About Nikos Smyrnios
Nicholas Smyrnios is a scholar graduate of the famous Stockholm’s College University of Art and Design (Konstfack), still considered the heart of Scandinavian Design. Fully involved for decades in digital environments, he shrived to get the maximum out of New Media and aspired to inspire thus his creativity. The collection presented in the Saatchi online constitute a small portion of Smyrnios' work and represent only few of the media he explored (painting, video, animation, graphic art) over 30 years and the ideas he expressed through varied styles. Nevertheless, they share one common denominator, which is his love of all aspects of ancient Greek art, geometry and philosophy as well as a major interest on cultural -artistic cross borders. His intention at the beginning of his career was to build a spiritual bridge, a channel between ancestors and descendants of the same civilization who share the same land and the same “light”. Several even of his later digital artworks are made up of visual references to certain geometrical and philosophical premises set against the background of symbolic scenery. Popular ancient Greek scenes and depictions are combined with geometrical, abstract ideograms, embedded in a digital environment that attributes to the work its modern dimension. Being actively engaged in the education of applied arts for thirty years as well as in graphic design, Smyrnios has managed to establish his artistic identity as a “child of his time”, interacting continuously with the modern spirit and New Media, adapting and discarding the elements of the Zeitgeist. His later style is a tribute to Pop and Op Art. He tried a long time to combine these two movements and had finally found a balance between them by developing his original visual style. The past few years he has been very keen on portraiture. His pop choices in many ways react to their op transformation and vice versa. After all Pop art, born in the 1960s, is here to stay as more and more young people seem to enjoy it. In his Pop-Op’s portraits emotion and poetry have returned due mainly to the artist’s own strong feelings for the personalities that branded his youth with their career and personal achievements in the artistic scene or generally in the world of culture and sciences. Smyrnios deliberately chooses to portray a world familiar -more or less- to millions of people worldwide. In this way the world becomes a “common land” and the everyday is transformed into fine art again. Smyrnios combines fragments of photos or scenes he chooses because they are characteristic in order to initiate his own imagination and to create a whole new portrait, transforming thus a pop idol or a well known personality to an illusionistic psychological profile of his personality. As a matter of fact, he intends to make a social comment on their life, their impact, stirring at the same time people’s awareness of the 1960s’ aesthetics that seem far but still are pretty present. A special series has been devoted mainly to idols of a glorious era -rock and film stars- or famous scientists and significant international men and women, who later became icons and symbols of ideals within the global ethical and cultural tradition. Freedom, peace, brotherhood, justice, progress, harmony and beauty are compressed in those ‘transformed’ faces in a symbolic and meaningful way. One of the recent exhibited series was specially attributed to the 50th anniversary of the Beatles, as their music has been proved immortal, reflecting both "high" culture and subculture, both the trivial and the remarkable. The achievement of a similar combination is Smyrnios’ constant pursuit, when he uses both pop and op art elements. In this case, Pop Art represents the trivial while Op Art represents the remarkable. http://www.smyrnios.com
Dipl. of National Art and Design College, Konstfack - Stockholm (five years). Institute of Graphic Arts Technology - Stockholm (two years).