CULTURE

Briton Nicholas Moore brings his ?Heroes? to Athens

On an aesthetic level, a collection of works by British artist Nicholas Moore currently on display at the Martinos Antique and Art Gallery in Kolonaki is defined by thick layers of diverse materials.

?I don?t know why I feel the need to hide all kinds of different elements underneath all these layers,? said the artist, referring to the beads, miniature toys, paper, origami, amulets and prints which he combines with engraving. The latter, he says, led him to collage, and is a technique that had not been part of his creative world up to now.

?Funnily enough, the moment I finally felt satisfied with the texture of my paintings, I decided to turn to something completely different,? said the artist.

This is a recurring theme in his life. Just like the time when, during a visit to Olympia, a very young Moore announced to his family that he no longer wished to return to London. It took him a few years to realize his dream, but he did it. Having lived in Crete for a number of years, where he worked alongside his mentor, the late artist John Craxton, Moore nowadays lives in a small village on the island of Syros.

The artist?s subject matter derives from a variety of sources: mythology, comics — a favorite pastime since childhood — and his friends. On the one hand Moore has come up with ?Orpheus,? a series focusing on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice with references to Jean Cocteau and pop art. On the other lies his current project, ?Wall of Friends,? the most impressive part of the Athens exhibition, in which the portraits narrate personal life stories.

?A person offers plenty of possibilities for narration. My friend Tony recently sent me a newspaper clipping describing how he had saved a child?s life after a building caught fire. The story moved me, because my mother died in a fire. As far as I?m concerned, Tony is a hero,? said Moore.

Through the exhibition?s title — ?No More Heroes?? — Moore is not questioning the existence of heroes, but rather underlines his skepticism regarding the phrase when it?s not accompanied by a question mark. ?Heroes are responsible for terrible disasters in the history of mankind,? said Moore. ?There is, however, a positive side to them.?

The artist?s invitation and the challenging nature of his work are open to all. Here?s a chance for a joyful, colorful experience with plenty of hidden meanings.

The Martinos Gallery is located at 24 Pindarou in Kolonaki (tel 210.360.9449) and is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. To April 9.