For his exhibition at the Xippas Gallery, Panos Kokkinias shows a series of four photographs. If we look closely at four Mediterranean landscapes we discover tiny, enigmatic figures. It is impossible for the spectator to articulate what is happening in each scene. Here, the photographic device is used to observe the invisible: it transcribes the hidden possibilities of everything as if the past and future events were inscribed in the space and the figures themselves. Panos Kokkinias’s photographs exude an uneasy feeling. These monumental landscapes remain familiar. Initially, they suck the spectators in, overwhelming us, before transforming into a bewildering space. These recognizable places are depicted with precise realism: his obsessive attention to detail, the dense colors, the clean lines, and the unique use of light all reinforce our impression that we have come into contact with the projection of something metaphysical. Similarly, the use of perspective allows us to easily pick out the figures. In general, Panos Kokkinias creates a discrepancy between his figures and the backdrop: they always appear as drifting ghosts lost in their environment, either because they are superimposed on it or because they blend in with it.
His photographs evoke the human condition in all its fragility and uncertainty. The allure of these images gives way to a visceral confusion that perturbs the spectator and raises questions regarding the existentialist conflict of mankind, without offering any answers. In these works, the landscapes act as metaphors for interior worlds.
Panos Kokkinias was born in 1965 in Athens, Greece. He lives and works in Athens. He studied at the New York School of Visual Arts and obtained a masters degree in photography from Yale University School of Art.
His work will be exhibited at Bozar in Brussels in June and his first monography « Here we are – Panos Kokkinias » has just been published by Powerhouse Books.