THEOFILOS was an artist from Lesvos, ridiculed for most of his life and painted for a bowl of soup but left a significant body of work. Even had a retrospective exhibition at the Louvre after his death.
ARETOUSA a belongs to a 17 Century epic romance poem, song, fable. She is a Cretan princess , GREECE’S Juliet, banished to a dungeon for refusing to marry the king’s choice, over her true love.
An artist’: A storyteller, a patriot, a genius sometimes portrayed as the village idiot, perhaps an innocent heart, unjustly undervalued, is paired with a princess: forbidden love, virtuous, passionate, banished to a dungeon who weaved her way to freedom and inspired generations of poetry and song.
They defy all, in an intimate exchange at a table in a tavern where all can see. An unlikely pairing in the mountains of Crete to talk about art and life, Share a plate of food, eat apples. This is one of 4 paintings I completed in 2021 as part of my RANDEVOUZ AT THE TAVERN Series. They explore the metaphor of the tavern as a magical meeting place.
Similar to the popular invitation: “who from the world stage would you invite to dinner if you could? Through art I take liberty as a painter and storyteller to create space for characters from my cultural heritage to meet for the first time. All four paintings present powerful figures from across Greece’s cultural tapestry, bridging dimensions of folklore, history and mythology.
Like all good hosts know, there is an art to bringing friends together. Sometimes they are strangers with only one person in common. Such meetings create new opportunities of connection for everyone. The viewer is themselves an additional guest at each table of ‘Rendezvous at the tavern’. They are invited into the conversation, respond, reflect and interpret perhaps pass judgment on what they see.