Dream Escape II
George Christakis is a 24 year old self-taught photographer from Crete and based in Athens, Greece.
George describes himself as a conceptual and surreal-landscape photographer. His images are intentionally clean and simple, and are visually stunning and create a sense of curiosity.
His style is to merge two or three ideas into one image. For example he might have a traditional landscape environment, but he will take that scene and manipulate it to add wonderfully artistic and vivid elements in order to create something that is recognizable, yet new and interesting. Many photographers try this style, and I contend that few can pull it off so well.
The subject matter apparent in his gallery is more about ideas, style, and vision than necessarily what is the norm. And the fact that he is able to create something so stylistic without much sense of emotion, other than wonderment, inspires me. I attribute George’s style akin to an artist who leaves you guessing, whose images perhaps raise more questions than answers, but does so without a feeling of anxiousness.
George blends several art forms together to create something that keeps me in awe, wondering what they mean and how they were created, or even why they were created; what story is he trying to tell? These questions that the images invoke are important; they engage the viewer and keep them thinking.
George’s inspiration comes largely from music. I find it intriguing that there is this cross-pollination of ideas, art forms, and mediums, and this is clearly evident in George’s work, which has a strong mix of painterly, photographic, and digitally manipulated elements.
I suggest that photography is about a mixture of many different ideas, methods, and expressions (and more), and it all comes down to how the artist assigns and implements them.
Fly by Wire
One Fine Day
Lee: How long have you been doing photography?
George: I’ve started involve with photography back on 2009-2010. That was the time I’ve got my first Dslr camera. Before that I’ve been using some compact cameras, but not so often. However I’ve started on how to process images at my very early age, trying to compose different wheels to car photographs. The results were really funny. Not that now aren’t a bit of funny, but they really had no reason to exist.
Lee: Did you always practice such surreal imagery, or is that something you developed? How long have you been developing your photography?
George: This style is something I’ve developed during time. When I’ve got my first Dslr I started walking around and trying with some street shots. I became disappointed soon because I’ve couldn’t take the pictures I had in my mind before. I had some images in my mind that could simply didn’t have the chance to find and make a shot. So I started again, on how to process images. How to bring them to life. I was surprised with my first pictures, not because they were good, but because I realized that I can create more.
Until now I’m always searching new ways to make pictures. I don’t mind if I use paint or photographs.
Personally I don’t place myself as a true surrealist, or photographer, as I use elements of several sides. I’m just saying that I’m making images.
Are you trying to invoke any kind of emotion or thought, or do you consider your images to be fairly self explanatory? What are you hoping and trying to show?
I create for myself first, this is a way for me to express something. Some thoughts I have in my mind, and searching a way to look them for more time, on a monitor or paper. There are times where I had some reasons to make an image, and times where I didn’t really know why I’m doing this. It was just in my mind. I’m not really trying to pass something specific to other people, nor I’m trying to explain my work. I’m leaving the viewer to make his own explanations. Some may find them interesting, some will completely ignore them.
You said music inspires you. Why do you think it inspires you, and how?
Music has the biggest influence for me for making an image. I do usually listen to music with no lyrics, genres like post rock. This is a time where I’m doing nothing, and several pictures are coming to my mind. It’s not always that I’m finding myself being inspired by music. If I’m not, I do enjoy the music.
Why do you choose to go with a square presentation for your images, as opposed to a more traditional landscape or portrait?
I have to admit you are the first one who is doing me this question. Hmm, there are two different answers. When I saw the first pictures from a square medium format film camera I liked that effect to my eyes. I loved the way you can compose things on a square. It all looked so natural to me. One other explanation is because I want to add more parts to my images and I can’t decide what to use, vertical or horizontal space. So, many times I’m choosing square format.
Which of these are the most compelling or inspiring to you, and why? Do you enjoy this style of photography? Write your comments below, and be sure to send a quick thank you to George for allowing us to feature his work!
All images are Copyright George Christakis and were used with permission