Myth is a small scale narrative drawing by artist Kostas Gogas and was created between 2017 and 2019. The piece incorporates elements of narration, mythopoeia, eastern philosophy and collage.
It represents a major shift in the creative direction of the artist because it employs new processes and is based on vision rather than on 'blind' automatic surrealist methods the artist used to rely on. The craftsmanship is what sets the work apart, because the artist chose to defend creative traditions rather than rely on contemporary norms of artist's style and new media tools.
The artist started working on 'Myth' when he decided to discover the beauty of art by beginning his journey again. In order to get rid of the art market preconceptions about artist's style, size of the artworks, quantity of works, painting materials etc. The artist, as the boat in the piece itself, embarks on a journey away from complex mindsets or gigantic proportions for a silent piece, a small island. Some may see a wonderful civilization left behind, but the artist saw dead ruins that while wonderful didn't gave anything to life itself anymore.
'Myth' captures everything that was going on in the artist's life and career at the moment at all levels: the tools, the process, the size of it, the elements comprising the composition, their arrangement and of course the kintsugi.
Before using Kintsugi on Myth, the artist had already an experience with an everyday object that he never used because he found it ugly. It was a cup.
One day the cup fell and broke. Then and only then he understood that the cup was beautiful, and regreted of not using it, thus denying the object's purpose to be fulfilled.
That's when he decided to keep it and painted the broken parts with gold color.
He still has it on display on a shelf at his studio.
The main elements of the composition is the night sky, the rocks/cliffs at each side, the giant's statue, the boat, the sea, the island & the four-person statue at the bottom left.
The giant seems to be a statue of an ancient civilization, holding the sea from flooding in, thus protecting the land. The boat travels to the small island in the distance, which seems to have nothing artificial on it. The four-person statue is black in color and each figure looks at a different direction.
The four-person statue looking at all four directions, may be another reason to suspect that the ruined civilization, while all-encompassing, they were lacking direction.
While the artist didn't work/and never works in order to reference anything, there are two images that the subconscious mind of the artist have stored and used in 'Myth'.
This film-still from Peter Jackson's film adaptation of J.R.R Tolkien's Lord of the Rings was one of the artist's favorite moments in the trilogy. The boats travelling away from the viewer, placed between the rocks, and the giants holding each side of the mountain found a way in his piece.
The process of creating Myth was a painstaking period because of the decisions the artist had to take together with establishing the new rules of his art making: persistence of vision, small scale, detail, aborting 'style' and focusing on single artworks instead of series of smaller pieces (as he has been doing for all his career).
The damage at the center of the artwork happened early in the process but after much work had been done on it. After deciding to fix it, the artist created most of 'Myth' in 2017.
2018 was a period of refining and fixing the details. As well as taking major decisions, like the final color of the four-person statue.
The decision for the kintsugi came in 2019, when the artist decided to reveal the damage instead of 'hiding' it. Elevating it as a major element of the composition as well as communicating the true essence behind its creation.
The damage and the repair was the thing that made all the difference.
The artist was trying to get away of his old art making process which had to do with the "beauty of the process" and the "sure brush stroke of a master painter".
He had decided to deliver his vision, even if that meant getting a few scratches. Beauty was replaced by persistence.
The process of creating 'Myth' was posted on my blog as I was working on it.
Below is a bird's eye view of the process.
Prints, posters, downloads or even the original. If 'Myth' is a piece you relate to, make sure you visit the artist's official store and explore all the available options before making a purchase.
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