. Approach closer, however, and you’ll find that everyday products can turn into the stuff of dreams.

Over a period of five years, artist Nikos Floros purchased more than 200,000 aluminium cans of soft drinks and beer and turned them into imposing works, inspired by the world of opera and its most glorious star, Maria Callas. With brands chosen primarily for their color combinations, Floros’s handmade, large-scale objects display elements of history, fashion, art and emotion, dedicated, above all, to La Divina’s spirit.

“Opera Sculptured Costumes” currently on display at the National Bank of Greece’s Melas Mansion, is organized by the non-profit Foundation for the Creation of the Opera Building and the Maria Callas Lyric Art Academy in Athens led by soprano Vasso Papantoniou. Curated by Katerina Koskina, the display at the grandiose, downtown Melas Mansion runs to October 19.

A surrealist who enjoys working with pop elements, Floros mixes the past and the present with cutting-edge flair. “Today’s temples are supermarkets, malls and department stores,” the artist said. “That’s where you exist.”

At the Melas Mansion, the sculptures are inspired by celebrated roles that the late soprano interpreted on stage at the world’s greatest theaters: Beer cans become glowing golden-brown shades for Violetta in “La Traviata”, there’s cool silver for “Iphigeneia in Tauris”, vivacious green for Rosina in “The Barber of Seville”, fiery red for “Tosca” and a kimono for “Madame Butterfly”. Also showcased is a suit for a Callas master class, as well as jackets, a corset, a pair of evening shoes and ankle boots, the latter painstakingly made in no less than two-and-a-half months.

From Elizabethan times to “Empire” and 20th century power-suits, Floros traces the history of garment design while exploring intriguing handmade techniques: Cans become fine pieces which are then woven, turning into metal fabric. Ring-pulls turn into elaborate metal lace on enormous collars and linings are executed with a stapler. For the artist, this is not about recycling, but rather about giving “a new dimension to an everyday commodity.” Powerful and beautiful, the work of Floros has captured the Callas spirit, artistic, original and larger than life.

At the Mela Mansion of The National Bank of Greece, 86 Aeolou Street, Kotzia Square, Athens. Opening hours: Monday-Friday 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

floros_1.jpg  floros_2.jpg

floros_3.jpg  A Greek in New York > Born in the Peloponnesian city of Tripolis in 1970, Nikos Floros studied drama and design in Athens, before traveling to Paris to spend a year at the celebrated Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He also studied piano at the National Conservatory in Athens. Currently living and working in New York City as a costume art designer, the artist’s projects include a production of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s “Narcisse” at the Theater of the New City. In 2003, Floros’s sculpture “Silver Elizabeth I” received the Grand Prize of the Young Friends of French Heritage Society. In that same year, two of his works aroused much discussion at the Save Venice benefit gala. A year later, his work “Red Queen Elizabeth” was awarded the Grand Prize at the same benefit. In the same year, “Red Queen Elizabeth” was the centerpiece at the annual Art Benefit Event hosted by the Whitney Museum of American Art.

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