A strong personal confession

Category : 1982, Reviews

When you come in visual contact with the paintings of Dimitris Xonoglou, for the first time, you have the feeling that you are attending a strong personal confession. Confession of the inner life of the painter that unfolds with rich painting means, and that concerns a multitude of areas that are sometimes dominated by the erotic element, sometimes by hot commentary, sometimes by strong sarcasm, sometimes by other approaches. And automatically you are called to check two things regarding his personal participation in it.

The area of the painter’s inner world, the passion and sincerity that governs him, the insatiable need to express them through his paintings, the vibrations he gets from things, people, events and their relationships, but above all his own relationship with them, and even more so, the mental and intellectual composition of the artist, who managed to transform his personal emotion into a very strong receiver and modern transmitter of these messages.

Secondly, you come to study the way he chooses to express himself, that is, his plastic glossary and to check whether it is suitable for his expression, whether he is competent to formulate his painting voice and to finally be able to decipher it, its design and color “points” the knot symbols, which will lead you to make your reading fully comprehensible.

From the first moment you suspect that the area of the painter’s inner world is large, wide and deep and that everything there moves in the climate of inner visions. Their acidity often charges them with prophetic qualities and they sail a deep aroma of mysticism. The artist always uses thematically in religious representations or symbols in his works, thus, he does not displace him in the space of the religious visual artist.

I think more that his mysticism places him on the borders of “magic” and that from this way he enters the wide field of surrealism. Thus I find that the symbols of each of his performances are most of the time, two-way and accept more than one interpretation.

However, everything is written in the main myth of his image, just this two-way enriches the “keys” of the scale of his composition in a multiphasic way. Similarly, I find that he likes the density in the myth, he uses only what is absolutely necessary for the clarity in the reflection of his painting narrative.

I see an aptness full of determination in the choice of elements and that his chatter is completely foreign. I understand that he now knows what his top episodes will be and how they will be placed in his painting space. I believe this is still possible because the initial emotional vibration is strong, sincere and determined in intensity and quality, and because a strong visual instinct knows how to express it clearly, austerity and completeness.

This rich psyche of the artist has long found its plastic glossary. Design and color distortions, magnifications of an element, flashes of color and form, contrasts of color and floods of color flows, but also attenuation of elements either to indicate their relative lack of importance or on the contrary to emphasize their excellent signage.

Tensions in the general color scale to resemble a musical composition with brass and percussion without the polyphony ever becoming deafening but on the contrary this deep lyricism brings to mind a group prayer.

The use of its symbols thoughtfully and sparingly. His paintings go through the torment of fire. “They burn but do not burn” because their flame has generative and not destructive effects.

Does this remind me of post-Byzantine icons and murals?

But as I have often observed above, satire penetrates his work, perhaps more correctly I should say, self-sarcasm and self-analysis. It is obvious that he is grouping his issues. Each group has several tables to complete and exhaust their initial irritation as a result. For each group there is a common start, mostly the use of symbols and technical means and a special way of storytelling, but it manages to dominate the unified personal style in all groups. This division into interests clearly shows the painter’s research throughout the vector of his emotional area. An endoscopy without ruthless, acute and catalytic fencing.

Xonoglou’s painting is obviously impetuous. However, the fertile temperament of the artist has found expressive ways and means, so that it can pass its message and anxiety to the viewer and occupy it effectively and fully.

Nikos Sachinis

Professor of the Polytechnic School
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki on 9-3-1982