Despite their apparent structural anarchy, Nikos Moschos’ works are formulated by severely designed compositions, which syntactically align themselves along the lines of traditional painting. His vocabulary, drawn though it is from his personal experiences with places and people, whether consciously or unconsciously, has its roots in the sum total of cultural activity, in poetry and literature, mythology and religion, and art history from antiquity to the present day: elements drawn from the art of Byzantium, the Renaissance, modernism, social realism, German expressionism are apparent from a very first glance at Moschos’ work.
A dense style, a vibrant physicality, radical distortion and splintered reality constitute fundamental elements of Moschos’ work. In his early pieces the human figures / symbols, at times imposing, at other times fragile, dominate the canvas by their volume, in the form of a portrait, or seem engaged in activities that appear to flow from their social setting. Gradually, random figures are added to familiar ones that repeat from work to work, while the action moves from the home to the neighbourhood. The canvas becomes oppressively packed and the pace quickens as action become ever more frenzied. The dimensions of the human figures become increasingly unrestrained, with their more distorted features being enlarged; or the figures become manically busy in an effort either to dissipate the experiential tension on the canvas or to transfer it to the viewer, as the artist does not allow any escape route for the gaze nor, consequently, any emotional escape. The surrounding architectural space is menacingly distorted, with buildings that converge or fall down, as it ceases to constitute a background that will highlight the featured players and gains an equal presence, while, at the same time, begins to be deconstructed.
In this new group the works gain a less blatant and allegorical character. They appear to be more internalised with an experiential element that, while remaining ever present, retreats to a secondary level, thanks to an awakening collective instinct in what is now a contemporary approach to socio-political structures. Art historian Thanassis Moutsopoulos notes in the catalogue text: “In Nikos Moschos’ painting, human flesh, machinery, cars, brass musical instruments and ruins of newly-built buildings are compressed. The distortion of architectural space and visual breadth, which he has expressed over the past few years, attains a marginal deconstruction of forms and symbols in this exhibition. This vast slaughterhouse, where colours, shapes and information are quashed, could give rise to individual discussions for every one of the basic themes in Moschos’ painting.”
Nikos Moschos was born in 1979 in Heraklion, Crete and lives and works in Athens. He studied painting and photography at the Athens School of Fine Arts (1997-2003). He has had two solo exhibitions (Galerie Theorema, Brussels,Belgium, 2010 and Ekfrasi-Yianna Grammatopoulou Gallery, Athens, 2007) and he has participated in numerous group exhibitions in Greece and abroad. Works of his belong to the Benaki Museum, the Frissiras Museum, the Viannou Art Gallery, the Heraklion Museum of Visual Arts and numerous private collections in Greece and abroad.