For his “Songs for everyone” and “UAE Heritage” collections, Yiannis met people of various education levels and backgrounds who gave him the impression of having found a way to stand still and calmly observe themselves and life around them, transforming their reality into an expanded vivid dream, a tale of consciousness.
“I wish that all of us could experience the clarity and profound presence of “Grandma”, the deep, calm awareness and subtle, quietly ecstatic joy of the “Housekeeper”. I tried to transform these portraits into symbolic iconography about states of being, going far beyond the personal story of the protagonists”, says Yiannis.
Primarily a photographer, and a storyteller himself, Yiannis is also creatively playful. And so he conceived his “POP UAE collection” as an attempt to link traditional themes with contemporary design. Further, he finds secret pleasure in making the collages of his “Blue Arcana” collection, also introduced in the exhibition. There, Yiannis creates personal, surreal and subversive comments about the absurdity of the human adventure. There is a hidden path of narrative, waiting for the viewer to discover. He elevates ordinary elements, faces, objects, scenes etc into something bigger, broader, a symbolic state. The images walk a thin line between comic and tragic, serious and ridiculous, specific and absurd.
"It is a fascinating process to mix old materials, redefine their context and create something new. There are no limits, the possibilities are endless. For me, I soon realised the work always gets really personal. The only way to create a new piece is to talk about personal emotions, fears, dreams, hopes. It has to come from lived experience. I see it as a great form of sychotherapy - only it is in public!”