City. Miami, Florida USA.
Alexander Kapetanakis uses
Instagram only and is at: @the_figureinartgallery
Interview conducted by Jack Savage with artist Alexander Kapetanakis – Represented by The Influx Gallery, Notting Hill, London
1. Welcome Alexander to The Influx Gallery family. Tell us a little bit about yourself and where you are from?
I am a Cuban Greek who lives in Miami, Florida and Greece and Panama. My travels are part of my business and I have been able to absorb the best of the cultures.
2. Were your family supportive of you deciding to become an artist?
My family has always supported my painting and have backed my endeavors from an early start.
3. Was there anything specific that you can remember that made you want to become an artist?
The thing that made me want to paint and draw was the overwhelming need to create manifestations of thoughts.
4. Did your schooling or work affect your creative development in any way?
School was for me, a hindrance and i have spent years learning to overcome school.
5. Where do you get your inspiration and influences from?
My inspiration and influence is from the Renaissance, and the Pre Raphelites. The contemporary Latin American painters are also an inspiration to me.
6. Do you have a favourite painting technique?
My favorite painting technique is the ancient underpainting style of applying a full grey tone painting and applying multiple translucent layers of oil color upon the painting. The light and color do magic when this technique is used. It doesn't photograph well but the visual effect is powerful when seen live.
7. We are very honoured to represent an artist displaying such creative originality? Does your creative process involve conscious or unconscious imaginings, or a mixture of both?
The creative process for me is to blend the real with the manifestation of thought in a way that balances the painting into a process of esthetic and cerebral. A painting should make the viewer first admire a sense of beauty but then force him to think of a deeper meaning. The dream world and reality should meet in a painting.
8. What was your most enjoyable artwork to create/construct?
My most enjoyed artwork is always the most current one I am trying to achieve.
9. Your use of the human form in your painting is fantastic. What emotions do you want to convey through your work?
The human form is both beautiful and emotional in its essence. I want the viewer to experience the sense of power and grace that is present in the human form. To see the potential of each figure to accomplish a logical conclusion as depicted.
10. Your art displays both strength and lyrical sensitivity that varies between classical and modern stylisations. How does this mixture between the old and the new inform your work?
The techniques I used were based on the ancient techniques but there is no need to be limited by the past when a freer hand is needed. The modern approach allows for more sensitivity to the movement and brush work to appear. We have the ability to benefit from the sum total of centuries of experience.
11. You are based in the USA, Panama and Greece. How does this cultural melting pot inform your fantastical artworks?
Having a melting pot of culture has influenced me in the sense that i love incorporating scenes from areas I have visited and am fascinated by. My use of mythology is part of my cultural heritage but my exposure to contemporary latin artists has infused my art with their sensitivity to the figure. Art should be both beautiful and sensual and thought provoking. I think my cultural melting pot has led me to that path.
12. Thanks a lot for your valuable time and interest. You can include any other details you want to talk about here?
My painting interests seek to invoke the classic with the modern aspects of introspection. Painting should inspire and interest the viewer to participate in the thought process that the artist had. I hope to achieve this.