Alexis Avlamis (b.Athens 1979) received an early art instruction from Bennington College, Vermont and later on received a BFA(hons) in Painting from the Athens School of Fine Arts. By tapping into a stream of consciousness, he creates dreamlike mindscapes aiming at a Cosmic Unity, where nature and the artifice co-exist symbiotically. He has extensively employed the visceral encaustic technique, in order to explore new painterly possibilities, approaching a transformative connection between the past and the present, a historic tradition with which he feels compelled to engage. Avlamis is a laureate of the International Emerging Artist Award, which saw his works exhibited in Dubai and Brussels. Juried shows and competitions include the: Stencil Art Prize, upcoming (Australia), the Day Dreamers, Bg Gallery (California), the Bloom Award, Shortlist (Cologne), the Artist Statement, CICA Museum (South Korea), the Anthology, Charlie Smith London (UK), the Mamut Art Project (Istanbul), the IEAA Award (Dubai and Brussels), the Dave Bown Projects, (New York), the Heart Revive, Sunshine Museum (Beijing), the Drawing Center’s Viewing Program (New York) and several others. He has attended artist residencies in China, United States and Finland, published and interviewed internationally and works may be found in private and museum collections, such as the Djurhuus Collection, Denmark and the Henan Art Museum’s collection, China.
My art practice follows in the footsteps of the Surrealists Automatism and their visionary state of mind. Through improvisation, intuition and by diving into the abyss of the subconscious mind, I construct “landscapes of the mind” aiming at a cosmic unity, where existing and fabricated visuals interconnect. The main theme is Utopia, a vision for an ideal manifestation of the future. I explore the concept through the rendering of artworks that delve into the notion of Utopia in a topographic manner, leading to the creation of cosmographic maps. These enigmatic mindscapes merge the outer space, science fiction, various vector silhouettes, digital age, flora and fauna, world myths, the east and the west, the nature and the artifice through a whimsical urge for exploration and adventure. In addition, hiking and reading mountain maps has greatly informed my work. Drawing trails, dotted lines, zigzags, contours, beams and rays are recurring elements and serve as connecting bridges in my compositions.
Part of my upbringing took place in the countryside, on the Greek island of Cephalonia, which played a vital role in molding my creativity by experiencing up close nature and its biodiversity. As a kid, mountain ranges and natural phenomena seemed to be intimidating, evoking fears and wonderment. I learned to pay attention, observe sounds, smells, vision, textures, patterns and light casting shadows on the terrain. All this multi-sensory information was and still is invaluable to me. It charges my drive for exploration and allows me to absorb the surrounding environment. I realized that seeing and visualizing brings personal awareness into play and demands active engagement. Going on a hike my visual perception of nature mingles with my imagination. Through these playful juxtapositions, I build and compose different groups of imagery, which in turn enrich my practice.
My drive is to create symbiotic relationships between the various elements that appear on the surface and impart a state of a Jungian
wholeness: A state in which a stream of consciousness and the subconscious mind, work together: when all of the elements of a piece combine to make a balanced, harmonious and complete whole. Various forms of natural and manmade origin are interdependent and seem to co-exist. Forms and movement in the world outside of man are duplicated within the human organism, therefore when you understand a thing outside of yourself you are actually recognizing something that is felt within you.
The visual result is suggestive: a cluster of various microcosms, inviting the viewers to project their own free associations of ideas and experiences, while welcoming them to explore, identify, connect and elaborate on the puzzling pieces of the whole.