A brilliant idea of the Director of “Courage” brought me the day before yesterday to the studios of Kalamatian painters. These people you say are the quietest Kalamatians…. They work there in their workshops eerily and aloof, with a wise presence waiting for who knows what, perhaps the development of the aesthetics of the Kalamatians.
People who deal with the fine arts here are the painters who graduated from the Polytechnic, Efstratiadis aristouhon, Giannouklan and Trimin. The final student Karabelan, teacher of technical courses and the calligrapher Andreou.
We still have the self-taught painters, Mavropoulos and the new Lazaris.
Kalamatian painters work more productively – hagiographies and traditions – than creatively. Inevitably… Life runs alongside and demands what it deserves from the beings who… have the honor of enclosing it within themselves, and it makes no exception for painters either. In fact, in a province all the artists are forced to retreat. And it is real heroism for Efstratiadis, for example. or for Trimis to be stuck in a province. But also a great honor for our city that has them enslaved…
But as it happens, true artists, having a motto: work and silence, think absolutely commercially and for the sake of art endure, making no effort to create a noise around their name and their art, although it would be imperative for the sake of art .
That is why, addressing the real artist, I shout to him that it is necessary to establish a School of Painting here in Kalamata, which the place and the public should and will appreciate.
My tour of the painters was, by a fatal coincidence, by age from bottom to top. Unfortunately, I cannot expand and write exactly my interviews with the silent artisans, because the great silence they have been showing for so long has suddenly become a torrent and burst into artistic conversation, as if my respected ones wanted to burst into me.
And since I cannot go into detail about the words we said, I will limit myself to the conclusions drawn from the conversation with them.
So, is there an artistic movement in Kalamata? The answer would be disappointing. However, we cannot accuse the people of Kalamata of not loving painting, because the fact that there are two creators – painters in Kalamata, while in other provincial cities, in Tripoli for example, there is not a single one, even a simple executor, and also the fact that there is almost no home that does not send its daughter to learn painting at least, brings us to the pleasant point that there is… a disposition of love towards this fine art.
Of course, Kalamatianopoules are demanding. They are reliving the story of the painter who was commissioned to dress Christ in red robes…
We used to say that our girls want to enter safe and sound without a plan into the… havens of Art, light and color, within a few months instead of a few hundred drachmas.
Which is too bad. Why, miss? I know you don’t go to be a painter or for great things, but even this little bit takes… at least years!
It’s your dad’s fault too, of course, for not letting you study for many months.
Yes, but stick with it. And above all, listen to your teacher who surely knows what to teach you. Don’t ask to get into the color right away. Do two or three months at least design… And the color later. You will see how much you will benefit.
You still know… but I see the conversation with the amateur Kalamatianopoula draws me. Let’s leave her and come back…
Regardless, therefore, whether the fathers want their daughters to learn painting out of real appreciation for the art or out of hindsight to complete the qualifications and bring the matchmaker… to the happy point of drumming the day after tomorrow: “And educated! Damn it! With so and so! With painting (?)”. Therefore, regardless of this result of the lessons, no matter how much you say it is always beneficial for aesthetics: Tomorrow he can distinguish a work from a lithograph or a plastered canvas, make the distinction and arrive at the reasoning that: Since the devil broke his leg and he too stepped in front of paintings, it’s good that he cast a contemptuous glance at the multi-colored and battered monstrosities like the gypsy dresses and went to the painter to buy two works of the art, above all without… bargains… to hang them up… in the living room, to cluck and be proud.
Therefore, taking courage, our painters who live here will work originals, they will paint us, they will exhibit us and they will buy and have in their room – those who can – the beauties of Messinia, which are neither few nor from the usual ones.
So let’s hope that our artistic feeling will improve.
I started the round from Mr. Efstratiadis. I found him in his house near Ypapanti – how else? – with brush and palette in hand, bent over a painting: Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. In his face I remembered Iakovidis, the director of the Polytechnic until last year. He welcomes me very kindly and introduces me to his lady, the well-known piano artist Mrs. Efstratiadou.
I confess that in that spacious studio with the company of a pianist on one side and a painter on the other, I felt like I was in an art sanctuary…
In that comfortable artistic environment my soul unfolded. I confess that I had not achieved such a thing here in Kalamata and neither did I expect to find it….
And the discussion gave and gained. For painting, for literature, for music, for the painting movement of Kalamata.
A temptation, however, tempted me to see the works well, because I had them on the side and saw them out of the corner of my eye. But it seems my wish was noticed and Efstratiadis hurried to show me the paintings. I see, I see and I can’t get enough. Two nudes, some nature morte and… some portraits.
Mr. Efstratiadis is a portrait artist par excellence – he belongs to the group of naturalist painters (Gyzis – Lytras, etc.). (Naturalists seek the faithful reproduction of nature without any deviation in design or color). I am left speechless by a nude of exceptional art, for which the Polytechnic awarded him by also giving him the painter’s degree with honors.
This painting is a naked male body with arms raised behind, which my artist friend will allow me to call “The Stuck”.
This work gives all the qualities of Mr. Efstratiados, precision in the design and his great coloring ability.
Among the portraits, a portrait of himself at a younger age can be distinguished – this one also won an award at an international exhibition where the works were selected.
Another “The Sleeper” and finally he culminates his art with another self-portrait of his present age, in which the wonderful combination of light, color and tone bring similar works by other painters to fate.
We also mention from the nature morte “The Watermelon” and “The Strawberries”, from which one can understand the artist’s superior creative spirit, which is contained in all his works as well as in the iconography.
Mr. Efstratiadis works radically in the hagiographies, giving the figures and above all the color an ideality.
I went to Ypapanti who has decorated it. In these hagiographies, Mr. Efstratiadis, putting Byzantineisms and “Agionorites” to flight, has summoned the true elements of art, light – color – design, and has given a personal stamp of a wonderful and exquisite technique, so that they are individual creations.
“The Three Hierarchs” in the sanctuary of Ypapanti and “Oligopistia tou Petros” on the left as we enter. Kalamata should really be proud of such an artist.
I personally did not expect in the artistic Sahara of Kalamata to live and work so quietly… such an artist.
By G. Adamopoulos