Adonis Stoantzikis’ paintings and sculptures are fragments of narratives and dreams through which he explores how painting and sculpting generates ideas, maintains associations, and evokes emotional reactions in the viewer. With this he researches the relationships between personal and collective memory, as well as the relationships between structures and their content. Adonis begins with creating studio-based digital-collages and sometimes installations, made from materials such as found objects, fabrics, printouts, magazines, wires, and wood, which are then photographed and deconstructed. His latest body of work consists of paintings with surreal sculptural structures and sculptures that lie somewhere between reality and the subconscious, which are simultaneously hiding and revealing its actions.
Last year, a feeling that had been simmering beneath the surface for a decade came to a head: “For one whole year there were no exhibitions; all I could do was work, shut up in my studio. And so I took the opportunity to experiment.” Adonis had always been fascinated by the material aspects of oil paint and decided to explore that further. “Oil paint has the potential of becoming very physical and sculptural. I wanted to capture its movement, to make the paint look as if it’s dancing on the canvas.”
In keeping with what he asks of his material, he rhythmically flings and hurls the paint onto the canvas. Instead of using a brush, he smears the paint with a palette knife. In order to rid himself of old habits, he also started making sculptures. Then he applied his experience with sculpting to his paintings, where he began to build up the paint in layers. In some places, the oil paint is so thick that he can slice parts of it off to reveal the underlying layers. He himself is surprised by the almost geological layers he finds as a result. “I have no control over it,” Adonis says with a laugh. “I used to be much more rational as an artist. But the more I let my intuition take the lead, the more I discover. It’s exciting!”
Adonis Stoantzikis, born in 1984, Athens, Greece, currently works and lives in Athens. Adonis is currently working towards a PhD in the Arts at the University of West Attica, Athens. Previously, he obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Athens School of Fine Arts in 2011. He studied at Hunter College in New York during an exchange program in 2014, and obtained a Master of Fine Arts at the Frank Mohr Institute in Groningen, in 2015.
Adonis has been exhibiting internationally since 2010. Institutions that have exhibited his work include The Art Foundation in Athens, Center for Visual and Applied Arts Former Warehouses Kampa in Pallini, Galerie Bart in Amsterdam and Nijmegen, Laden für nichts in Leipzig and Space52 in Athens.
Adonis has received and scholarships from the University of West Attica in 2020 and the I.K.Y. Foundation in 2013 and a grant from the B & M Theocharakis Foundation for the Fine Arts and Music in 2013, and stayed as artist in residence at Galerie Bart in 2016.