His paintings are tender, imbued with soft curves and bright colors, reflecting his childlike enthusiasm in describing the world around him. Phaedon Patrikalakis’s works do not require explanations, and in his most recent exhibition, at the Astrolavos-Dexameni Gallery in Kolonaki, the focus is on pieces he made for the theater. He became involved in this field of the arts while a student at the French Academie de Dessin Applique a la Mode Historique. Back in Greece, he worked with stage director and drama professor Karolos Koun, later joining the crew as set and costume designer in productions for the National Theater, the State Theater of Northern Greece and many regional companies. The Astrolavos exhibit highlights the manner in which he left his own stylistic seal on all these projects. «Theater helped me find my audience and my artistic identity,» said Patrikalakis in an interview with Kathimerini. «Whether your work is well received or not is immediately obvious in theater. In painting, on the contrary, many visit your exhibition, but seldom express themselves.» Patrikalakis has worked with many of Greece’s great artists – Katrakis, Koun, Tsarouchis, Hadjidakis – and feels that the arts are in crisis. «Theater has lost its popular appeal. It does not attract audiences because there are few quality performances,» he argues. «There is an absence of good texts by young writers that could provide material for actors and directors… A great deal of money is spent on sets and costumes for performances that have very little worth. Tsarouchis never bought expensive fabrics. He only used calico. And that’s the magic of theater, fooling the audience.»Phaedon Patrikalakis’s exhibition at the Astrolavos-Dexameni Gallery runs until February 13.