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Tzeni Papadatou Art Historian

Spyros Kolyvas is one of the artists who show the spectator exactly what they want to: When one first looks at his work he sees the beauty of a landscape the way the artist saw it. With a second look the spectator is driven through the artist’s paths of imagination, having at the same time the opportunity to create his own story.

How can anyone not travel? The artist’s writing is fluid, playing with the serene tones of brown, ochre and blue. While at first glance one sees a peaceful landscape, behind a boat, from the sea or from one side of the sky shadows and figures appear. These shadows interrupt somehow the initial serenity that one feels at the first look on Kolyvas’ pictures. Can theses shadows be an attempt to place himself or the spectator in his painting and make him participant and accomplice in this magic which is called art?

This contrast between serenity and indefinable disquiet is a point of reference of Kolyvas’ works: a peaceful sky often next to a sea hiding signs of threat.

A successful artist always needs an incantation, a magical recipe to make spectators look at his pictures more than once. Kolyvas achieves that in many ways. One of these ways is that everything is there, in front of us, but some elements are not clear. One can feel that pictures are covered with fog, that he looks at them behind a misty window or in a dream. All the elements are there, in front of us. We could give them all name and identity. But at the same time we feel that if we raise our hand they are going to vanish.

Is this perhaps a reminder that even absolute beauty is temporary?

Tzeni Papadatou

Art Historian

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