Ancient Suppliant – Contemporary refugee

Visual Artist

Ancient Suppliant – Contemporary refugee

My inspiration is influenced from the contemporary conjuncture, where human existence is crushed into the post modern condition.

The figures I paint have rather symbolic than representational character. I want to make visible not only the uniqueness of each person or group of people depicted, but also the spiritual, mental and social circumstances in which they are. It’s like you dive in their soul, try to understand them, and make visible those invisible aspects behind their eyes.

In the particular painting “Evmenides to be” I try to make a comment upon the refugee problem which is characterizing our times. 

First I had chosen the shape of my canvases to resemble to a Grunewald’s altarpiece so the concept of values and beliefs to be very profound. This special shape also reminded me of a ship, symbol of journey.

The scenery seems to be picturesque but in the middle where the halo should be in an altar I depict the rising sun and the word capitalism is written on it.

The central figure could be any woman originated from East and I depicted her as a contemporary figure of Madonna, holding her child on her arms. Both of them are sailing on a little magic carpet that is actually a small life jacket.

On the right I tried to give the reason that makes them ran away, the horror of war. A west woman dressed with summer clothes and her son are watching the scene and the sea, where they usually spend their vacations.

On the left side a man is seating comfortably on an armchair watching the news. At his hands he is holding a piece of chalk giving the impression that he just wrote the text that covers the idyllic scenery above. This text is a part of the tragedy “Suppliants” written by Aeschylus on 490BC and concerns the way suppliants where faced by the ancient Greek civilization. It is impressive how it refers to the modern era.

Below all I have depicted some of the most well-known refugees of our era. From left to right : Freddy Mercury, Isabel Allende, Dalai Lama,  Iman, Einstein and the couple Georg and Maria Von Trapp.

With my works I want to irritate the viewer, to stimulate him positively, to raise questions and lead him through this procedure to catharsis.

Natasha Metaxa