Savvas Christodoulides

Trough the act of drawing, he attempts to record the way in which our conception of reality is informed by the process of representation, as reality is progressively endowed with multiples meanings. On the basis of a purely conceptual approach to representation, he adopts a method whereby he constantly conceals and reveals the objects he treats through a highly personalized mixture of drawing techniques, taken especially from the field of handicraft. He cuts, sews, and embroiders; materials selected from his personal life – poor materials such as old photographs, clothes, plastics cups, empty bottles, cardboard, packaging boxes, fabrics, needlework and beads; these make up the tangible side of an everyday, familiar reality that alludes to space. On this background he adjoins other materials in a series of austere combinations, such that the act of drawing is revealed as the process of expanding the memory of a specific space and time into another dimension. Through the addition of a new, separate layer to the background of objects and images, representation art emerges as an act of disguising reality by providing a different, tangible image of it. The conversion of old objects into new signs take place through an almost sentimental dialectic with materials and images. Removed from the space of the personal
[ life or memory ], each object becomes a simulacrum, it loses its specific identity and becomes a symbol within a universal iconography.
The artist’s poetics emerge largely from an alternating sense of finished and unfinished, plenitude and void. His interventions are minimal, layered so as to show how representation minimizes the special character of the original. The use of materials collected from the space of the everyday is linked with the notion of a life that unfolds in repetitive cycles and at a regular pace, where changes take place through the organic evolution of the artist’s relationship with the objects that surround him. The continuous, delicate weaving we find in many pieces is almost always left unfinished, as the loose ends of the threads denote the continued existence of an object in time. Time is a major parameter for his processing of the semantic properties of the image and the object. The space of experience he represents does not refer exclusively to the present or the past, but encompasses past, present, and future alike, within equal emphasis on memory and the possibility of evolving through the creative process. His work is a systematic and sensitive exploration of the constant interplay that takes place between history and myth, the real and the imaginary, the vulgar and the sacred, the natural and the artificial, the familiar and the foreign, the empty and the full.
In his more recent work the artist moves into three-dimensional space, using ordinary, industrially produced objects made of synthetic materials, usually plastic and cardboard – a material whose flatness has become symbolic of the flatness of the painted surface in the post-war tendencies of abstract art. In his austere geometric compositions the artiste plays with the language of various media and their expressive properties. In his peculiar ‘ sculptures’ he performs distortions of the objects and employs techniques of illusionism takes from painting [ inverted pyramids, vanishing points ], and properties of the decorative such as repetition and flatness to transfer the problems of the image into three-dimensional space. Here the question of representation, a preoccupation that runs throughout his oeuvre, is condensed in the illusion, which becomes a symbol and a metonymy for representation. The combination of real three-dimensional objects and their flat parts with two-dimensional painted lines creates trompe l’oeil and points, among other things, to the fluid boundaries between a real object and its representation. The very fact that Christodoulides employs everyday objects of muss consumption in these compositions calls attention to the way objects are ‘represented’ in our time, to the ‘aestheticizing’ of everyday life, and to the notion that, even in trivial, everyday matters, our perception is determined by a dominant visual language.