The Forgotten Guard of Athens

The Forgotten Guard of Athens (Pediment), Diptych / 2023 / acrylics, oil pastel, pencil, textile, and collage on bleached denim / 400x180cm 

The Forgotten Guard of Athens (Pediment), was created for the exhibition Encore: New Greek Painting (2023), that took place at the Municipal Gallery of Athens. It is based on the research of Anestis Ioannou on the work of Yannis Tsarouhis "The Forgotten Guard". Tsarouchis’ work concerns an ancient Athenian story, about the Tyrant Killers Harmodius and Aristogeiton, which he considers a crime of passion, and focuses on the relationship between the naked and the clothed. Ioannou aproaches an ancient Athenian story as well, the dispute between Athena and Poseidon over the city of Athens, as depicted on the west pediment of the Parthenon. Based on his contemporary experience of Athenian life, he attempts to cultivate a dialogue between the past and the present, depicting the remnants of myths. The guard of Athens is absent from the composition, in Athena's place there is an empty plastic chair, while the rest of the protagonists are the remains of Cephissus, the torso of Poseidon and finally Hermes. These remnants replace the Tsarouchis' three protagonist soldiers, his forgotten guard. "In my painting I incorporate individual depictions of statues with only an outline, giving the feeling of empty bodies, frozen in time, as fragments of ancient Greek sculpture. My protagonists compose hollow monuments: working in a circle from a place to a body and from a body to a memory.”