The new body of work from the contemporary Greek artist explores the concept of "obsessive self-determination" as well as the culture of "inflating human identity" in the context of the production process. The exhibition is divided into four sections and consists of both painting installations and video and performance works.
Jannis Varelas’ work explores the complex relationship between self and identity within the context of social restrictions and impositions. He is making use of an iconography that plays with the raw and unsophisticated as means of undermining the concept of what art should look like. Bold colors, symbols, abstract and realistic elements, figures and creatures merge and are blown up as if applied by a giant hand in a gestural performance. Doodles become large-scale elements and what previously would be easily overseen is now the focus of attention.
As Gianni Jetzer, curator at Large at the Hishhorn Museum in Washington points out: "The works of Jannis Varelas share an electrifying energy. They forgo any one-point perspective in order to produce a flat vision of multitude rather than concentration, stressing diversity over singularity, equality over privilege. His paintings function as a lingua franca between generations. They overcome questions of origin, power or social status in order to create common patterns for identification. Highly inclusive by nature they groom a way for societies to come that recognize Outsiders as valuable members of society…"