Argiris Rallias, sculptor from Greece. Photo © Courtesy of the artist
Tell us what you do and your beginnings.
I am a visual artist/sculptor. I was born in 1993 and grew up on the island of Kythnos, Greece. I come from a family with a tradition in marble craftsmanship, which has given me the opportunity to come into contact with the material of marble from an early age.
In 2011, I started my studies at the Preparatory and Vocational School of Fine Arts of Panormos Tinos. In Tinos, the material that was already familiar to me acquired new possibilities that went beyond the boundaries of technique and moved into the field of art. Having graduated from Tinos with honors, I entered the Athens School of Fine Arts with a scholarship.
Athens was a personal revelation for me, as the wealth of stimuli and experiences I experienced broadened my perspective and shaped my subsequent artistic career. I was fortunate enough to study among many great teachers and especially George Lappas.
His perspective towards study as a co-existing nature in life provided me with an in-depth understanding of my artistic quest. It’s been two years now since I moved to Carrara, Italy for my Master’s studies in Sculpture.
What does your work aim to say?
Through my work, I aim to express my great concerns and interests. Intensely experiencing the things that keep me awake at night, I try to communicate them through various media and materials such as marble, wood, metal, etc. My work explores areas of the enigmatic, the mysterious, and the mythological.
I am particularly interested in the cultural burden conveyed through myths and especially their inherent contradiction, the core of truth hidden within their universally accepted lies. The role of the storyteller-mythologist, strongly present in the Cycladic society where I grew up, was a catalyst for my engagement with art.
Although the human being may often be absent as a figure in my work, he is present through the relationships he creates within the community. The plasticity and dynamics of collective relationships are what fascinate me.
Where do you find inspiration for your art?
If I were to interpret where my inspiration comes from, I would say that it’s intertwined with people, nature, the environment, music, and poetry. It is the dynamic and yet poetic relationships that create what we call art. The artist records by conversing with the collective unconscious.
Then, he creates and if the result of his work is successful he comes back again to those who have inspired him. I would say that for me, inspiration is the unintended result of a collective effort dating back from the cave of Lascaux to the present.
Could you give us some insight into your creative process?
My creative process starts from the inside out, following my deepest heartbeat. It often resembles that of a mother in labor. She prepares herself, buys the baby’s clothes, decorates the baby’s room, imagines the image of her future child and so, the child slowly grows within her and finally comes to life through tears of both pain and joy.
Then, the child takes its own path. This path is marked by great joys and sorrows like those of the path that tragic heroes follow on their way from glory to death.
What are your future projects?
Currently, I find myself in a very productive period while at the same time, a pleasant cycle of a two-year stay in Italy is coming to its end. I am also organizing my future plans. Feeling ready to communicate my work, I am in search of an appropriate space for my work to be hosted.
Meanwhile, I am working on three sculptures which are part of a larger installation on the issue of play and war. This installation will be exhibited in June 2023 in the city of Carrara, Italy as part of my thesis presentation.