Buy This Issue
The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 13 September 2014
SATURDAY 13 SEPTEMBER 2014 17 FEATURE Initially painting on black canvas, he's moved to glass and Perspex, opening up the colour options for his clients and his fans. His first solo exhibition at Flinders Lane Gallery in April was quite a hit with the art world. His exhibition, 'Visualised', was all based on wood shavings, from the small, like pencil sharpenings, to the larger woodwork offcuts. His popularity early on helped him decide to quit his job at Camberwell High School as an art technician in March and commit all his time as an artist. A bold move for an artist, who can't rely on the safety net anymore. The words of his migrant parents always seem to come back to haunt him when he's feeling slightly worried. "Now they're supportive because I'm doing well, but it was always - 'are you sure this is what you want to do, why don't you get a real job?'," He migrated back to Greece with his parents when he was 16, leaving school in Melbourne and taking up trade school in Thessaly. He became an electrician, but never fitted the mould. "I stayed there for the year and a half of the course and I packed up and left. "It's the same conversation I have with Greeks here: 'So how did you find it?' 'Oh it was great, but I wouldn't want to work there'," he says. Consolation, acrylic on glass and perspex, 100x100 cm, 2014. d perspex, 123x123cm, 2014. Melbourne, acrylic on perspex, 83x123 cm, 2014. This piece will appear at the Flinders Lane Gallery 25th anniversary exhibition. His rush to return to Melbourne to rejoin its graffiti art scene was inevitable. His artwork now actually has a bit of a base in graffiti. His geometric shapes are created by using airbrush pens filled with his mixed paint. Looking at his work from afar, many people can't help but think it's all computer generated. He gets those comments weekly, and was in fact asked to submit work for an exhibition showcasing work that looks digital. "I have a show, 'Screen Space' in the city, who only exhibit video work, but currently they're doing an exhibition that shows painters who paint in a digital way," he says with a laugh. He finds that his use of straight lines and colours are easily translated to a digital format. His abstract work isn't jarring or avant garde, it works perfectly with natural phenomena. He in fact gets quite a lot of inspiration from nature. "I enjoy looking at the really simple things in life, like watching an ant carry its food to its nest, watching a fresh flower bulb; there are patterns in there," he says. His idea of something chaotic all coming into place in the end is the heart of his work. He starts painting triangles on a clear Perspex panel, then flips it, and starts on the back, tracing triangles again. On another panel, he starts again, going from front to back. The final piece only comes together when he pieces the two, or sometimes three panels together. He uses the analogy of a tree losing its leaves to explain his process. "If you've ever watched a tree lose its leaves, it looks like a completely random pattern, but eventually it floods the whole thing, it becomes like a uniform and symmetric pattern regardless of the fact that it's all been random," he says. "It ends up covering the whole ground." Looking at his finished work, it's hard to imagine just how he started. That's his real talent, taking something so governed by chance and making it look seamless. Zac Koukoravas is currently exhibited by Flinders Lane Gallery, 137 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, 3000. He will be exhibiting a special commissioned work based on the topic of Melbourne for the gallery's 25th anniversary, from September 16 to October 4. For more information on the exhibition and Zac Koukoravas, visit www.flg.com.au or www.zackoukoravas.com Expanded Territories 3, acrylic paint on 4mm glass and perspex, 83.5x83.5 cm, 2013.
20 September 2014