Paul Anagnostopoulos, The Crashes Are Heaven - Original Painting
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The Crashes Are Heaven
Diptych: top is 10 diameter, bottom is 8 5/8 x 10 inches
Acrylic on wood panel
Paul Anagnostopoulos (b. 1991 Merrick, NY) is an artist working in acrylic and oil painting. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with his BFA from New York University in 2013.
"My work is an exploration of mythological desire and queer melancholy. Images of the Hero, the idealized form of strength and beauty, highlight the impossibility of attaining otherworldly levels of perfection. I construct portals to an idyllic paradise. Complex layers deliberately eliminate parts of the landscape as if representing an unclear memory. They serve as postcards from a journey that may or may not have been experienced. This intricate picture plane has contradicting layers of depth and flatness to imitate electronic environments. The allusion to early interpretations of cyberspace arouses an alluring sense of nostalgia. Conceptually, the paintings subvert the Western disaffinity towards homosexuality by celebrating queer intimacy and a tender masculinity. The figures are lifted from ancient art, gay erotica, and wrestling competitions. These hyper-masculine images are manipulated to appear sensitive and emotive. Vulnerability and melancholia reveal a more human side of these otherwise all-powerful godly bodies. This conceptual thread of longing and tragedy mirrors the melodrama of ancient mythology. Times may change but humanity will consistently face the same trials and tribulations. I reinterpret ancient images and unite them with visual material created between the Stonewall Riots of 1969 and the peak of the AIDS Crisis of the 1980s. By combining these eras, I encourage viewers to meditate on queer history and focus on a neglected perspective. Each painting serves as a memorial to the members of these lost generations. My work is the product of a cathartic process, layered with personal anecdotes regarding loss and rejection. I dissect various systems and histories in order to honor and empower queer stories."
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