An interview with Markos Kampanis from Athens, Greece.
Here he talks to Artists Info about his work.
Please describe your artwork style
My style can be described as realistic with many diversions however, I do not seek to follow a specific path but leave myself free to be guided by instinct. Each group of works prepares me for the next step. I am passionate with different techniques from true fresco murals to collagraph printmaking and from moving from a realist approach to an abstract composition or even a digital photo.
What’s your background?
I have been painting since I remember. I have studied painting at St. Martins School of Art, in London, where I lived for a number of years. Since 1980 I have been living and working in Greece.
How long have you been an artist?
About 40 years. I have been working as a professional artist since my first one-man show in 1979.
Who or what are your biggest influences?
I have been influenced my seemingly very different movements or artists. Mainly by the Greek tradition and Byzantine art but at the same time by modern masters such as Lucian Freud or British and American pop artists.
How have you developed your career?
I have been working mainly as a painter through galleries, but also worked as a book illustrator, stage designer, mural painter, and exhibition curator and book editor.
Where do you create your work?
Basically in my studio in Athens and a studio in the countryside. Working as a muralist I found myself travelling a lot to wherever a commission calls me.
8. What techniques / mediums do you use?
I use almost all materials, from charcoal and pastel to fresco painting, from acrylics to printing inks, from etching to egg tempera. I have been called a fetishist of materials
9. Which is more important to you, the subject of your painting, or the way it is executed?
Definitely the way it is executed is more important. Painting should communicate through its material qualities.
10. What project are you working on now?
I am working on a series of paintings relating to the landscapes of Homer’s Odyssey. These are acrylic paintings on wood and a series of large format artists books.
11. Where do you find your ideas for your work?
Ideas are usually found from the actual process of painting. Any subject matter or theme may provide inspiration.
12. How do you know when a work is finished?
It is finished when there is nothing more to add on to it and when continuing to work makes the picture worse rather than better. The work itself is able to suggest its own laws.
13. Is here an element of art you enjoy working with most? Why?
Among other procedures, I love working a lot with monotypes. It is a process between painting and printmaking and requires a balance between intention and chance. I like to work from results that were not always prefabricated but happen by chance. Then I manipulate these chance effects and work from them.
See more of Markos' work here: www.markoskampanis.gr