Emmanouil Bitsakis

Elizabethan Collar

13 December 2014 – 24 January 2015

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The work of Emmanouil Bitsakis can be singled out for its excellent craftsmanship and inventiveness with which the artist succeeds in blending the techniques of the miniature with the intertextual and clearly idiosyncratic interpretation of the history of art, the past and contemporary realities.
In his fifth solo exhibition (and his first at Kalfayan Galleries in Athens) titled “Elizabethan Collar”, Bitsakis compresses creatures and ideas in the conical medical accessory worn by dogs under treatment to prevent them from reflexive contact with an affected limb during their daily hygiene.
The artist comments upon the way that figures of his liking are entwined in the therapeutic funnel in order to be assimilated, that will mark their definite rehabilitation.
Bitsakis˘ heroes, despite the provocative open spaces partially present in the works – areas which the artist purposely leaves half unfinished - are crowded in the densely painted areas, pressing against, even choking, the confines of the format.
Bitsakis structures his compositions as mise-en scènes which reflect, often provocatively and always with caustic humor, the peculiarities of everyday life, and conventions of all kinds. The microcosm that he creates consists of a tightly knit narrative which is poised between myth and reality, is the imaginable time-space of a surrealistic collage which the viewer is invited to de-code.
Short biography
Emmanouil Bitsakis (b. 1974, Athens, Greece) lives and works in Athens. He studied at the School of Fine Arts in Athens. In 2008 he received the BP Travel Award (National Portrait Gallery, London). Recent solo exhibitions include: “Faces Of The Uigur Through Song & Dance”, National Portrait Gallery, London (2009). Recent group exhibitions include: “Small.”, The Drawing Center, New York, USA (2014); “Waiting for the Barbarians: Report to Cavafy”, Kalfayan Galleries, Athens, Greece (2013); “Ellenico Plurale, Paintings from the Sotiris Felios Collection”, Complesso del Vittoriano, Rome, Italy; “Salus Patriae”, Kydoniefs Foundation, Andros, Greece; “Between The Real And The Fantastic”, Giorgio De Chirico Art Centre, Volos, Greece (all 2012). Collections: Benaki Museum, Athens, Greece; Frissiras Museum, Athens, Greece; Private collections in Greece, Germany, Turkey, USA, Hong Kong. Emmanouil Bitsakis is represented by Kalfayan Galleries, Athens – Thessaloniki.