“Gifted with exceptional talent, Pavlos Samios is distinguished for his particular figures, staged in daily life situations – portraits, couples, still nature paintings- lying between realism and hyperrealism. Some time ago, we saw another intriguing series of depictions that were made by encaustic on leather and focused on his personal memories from his father, a shoemaker, in a confiding tone. At present, he goes on painting frescoes. Classic and firm choice of themes, well-assimilated artistic vocabulary, great ability in design and technique. His figures present the same traits of monumentality and perpetuation with Roman frescoes. They remind us of that era’s “transition from the ancient, analytical perspective to a more settled and familiar one as well”.
One might be able to summarize in a few words the underlying principle of Samios’ painting in a paper review, like the above text I wrote in “Nea”, yet the inner feeling inspired by his work takes a lot more means to be expressed. Samios’ dreamlike world has its own co-ordinates. The figures and objects of daily life that are depicted from one work to another live at their own time and in a specific zone within our imagination. It is as if they lived in a world without gravity, in a time period paused at the most important moment in the lives of people depicted in each painting. We assume that it is about recollections, impressed on his memory in the form of instantaneous scenes which live in his imagination as all noble persistent ideas do and take again their position in each painting, once in one of its corners and then in another. However, it is not about gloomy recollections, the nostalgia they reflect is more like a sweet pleasure and happiness rather than sadness for the moments that have gone by. Samios approaches these recollections in a glorifying manner, he enjoys them, he turns them into a monument. A room, a table and everything that is placed on it, dishes, fruits, cigarettes, drinks, they all seem to be needed in order to define the action of the human heroes in each story that we can easily imagine. A personal moment has taken place in the room of a house, a personal dream or a love intercourse. Time has stayed still on that particular moment and the painter has depicted it for us sacredly. Samios creates his paintings in the modest way masters used to do in the old, good days. He draws from a variety of artistic painting “tools” to compose these nostalgic images without showing off the erudition of such tools. He is experienced and well-informed about analyzing the form according to Cezanne for example or Picasso’s blue period, yet his inner dialogues with his fellow artists through painting are just nostalgic memories –like his themes- characterized by love, without any intention of competing or surpassing others. What is important to the specific painter is the depiction of his own images and the spectrum of feelings that relate to him –not the search for innovation. For the same reasons, he almost hides modestly his particularly developed drawing and synthetic ability when he shapes the stage for action in his works: perspective with multiple reference points, the space offering multiple dimensions, as if it was seen from various angles and through many different emotional interpretations, people and objects as if placed in a spaceship without gravity, like a dream. The moment stands like a monument, it becomes sacred. The painting thus turns into an icon of sacred personal recollection. Samios enjoys the tiny moments of everyday life and invites us to do the same. This is what the onlookers feel and they experience this particular tenderness in the painter’s works. Lately, an older technique of painting attracts the artist and enhances even further his means of expression that of fresco painting. Ancient method, used to embellish temples and palaces for centuries –places reserved to sanctity and solemnity- that has been almost forgotten nowadays. Samios revives this method and makes use of it. Frescoes require a skillful hand as colours are quickly absorbed by the substratum underneath and the artist’s brush strokes have to be steady and strong, similarly to the general outline of each composition. If an artist is engaged in fresco painting, he should either create invariable pictures of saints in churches or much loved and nostalgic themes (worthy to be re-encountered, after all “nostos” in Homer’s epic work means “return”). From this point of view, the artist paints our tender everyday moments like frescoes, thus turning them into eternal testimonies