ABOUT THE WORKS
These paintings form part of a series to which I had ascribed the term apocalypse series.
It is with dismay though that by terming them thus my intentions can be misconstrued by virtue of this most misused and misunderstood word in the English language: the Greek word αποκάλυψις (apokalypsis).
The word "apocalypse" derives from the Greek from and concealment, and does not equate as a synonym for "catastrophe" nor pertain to any religious view: I am an atheist. A nuclear war and its consequences are not an "apocalypse", nor is a disastrous earthquake, for example, "apocalyptic". Four riders of the Biblical "apocalypse" have nothing to do with the definition of the word, other than announce the incoherent ramblings of a madman whose fears of disaster became the ultimate "truth" "revealed". Einstein's discovery though of E=mc2 IS an apocalypse. So much has the meaning of the word been corrupted by its religious usage that we fail to notice.
My work is meant to confront the viewer and his/her perceptions. On the broader front, the work challenges notions of "free-will" and "imprisonment" namely "imprisonment" as self-imposed and not imposed by a malevolent external agent. Once discovering the physical laws of nature humanity sought mastery over nature by the application of these laws rather than be at the mercy of the whim of natural phenomena. Consequently humanity has been enslaved and shackled by its own devices in preference to "oppression" by nature, both metaphorically and literally and, by its own volition: hence our world is one of the mechanical, whether the machinery be government, economy, the law, or, more literally, cars or televisions.
Furthermore the often garbled distinction between birth and sexuality, as if either one mutually excludes the other, is breached and both are reduced to cadavers in waiting, frail impermanent anatomical constructs. Babies in my paintings are born into an alien world and one in which the choice of their being born at all was never their own, but a "choice" that will in turn, once born, be imposed upon their offspring. It is a world inherited in which the vast majority will, without question, come to adopt, maintain, support, perpetuate, add to and die for.
My work has time for neither Freud or Jung. The former presupposes us all to be mindless automata drifting aimlessly and without control nor knowledge of our "Id" (of which Freud only rose above!), the latter pointing to "archetypes" and "mass-consciousness", belief structures as plausible as those supporting the Tooth-Fairy or God, beyond empirical demonstration and without requiring a rational model of how they may work.
Thus to the viewer beware. Your own interpretations may betray more of yourself than of I.
Demetrios Vakras 1993
In the painting above it is you the viewer being born. It is you the viewer giving birth. It is you the viewer, facilitator of life, a cadaver-in-waiting. You are one with the anatomical structure that surrounds you. You have constructed, helped construct, or helped maintain the world you were born into, the world into which you will bring others into. The mechanics of the world you have helped to create & maintain are those which have imprisoned you. In your life-time the planet will be raped, the environment destroyed, countless animals bred & slaughtered just to nourish you. You are the destroyer of life... And, if you are religious, your right to destroy is God-given!
pdf in the Greek language: PDF Flyer on the art of Vakras ]