During DOCUMENTA14 and throughout the summer period CAN gallery presents the solo exhibition of Pavlos Tsakonas (b.1983).
The show juxtaposes paintings of industrial tools with paintings of products of mass culture, astral objects and elements that compose a series of pop profiles of an unknown god. Tsakonas’ main medium is acrylics on wood cut to take the shape of things. He uses vivid or florescent colors and his style is characterized by an intense photo-realism. The works are completed with a series of wall paintings that transform the paintings into a series of floating three-dimensional objects in space.
The Deus Faber (God the Maker) creation myth is one in which, according to Medieval and Renaissance depictions, a deity creates the world using the methods of a craftsman. Tsakonas transfers the myth here as Homo Faber, Magister (Man the Maker, the Magician) according to which man is the one who controls his own fate and his environment through the tools he manufactures. The archetype of a Creator-Magician is combined with oversized food-toys and tool-toys that lead us to the idea of the Homo Ludens / Deus Ludens (ludens = the one who likes to play) placing the notion of play at the center of our attention as a distinct and highly important factor in the world’s life and doings and therefore as a fundamental prerequisite to human civilization. Our civilization not only arises but also evolves in and as play. Play is not just a mere biological phenomenon but a cultural phenomenon that is worth studying both historically and scientifically.
The element of play in the current exhibition occupies its key role also through a series of dipoles such as reality-illusion, material-spiritual, work-play, holy-blasphemous and so on. The artist is the one who assumes both the role of the Faber playing the Maker-Creator and that of the Magister standing for the Magician-Master or according to Hermann Hesse the Magister Ludi (= Master of the Game).