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Transhistorical Reality

 Art is an eternal question, addressing the visible world through the process of seeing. The painter provides a material
form to convey his insight. For me, painting is the depiction of energy in two dimensions, the conversion of concepts
and incidents into pictures. Besides, both the world and life are pictures in themselves, a representation. Feelings
and the soul cannot be expressed in any other way but through art. Art functions through the picture, shaping the
awareness of the viewer.
It does not work as a depiction of the actual moment but as an atmosphere. I am deeply
moved by those paintings which do not copy reality but interpret it with pictures that lead to the concept of an incident,
not to the incident itself.
There are certain symbols, attractions, as well as pictures and forms of our daily life which codify our communication.
I often wonder what the relation is between my work and social reality. I believe that more than anything my
work produces pictures of the soul, pictures that try to convey the present day in a code of symbols. If these paintings
are successful at all, it is because the soul responds to them.
The theme is my starting point, it is what moves me.Besides, when there is a theme, there is a specific emotion.
Opera and musicals have a central story, and for a good reason. A compilation of fragmented thoughts and pictures
may follow, but there is always a main idea. Even if something starts from an absurdity, analytical thinking will progressively
transform it and will render it differently through the magic of art. Composition also involves assembling disparate
potentials into a flowing image, though charged with the moment’s transience—much like a film director’s eagerness
to produce a serene tableau, or a stage set in a sudden flood of light. Thus the eye confronts a painting as a
painting, and less as a thing than as an icon.
It is a process of arrangement and re-arrangement in order to project the unique nature of such familiar things as
are contained in some paintings: miscellaneous objects, people, loneliness, animals, lovers, thoughts, landscapes,
masses, memories, sounds, mysteries, seasons—not forgetting hopes and ideals. It involves giving meaning to shape
and structure, to form a whole akin to the times. Then there is the assortment of various levels, subject to the indifference
of human regard, while preserving the drama in the stillness of a painting’s light which formally and symbolically
generates a special atmosphere—those pervasive moods conducive to the drama, the action.
My work has a specific manner and cannot be classified in any one category. Little by little I am coming to the
conclusion that my paintings have a personal style, which is also their connecting link. Now, to claim that something
moves me more than reality itself would not be true, because neither dream nor fantasy itself moves me. A picture
begins from a thousand heterogeneous things, and what connects them is the character in which they are painted,
their combination and, at best, the intensity they possess. I
simply use the picture as an ABC book, as was the case in Hellenistic and Byzantine art. I use a codified picture to approach
the primordial idea that we all have of things, a composition of realism, fantasy and symbols. The feeling
that flows out from my work is more important than the apparent depiction, so that the existential enigma is interpreted
rather than represented. I paint the idea of a woman, of a man, of an incident.
Transhistorical Reality  Theodore Manolides
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Page 8
Pencil sketch for the relief Motherhood,
2001, 20 ? 25 cm
Pencil sketches for various
compositions, 1995
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Pencil sketches for various
compositions, 1995
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We live in such a risky, unstable and aggressive age that  gradually our social values are losing their relative worth,
utility and importance. Thus the entire meaning of avantgarde and modernistic culture as we came to know it in
the twentieth century is now dubious. Modernism has not come up to our expectations. Incapable of promoting human
values, it has drained into indifference and disillusionment, empty of content. Besides, in such transitional and
such unforeseen times, when all of us are snowed under with thousands of visual stimuli—newspapers, posters, advertisements,
people’s faces, sometimes nightmarish, transient in their endless alternation in the car, the house, fragmentary,
fleeting scenes on television and computers screens. Man, mother earth, vegetation, wild flowers, stones, vine arbours,
daily habits, objects and memories. Simple everyday stories, but so enduring through time. Languorous, silent scenes in
the face of a confused reality. Youthful faces in moments of meditation, the outcome of erotic exaltation, memories of
past moments, human presences in emotionally charged compositions. A window on time, history’s blood that flows
in our veins. A ‘Golden Rain’ that renders a painting’s surface the ‘magic home’ of history. And with such a plethora of
scenes, we are thwarted in our ambition to communicate with nature. We can no longer hear the rustling of leaves or
listen to the eloquent quietness of far-reaching shores. The time-honoured faculty of engaging in an interminable visual
dialogue with nature has diminished. Intellectual petrification.
Modern man’s distorted, splintered visual experience. And in this visual environment, the contemporary artist
is compelled to be on his toes, to seek images-cum-forms in keeping with this spiritual and intellectual world; to create
suitable images depicting the intercourse between the soul, people and life. A vulgar reality, utterly materialistic, turbulent
but also grand, in which the existential enigma never stops changing acceptation and interpretation; the idea of
good and bad is imperceptible, life passes without memories, without the vindication of time, and is treated as a
chance happening. Now the way out is only through the channels of fantasy and art in a timeless dimension.
An art recorded as diachronic, two-dimensional and symbolic. A realistic, imaginary, symbolic composition.
And the objective:
To give meaning to the commonplace; Something mysterious to what is obvious and perhaps a drop of eternity to the ephemeral.
The existential mystery, the soul’s spasms, the loneliness of my models, more attracted to their destructiveness than
love, sometimes looking as empty as the environments they inhabit, accepting their fate, never questioning it, as if
there is no alternative to it. And this was a reason which induced  me to create paintings whose character stems first
and foremost from the removal of realistic time-space dimensions and the use of archetypal themes sometimes representing
a space beyond realism. A synthesis of fantasy,symbols and reality. The effort to join form with meaning,
a revelatory connection with the times. It is through the ancient solar symbols that humanity spoke of its destiny. Reality’s
reliance on myth is not paradoxical, except when it comes to those who are not aware of the meaning of myth.
Myths are the structure of the future.
An individualised human being is lacking in past memory, and by extension in vision. He lives in a hazy present.
Those with the longest memory have a longer future. Orthodox thought is expressed through symbols and archetypal
diachronic ideas. Be that as it may, myths and legends are always present, proof of their staying power. The emotive—
and so identifying—collection of stories, combining history and legend, relates the mystery of man and nature,
while also explaining historical, social and cosmic phenomena.
Moreover, the fascinating timelessness they echo entices us to a painterly portrayal of past and futu re, beginning
and end. They allow us to escape from time’s continuum and become transhistorical.
Myth is now more alive than ever in the mind of modern man. This is a challenge for the artist to try to re-establish
the measure and order of things—to understand, feel, believe, and, more important, to regain vision. Our return to
the values of the pre-technological period is certainly a reality.
It is impossible for me to see the future in the mechanistic perceptions that prevailed in the twentieth century. All
these technocratic - isms, all these acrobatics of thinking,have been a dogmatic violation of everything and have upset
the balances, endangering our planet and leading mankind into an existential dead-end.
The modern Romantic spirit not only looks for transgression, but imposes it. Life is worth a better deal, and
perhaps only art can award quality in the brief span of our lifetime.