New York.- Vicki James Yiannias
“Together they come”, an exhibition on May 25 at the General Consulate of Greece in New York of Eirini Linardaki’s The wreck of Hope watercolor and drawings series. The exhibition was mounted in several areas of the Consulate. During the exhibition, the artist is also showing the video “artists non-fictions”, in the waiting area of the Consulate, interviews of artists from Heraklion, Crete, and New York sharing secrets and opinions about their cities as a form of alternative travel guide for visitors.
Linardaki’s The wreck of Hope watercolor and drawings series was inspired by the painting, “The Wreck of Hope”, the German Romantic Caspar David Friedrich’s portrayal of the shipwrecked vessel HMS Griper, buried in sheets of ice in the Arctic Sea.
The exhibition at the Consulate was one of several presentations of Linardaki’s work in the New York/New Jersey area this year, with work in Maryland coming up. Her works in The wreck of Hope series, says the Athens-born artist, represent “explosions, catastrophes, war and other things that come.” In many cases, Linardaki appears to contradict the depth of Friedrich’s statement with her style.
Two more works from Linardaki’sThe wreck of Hope series are currently in the exhibition Transplants: Greek Diaspora Artists (curator Dr. Thalia Vrachopoulos) at the Anya and Andrew Shiva Gallery, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, in Manhattan (May 2, 2018 through June 28, 2018). In this series of watercolors and drawings, says Vrachopoulos, Thalia Linardaki identifies with this studious practice of archival research in the military and historic fields, but paints using a traditionally naturalist technique to accentuate the detail, texture, and composition of these memorable images.
GN: How was it to present your show at the General Consulate of Greece in New York?
EL: The people at the consulate were extremely supportive and open minded about my project. I have rarely seen people in similar positions as Consul General KostantinosKoutras and Cultural Attache Evelyn Kannelea to be as curious and interested in the arts as they are. They were with me all the way.
EL: I’m interested in that moment when a human or natural event-caused catastrophe induces a dazzling, tragic and captivating sight reminding me of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave in his work Republic My artwork serves as a representation of the suddenness of these tragedies.
EL: “Together they come” is from Kahlil Gibran’s book, The Prophet: “Some of you say, ‘Joy is greater than sorrow,’ and others say, ‘Nay, sorrow is the greater.’ But I say unto you, they are inseparable. Together they come, etc.'” The title came to me in a discussion about why I illustrate series of tragedies, and how watching a Greek tragedy served a purpose for the lives of audience members after they have experienced several layers of sadness, empathy and relief…how experiencing tragedy and sorrow creates space for experiencing joy and happiness, too.
GN: What else are you working on now?
EL: My award-winning mural design [from the New York City Emergency Management (NYCEM) and the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency (ORR)] for climate change for the Red Hook Interim Flood Protection Measures (IFPM) program [for the area that was damaged by hurricane Sandy] has just been deployed on the structures along Beard and Reed Streets in Red Hook, Brooklyn,
Right now, I’m preparing for the August 15th opening of the installation of five sculptures of mine in Owl’s Head Park in Bay Ridge, New York in collaboration with the New York City Parks Department. Next year I have a project at the Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical High School in Baltimore with SiaKyriakakos, Maryland’s 2017 Teacher of the Year and her students. I will be looking into doing more work within communities.
Most recently, Linardaki partnered with Rutgers University for a public art project highlighting Branch Brook Park in Newark, N.J., and is collaborating with the City of New York (D.O.T., NYC Mayor’s office for climate change and Parks Department) in public art projects that are visible throughout the city of New York.
Eirini Linardaki has art degrees from France, Germany and Ireland.
In addition to the shows mentioned above, “Transplants: Greek Diaspora Artists” at John Jay College; “Together they come” at the General Consulate of Greece in New York; the NYC Mayor’s Red Hook Mural Project; the sculptures at Owl’s Head Park in Bay Ridge, New York, Linardaki’s varied presentations in 2018 have included a Residence Project at the French Institute Athens, Greece; Art on the route, Street art festival, Municipality of Heraklion, Crete, Greece; Paper moon, Group show, CCA Museum of Contemporary Art of Crete, Rethymnon, Crete, Greece; ô ! bonne mère ! Bibliothèque de l’Alcazar, Marseille, PAC 2018 – Spring of Contemporary Art; Shared Collections of the Commonwealth of Contemporary Art, FRAC Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur.
Linardaki has been granted 6 artist residencies and her work is in 3 public collections. Her presentations have involved exhibitions, installations, interventions in public spaces, and video projections. A handful out of many venues in which she has presented since 1998: Boijmans Museum, Rotterdam; Onassis Cultural Center, Athens; Salon de Montrouge, Paris; Fri-Art Kunsthalle, Fribourg; Natural History Museum, Geneva; Macedonian Contemporary Art Museum; Hamburg Kunsthaus, The Knockdown Center, New York, Bronx Art Space, NY.