ΚKYRIAKOS VALAVANIS "SMYRNAIOS"
ELEFTHERI ORA Newspaper (Thursday,March 11th, 1999)
On the artist Sophocles Christou At the Parnassus Literary Association, from 1 to 15 March, in his 45th personal exhibition,
Christou is exhibiting 97 works executed with the pen, most of them of a topographical
character with castles, alleyways,views of islands,atches,mills, windmills, fences, courtyards,
bridges, monasteries, churches, mansions, towers, harbors, old doorways, caiques, shipyards,
various jobs of work,etc.as their individual subjects - all these in a detailed rendering
and representational style.
This is an artist of indomitable strength and will who has made the impossible possible,
the unthinkable thinkable, given that he has lost his hands (palm and fingers), and through a
transcendence and ineffable interpretation of reason, has justified the unjustifiable, making
his strength his life's work.
It was with awe and a religious reverence that l communicated with his work, since his language
as an artist became the major means of expression and communication, but it has remained
uncontaminated by alien prejudices and technical mannerisms.
In fact, we took away with us the impression that the whole and the cycle of his options of
expression have had as their prime cause the voice of conscience and the principle of the Gospel
that "all things are possible to him that believes"; and so what he has given us has been and is
the fruit of a spiritual and technical preparation to which the path of rhe feelings and of
silence has given another, global, approach and evaluation of rhe form of a way of life, wirh
cognitive resources and a result of trans ubstantiative value.
We, amazed before this miracle, which has altered and transformed our emotional world, the
work that he is doing and his passion for expression, restrained our emotions and losr ourselves
in the general harmony of his artistic achievements, with his realistic aesthetics.
These are disciplined works, with symmetry, formalism and organisation; they have produced an
epic result in rerms of self-sufficiency of design and architectural structuring, replete with a
cool vibrancy, colour and reflection.
He has officially served this vocation since 1953 and has to his credit 45 personal exhibitions
and six group exhibitions; he has been awarded nine distinctions and four medals and has taken
part in all the Panhellenic Exhibitions from the 5th to the l4th.
Let us get to know him better through his career and let us keep pace wirh the artist in the
progress of his life and thought.
He was born in Athens (in a neighbourhood near the Acropolis) in 1932, the oldest son of the
family. In 1944, he finished elementary school with top marks and enrolled at the Commercial
Middle School, where he finished the course.
Immediately afterwards he enrolled at the School of Fine Arts, where his teachers included
Constantinos Parthenis, Omvertos Arghyros, Ioannis Moralis, Andreas Georgiadis, Spyros Papaloukas
and Pantelis Prevelakis.
He graduated in 1959, having already held six personal exhibitions.
In his long career, he has produced works which not only have rich emotional power but also
memories of the origins of the Greek race which are suggestive and moving, since they touch the
heart of our tradition, of our childhood, of our everyday experiences, of the yesterday, of the
today, of the feeling of Greece.
These are works of striking power and presence, some of which, belong to the world of trans-
cendence, of the beyond, of meraphysical disquiet and of an arrirude of prayer and expression.
It is work which reveals a world of marked spiritual activity, which narrates, which explores
the problems of the cosmos and which takes us on a peregrination of the world of silence through
the force of its expression.
These morphological impressions give life 10 the past, lend it subsrance, revive it, and with
the artists penetrating sensibility and emotional questing transubstantiate it ontologically
into diffuse nostalgia and visual familiarity, making possible our communication with their
It is a fact that here a world which in his planes and patterns we seek is delineated in
every detail; we need its calm and its serenity, and with unflagging interest we desire to hearken to
his voice, to acquaint ourselves with his world, de-activated or otherwise, to keep pace with
his symbolic grandeur. In an awareness of what this artist has given us, we could say that his
latest work, like what has gone before, has not been a demand for a seal of his individual taste,
but a need for a shared evaluation and apprehension to be expressed as it has been expressed, to
renew our knowledge and to act as our guide into the position of a world which respected tradition
ant the experience of our forefathers.