Nikos Koundouros - Big exhibition at the 60th TIFF


Nikos Koundouros – Big exhibition at the 60th TIFF

The 60th Thessaloniki International Film Festival presents a big exhibition, dedicated to the artistic work of Greek director Nikos Koundouros (Ogre of Athens, Young Aphrodites). The opening will take place during the 60th Thessaloniki International Film Festival (October 31st until November 10th 2019) in a space specifically modified for the exhibition in the Pier A of the Port of Thessaloniki.

Paintings by the director, many of which are shown for the first time, sketches, letters, notes and personal effects –such as his favorite palette with his self-portrait- will be presented in the exhibition. “In Nikos Koundouros’ cinematic work, in each shot, we felt the look of the painter. Now, in this exhibition, we will discover the origins of this look, a look which in fact determines the birth of contemporary Greek cinema” says the artistic director of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, Orestis Andreadakis. 

Nikos Koundouros was loved as a filmmaker, but the painter never left him. Women, saints, demons, masks as instruments of deception and worship, heroes of the real world, naked bodies used as symbols, myths, shadows and light are elements found in his work. During his years at art school, his time of exile in the island of Makronissos and later, in-between films, painting became his shelter. “If Byron is not a good film –better than good- I will give up and become a painter again, innocent and unsuspecting as the first men before biting the forbidden fruit” wrote Nikos to his wife Sotiria Matziri - Koundourou, from the set of Byron in Crimea.

The director studied Fine Arts in Athens –he managed to get in with fake papers when he was just 16. His paintings draw inspiration from the folk art, the tradition of Crete and the ecclesiastical art - mainly the post-Byzantine iconography of Crete.

The exhibition is carried out with the valuable contribution and collaboration of Sotiria Matziri – Koundourou and is curated by art historian Giorgos Milonas and with the scientific contribution of the anthropologist Maria Karamitsopoulou.