While Greece’s sun and sea, crisp and clear, are a photographic lure, other places and moods in different seasons powerfully beckon you to Greece in Stavros Charisopoulos’ solo photographic exhibition, Greekscapes Unveiled at the Consulate General of Greece in New York. I have never seen landscapes this moving anywhere.
On view from October 30 through November 13, Greekscapes Unveiled is the most recent exhibition in a rich program of successful cultural events hosted by Consul General Konstantinos Koutras and his wife, Popita Pavli.
The obvious difference setting Charisopoulos’ gorgeous photographic revelations apart from the modern stereotype is the mystery of the unclear; Charisopoulos’ lack of clarity of form in his some of his photographs: the mist and mystery of rivers and forests may be the last things you think of when you think of Greece, but then, could light and clarity of form alone have given rise to mythology?
By going against stereotype in some photographs of the Greek landscape associated with myth and multiple layers of history, Charisopoulos restores a balance to Greece’s image: Greece is clarity and light, and Greece is also mystery.
The mystery is amplified by other photographs in the show, compositions of archetypal and modern elements in seasonal metamorphosis: the absolute stillness of a solitary tree in perfectly untrammeled snow, unreachable snowy mountains. Mt. Helmos, the forests of Rhodopi, the coastal areas of Nestos, geological formations of Tinos, trees in Grammeni Oxia in Fthiotis, and the alpine lake of Grammos, are among his subjects. Some of the photographs of the Nestos River surroundings are slightly reminiscent of rivers in midwestern America.
ntrigued by the ways that time transforms space and how a single image is able to compress this process of transformation, Charisopoulos photographs objects such as rocks and wood and parts of geological formations, capturing details with his camera that the human eye is incapable of seeing, creating “a unique interpretation of a world with different dimensions,” Charisopoulos writes in his prospectus, and to the GN he said, the photographs focusing on objects “become intimate. There are more layers, so a person can interpret in his own way something that isn’t brought forward. And every time he looks at it he can discover something new. My theory is that photographs that have chaos are more memorable, are more abstract, and they hold more value for me than images that are a brand landscape—with the ‘wow’ factor—so I look for subjects that are embodied in that prism.”
Although her comments were around Charisopoulos’ work in a September 18 exhibition in Pyrgos, Tinos that involved structures in Tinos, Photography Historian and Curator Dr. Nina Kassianou’s comments touch on aspects of his landscape work that are discussed in this article. Charisopoulos “uses the landscape as his artistic subject, studying and revealing many of its secrets, she wrote, “This time he chooses the Island of Tinos to demonstrate the archetypal non-deformed landscape combined with the island’s structured environment, the latter being an inseparable part of the island’s distinct topography.”
An international award-winning landscape photographer, Stavros Charisopoulos, who was born in Athens, Greece in 1976, has been equally drawn to architectural subjects. He developed an interest in photography by attending photography courses at the American Community School of Athens. He became a member of the Photographic Circle and attended technical seminars on Fine Art Photography by Platon Rivellis. Charisopoulos’ photographs have been exhibited at the Hellenic American Union, the Tsichritzis Visual Arts Foundation and the Goulandris Museum of Natural History, all in Athens. He has been recognized in global competitions in Tokyo, winning Tokyo Gold Winner Tifa Award in Nature-Aerial Professional Category, Paris PX3, EPSON First Prize in Nature Category, Color Awards, several high-level ILA Awards and many others.