Kostas Valioutis


Please tell us a bit about yourself and how you are defining your work? Or in other words, if you needed to explain what you do to someone “outside” the art world, what is the essence it comes down to in your oeuvre and why?

I was born and raised in Lesvos, Greece. I studied painting at the Athens School of Fine Arts. Since then, I have been working as an art teacher in Greek public schools.

In my artistic practice, I research myth and physicality, spirituality and paradox.

In other words, how is a mythical event interpreted today, if the viewers can identify themselves with the myth and what they can feel.

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How do you personally define “wellness”, but also in terms of the collective?

For me, wellness is a state that I can feel when I stop following the rhythms of the modern way of life and turn to the needs of my inner peace.

As for the wellness of the collective, I believe that it is approached through common events, celebrations, things that in general bring people together, as long as they understand that they can share something that concerns them and binds them as a collective.

My first memories come from the festivities and celebrations of Lesvos, where the community reminded itself of the common values, through music, dance, drink and entertainment.

Image: Kostas Valioutis

If we talk about today’s artists creating and contributing healing spaces and works that can transform society and restricted mind sets…how can they reach the collective that is not aware of being a collective?

This question reminds me of my parents’ experience when they visited the exhibition. Their relationship with art is almost negligible, but when they were there they felt the pulse of the event, considering what they said. I believe that they could feel the works, without realizing what they see.

If a group of people unconsciously do not perceive themselves as a collective, then the artist is the best person to recall their values ​​in the most direct – and perhaps moving – way.

Can you share how spending time and exhibiting on site on the island of Lesvos influenced you? (Mentally, physically, emotions, sensations.)?

As I am from Lesvos, my experience with the island is intense having lived and worked there. However, exhibiting in my place was a new experience that made me glad as my newly commissioned work was presented together with other pieces by very important artists. Unfortunately, I didn’t attend the event due to professional reasons.

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Georgia Kotretsos, Scotch on the Holy Rocks

Which work or approach of your fellow artists in this exhibition inspired you especially and why?

One work that I singled out, among other great ones, was that of Georgia Kotretsos, Scotch on the Holy Rocks. I could not initially understand what was the material in the glasses replacing the ice. The social event of drinking as well as the work per se could be simultaneously located in many places both inside and outside the gallery.

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“RADIUM PALACE” Finissage: March 6, 2022 in Agia Paraskevi, Lesvos
K-Gold Temporary Gallery in co-organisation with the North Aegean Region curated by Nicolas Vamvouklis

K-Gold Temporary Gallery: RADIUM PALACE