Giorgos Psaradelis was born in Chania, Crete. Today, he lives in Heraklion.
He is a graduate of the Top Faculty of Shipmasters and the Faculty of Graphic Arts “OMIROS,” where his professor was the painter Antonis Apergi. He attended courses of hagiography and mosaic for two years in the laboratory of Saint Titou in Heraklion, Crete, and took seminars on wood carving (theoretical - practical) at the University of Heraklion. Today, he attends courses in the open, popular University of Chania on the subject “Arts - Letters – Culture.”
His works can be found in the White House (Washington, D.C.), in the Bank of Investments Corporate Bank Intl., in Washington (America), in the installations of the Newspaper “National Disseminator” in New York (America), in the Embassy of Iraq, in www.gallery.gr and in the countries of Italy, England, Germany, Cyprus, and Greece as well as in many Greek and foreigner collectors.
- Award at the age of 7 years old from the actor Anthony Quinn in a Cretan painting competition.
- Award of Pan-Hellenic sculptural competition 2005, Municipality of Saint Nikolaos.
- Award of Pan-Hellenic sculptural competition 2006, Municipality of Saint Nikolaos.
- Individual, 2001, in the “Glass Tzamisi” in Chania, with the support of the Municipal Cultural Enterprise of Chania.
- Individual, 2003, in Elounda - Saint Nikolaos, in the gallery of the hotel ELOUNDA BEACH, with the management support of the hotel ELOUNDA BEACH.
- Group, 2004, in the exhibition Centre “NEORIA” in Chania, organized by the Centre of Modern Art “OMMA,” 2nd International Festival of Art “Chania 2004,” under the aegis of the Prefecture of Chania.
- Group, 2004, in the art gallery of Saint Nikolaos, organized by the Cultural Organization of the Municipality of Saint Nikolaos (P.O.D.A.N.)/2nd International Festival of Art, Touch.
- Group, 2005, exhibition of small-sculpture, in the gallery “Desmos” in Heraklion, Crete.
- Group, 2005, 2nd Pan-Hellenic Artistic Organization, in the art gallery of Saint Nikolaos, organized by the Cultural Organization of the Municipality of Saint Nikolaos (P.O.D.A.N.)/3rd International Festival of Arts, on the subject “Otherness - Contracts.”
- Individual, 2006, in Gouves, Heraklion, in the Exhibition Centre of Crete, under the aegis of the Prefecture of Heraklion.
- Group, 2006, 4th Annual International Festival “Touch 2006” organized and attended by the Cultural Organization of the Municipality of Saint Nikolaos (P.O.D.A.N.), on the subject “the search of freedom.”
- Individual, 2006, in Elounda - Saint Nikolaos, in the gallery of the hotel ELOUNDA BEACH, with the management support of the hotel ELOUNDA BEACH.
- Group, painters and sculptors, 2007, in the Gallery Zygos at the hotel ATRION, on the subject “the art of the decades - 1950 until today.”
- Group, 2007, 5th Annual International Festival “Touch 2007” organized and attended by the Cultural Organization of the Municipality of Saint Nikolaos (P.O.D.A. N.), on the subject “the Greek spirit.”
- Individual, 2008, in Manhattan, New York, America, under the aegis and organization of Diamantaris Antonios, editor of the newspaper “National Disseminator,” New York, America.
Note About Figurative Arts
All forms of art were born from the human need for expression. However, each of the seven known arts chooses and codes its natural means and, perhaps, why not its own way of expression. All of them though aim to the human person.
There is a writing that says that the first form of expression is reason. And the reason is art. And the first form of art is poetry. The current opinion, however, which is based on scientific study and research, in combination with the archaeological spade, confirms the theory that all known forms of art have a common starting line with the antiquity where they began evolving at the same time. It is just that the later scholars categorized them in groups with the same traits.
One of them is Plastic - Formative Arts. This group includes painting, architecture, sculpture and last engraving. Sculpture and architecture create ideal forms that target the three-dimensional space. The artist and creator, who expresses himself/herself through these arts and, of course, does not aim to make an identical copy of the subjects that interest him/her, but moves with the prospect to represent the picture that lies within himself/herself, expressing this way a piece of himself/herself.
Such an artist and creator is George Psaradelis. Of course, he selects his own way of expression. He functions based on his own perception of form and bulk of his ideal object and with the collaboration of all his senses he selects the way and the space where he will place it. Surely he will know Aristotle’s report, where the philosopher, in Physics, wants to point out the significance of space and place where each thing lives. And for him, it seems difficult and very important, particularly for the artist to apprehend the `PLACE.’ Unobjectionably the sculptural work of George Psaradelis whether it is on wood, or on marble stone, each one with its own particularity has found their place. However, they have a common specialness. Together they express themselves through the common space of figurative arts. Sculpture, architecture and painting go together and give us a three-dimensional result. The vertical and horizontal axes of sculpture are fixed by the limits of architectural drawing in the painting level.
His subjects present the same characteristics as imaginary continuations, delimitations of objectives with loads of messages towards the viewer. They are multidimensional compositions that have predetermined bulks and are referred to forms that are seldom found, beyond human being. The philosophical regard of the creator is evidently expressed in the wooden sculptures. Unobjectionably he aims to future approaches.
Critic of Reason and Art
The rational thought of sculptor
The rational thought that the modern way of life has imposed on us has made most people lose their interest for all those that really worth to try, think and comprehend. People’s attention is absorbed into arid things that only ostensibly give well-being, but in reality they dispose the soul and the mind of what is genuine and precious. Thus they lose the real and genuine joy of life. It is a trap that human himself has invented in his effort to subjugate the difficulties and the problems that harass him/her but then without realizing that what he/she is doing is to scatter and devour himself/herself.
On the contrary, George Psaradelis has forsaken this impassable road that can only lead in the darkness of soul and has selected to cipher out the substance of things and materials that each of us meet and see every day though leaving us unmindful. A pebble that the sea has carved with the alliance of time. A simple stone that the elements of nature have marked, writing upon it their own history. A trunk of tree that life itself has left the traces of past upon it and that inside of which are reflected the marks of future that will also leave their mark, like a piece of history that has not yet been written.
For the artist himself the material is not important, neither the cruelty, nor its form or how much collaboration it can have with the creator. He is not afraid to call forth the nature of matter to show its possibilities and its dynamics, which he molds in his hands like the ductile clay, and discharged in his talent it takes the form that he himself asks to give it. Like Pygmalion gave life in Galatia thus George Psaradelis gives life to his creations.
The artistic temperament of the sculptor gives him the force when he touches in his hands his future work, in its rough form, to absorb through it its memories and history, decoding from it the messages that it has to give. In reality he reveals the genuine nature of matter and this is the main attribute of a real artist, to be able to convey the sentiment that matter itself has to show by trying to release it. He does not only create forms but he also colors via the sentiment (and not with real colors), the reality in an ideal way bringing out through the expressions and the potential of forms that he molds the soul of material, which he handles as clearly as it can appear.
In the total of his work one can see the concerns of the artist himself and the breadth of subjects that occupies his figurative field. In his sculptures, in the human forms, the zoomorphic figures and in the many-faceted representations are hidden pictures that by analyzing them one can clarify messages and thoughts that are related to philosophy, politics, technology and to the existential concerns of the artist. At this point I should mention some of his work that show a small nugget of the way the artist thinks himself.
The existential reflections are evidenced in his sculpture (the Queen of Darkness and the five senses). Here the artist separates the senses through a cluster of forms in temporal (touch, flavor) and in more intellectual (sight, hearing, smell). In a separate place he places the 6th sense, which he names the Queen of Darkness. This name has symbolic importance because the queen of (senses) comes out from a snail that throughout its life is blind and communicates with the environment via its other senses. Thus the 6th sense is not cognizable through our eyes but through the internal power from which our thoughts and dreams spring.
His other characteristic work is Greece. For him this is not a queen crowned with bays but the Virgin Mary dressed in black that mourns for the nation with the headdress that wraps the head. She symbolizes the age-long lust and agony of the population that is to say of her children for release from the natural and conceivable chains that for so many years have hooked her, far away from everything virtuous and precious. Afterwards this neckerchief is transformed creating the form of the Cross of our flag.
The Sperm of Lilly is a sculpture that discusses the subject of cloning, while in the Four Winds the artist gives in each one separately a different expression, its own character that implies its origin. However, George Psaradelis does not want to simply hammer into shape the winds but also to give them musicality. Thus he does not stop there but he molds their lips by giving them the form of lips of instrumentalist that with his wind instrument he entrances his public. Thus the sculptor via his winds gives the sense to the spectator that he/she hears their music.
He himself shows through his work the aspect that the human soul asks to be delivered by trying to wear out the matter. He does not ask though for its deterioration but the liberation of forms, which are hidden inside it without changing its natural identity. He respects his object and the nature that gives him the information and the means in order to create without leaving any unexploited point. Even though he is not interested in the details and faultlessness of the materials that he processes, each aspect and each side brings its biggest dynamic. It is also remarkable that he is self-taught in sculpture, an element that shows the unchanging essence of his talent. He has not generalized anything in his work nor has he based his inspiration upon something already created, influenced by the intellectual interventions of other artists. On the contrary, he leads as a solitary traveler and with the passion of exploration he seeks within himself uniqueness and release of expression.
The figures he molds are ethereal and although are statues they are not static but they move in an eternal dance that never stops, the dance of creation. All belong in the same universe and all is found in circle, everything. Nothing in his work is linear or perishable but is camouflaged continuously. In any case for the sculptor himself curve and circle mean the creation while the straight line is destruction. If we contemplate upon this pretension we will see that everything in the universe is found in circle and that all in their substance are one. When the look of the spectator travels to any of his sculptures he/she discovers hidden secrets that perhaps with a first glance cannot appear, some fleeting expression, a hidden form, a corrugation that a picture creates, a thought.
Surely, George Psaradelis has talent, a talent that he cultivates continuously, and a talent that gives him the possibility to color his work with the sentiment of movements and expressions, without intervening in another way in his creations in order to fill some void of creation. He does not need this because he has the force and the attribute to accomplish it, proving with certainty the nature of his soul, selecting to begin and complete his work himself. Alas in those that have forgotten to dream and spend their life only in what they think is real. Fortunately, people like George Psaradelis exist, who know how to dream and see their thoughts and sentiments as real as this world is and then they can mold them and give them to us as self-existent creations. He himself leaves them to live alone, self-empowered having their own breath of life and their own will in space and time removing from oblivion all those things that make us feel not only that we exist but also that we live.
Giorgos Psaradelis, a modern philosopher of sculpture
George Psaradelis is a well-known sculptor from Chania who lives and works in Heraklion. His work moves in the frames of philosophical pursuits that the sculptor offers himself and the viewers. His intellectual pursuits and his need to express them when he processes natural materials are well known. The viewers, when they see the work of George Psaradelis, are one step closer to the knowledge of the aesthetic and mental directions of sculpture.
His existential dilemmas connect him with primeval concepts and ideas that he expresses on stone, marble, and timber. These materials, according to his opinion, are able to express their history, which is identified with the history of nature and human being. They help him to conceive an idea, to processes it – often through a process of laborious and time-consuming intellectual activity - and materialize it. Matter and spirit, therefore, coexist as an entity in each of his work since matter is called to represent spirit.
The result of any artistic effort is every time a revelation for him. Each work of George Psaradelis is a piece of his autobiography, which he composes slowly but steadily and exposes it when he believes that he has discovered an unknown piece of himself and of the relation with the world that surrounds him. The attentive viewer participates in this revelation but at the same time he/she discovers an element that moves beyond the interest of the sculptor to discover himself.
The subjects and forms that he selects to represent are taken from the Greek and worldwide political and social reality, and this helps the viewer to think deeply on subjects that interest the modern human being: the war in Iraq, the encounter with ourselves, our relationship with mother, religion, and spirit are some subjects that every votary of the arts will see in his work. The viewer will definitely thank the sculptor because he gave him/her the stimulus to reflect upon his/her personal history, his/her environment, and his /her responsibility as a person. The artist manages to pass to the viewer messages of love, brotherhood, peace, and prompts him/her to carry on his/her life with many of his/her opinions about the purpose and the quality of his/her existence being reviewed.
The opportunity that George Psaradelis gives us to think seriously upon our history, present and future is unique. This is then the function of art, however vainly we seek for it in our period. When the look, for instance, meets the forms in the Birth of Venus, in Painting the Lilies, in the Fall of Icarus it is released straight away from the conventionalities of everyday routine and enters into the sphere of eternal values. There, past and future coexist as a permanent present that is colored by the Platonic Ideas about the liberation of soul from the material world. When it comes to George Psaradelis, each artistic result is a product of ripe thought and promises the aesthetic and mental amusement of the viewer.
Historian of Art
The work "Place" in sculpture of Giorgos Psaradelis
In the sophisticated climate, in which the loss of "Place" seems to be the particular and unavoidable tendency of our society, in an air of globalisation from which even Crete cannot escape in spite its ancient linguistic - concentric trend, to meet an artist like George Psaradelis gives us the taste of an unexpected discovery. It is as if a lucky archeologist discovers suddenly a finding, which, by changing radically our beliefs, forces us to read the history once again by following a different path, a side one, a path that was invisible before but now leads us to unknown countries, to places that nobody had thought they existed.
Aristotle refers in the fourth book of physics: “It seems to be something very important and difficult to see the "Place."” The philosopher wanted to outline the meaning of space and the exact point where the object stays. Some centuries later, although time has no value here anymore, Heidegger says: "we ought to learn knowing that objects are "Places" themselves and not that they belong to a "Place." Should it be true for objects, then it has to be much truer for works of art.
The sculptures of Georges Psaradelis seem at first sight to belong to this school of thought, perhaps turned more towards architecture, which critique defines as ORGANIC, but it is certainly not this sophisticated reference or memory we are looking for. What comes out from a careful phenomenological analysis is that the creation of these works, as we have to speak about a creation begins from the base, from the roots; it does not follow an organic course but a notional construction that only superficially can appear as instinctive.
The development of these figures, which do not occupy the space but include it, obeys to a linguistic will that extends relatively to an arising spiral development. George Psaradelis meets the figure at the very moment he creates it, he moves to a place, where the work finally raises itself like a "Place."
One of his sculptures has an apparently misleading title: "The Painter" but in no way he wants this to be taken as the portrait or the metaphoric - symbolic image of the artist himself but the cognitive "Place," where the activity takes place. And the angels, his angels, obey to the same will. They are not a trait, not an indefinite presence as in the works of Paul Klee, they are body and "Place," they are residence. From Psaradelis’ point of view even angels have roots since they express freedom and elegance, both typical characteristics of the human existence even if the artist tries through a pictorial remembrance to depict them in an aphrodisiac way.
The choice of wood as preferable material, could lead again to the mistake of an organic specification of this work. In fact, George Psaradelis, even when he uses marble, he forces the material to obey to the same genetic will. And marble has its own roots and stone seems to be developed from downwards to upwards, in order not to express some organic function, but to give us back the body of figural and metaphorical language. Two human faces are turned to become the spine of a book, and Borges, the famous Latin American writer, who has made the book to become a "Place" and the words the ways crossing it, would surely like that.
When Psaradelis removes his thought to painting, it seems for a moment that he loses the direction that leads him to sculpture. It seems as if he wants to hollow the canvas but painting is a matter of surface, it is an intellectual and abstract course that he describes in a way, he does not position it. If the painting work of Psaradelis has its own power, then we have to look for it in the variation of tantamount. This is the evidence that the entire artist's work is "the foundation of the truth" as Heidegger would say, that is to say the recreation of "Place" that resists globalization.
The fact that all this exists in Psaradelis’ soul and not in his culture, a personal story of him, one of those stories where the removal of time evidence a Gnostic vertigo, guiding us to suspect that labyrinth is not just a mere legend: When the artist at the age of seven, in Chania, won a price in painting, organized by the famous actor, Anthony Quinn, he did not know perhaps that his artistic destiny was already engraved in an emblematic narration of a "Place." Which are the narration of Zorbas if not the story of an environment kept in our soul? One does not go to Crete... does not pass through Crete... One simply returns to Crete! In fact, when thirty-five years later, Anthony Quinn, came back to the island obeying the same destiny of the personality he had performed, he met Psaradelis again, who granted him a stone sculpture. The emotion of the actor, evident in some photographs that were shown to me by the artist himself, cannot be explicated in a romantic or emotional way but, but as much as possible, in a phenomenological and special way. In the actor’s emotion Ι see a twinkling of consciousness, of a consciousness that feels that this gift is not a simple sculpture but an entire country. This is the real meaning of George Psaradelis' work, the creation of a "Place" which, at the same time, becomes language, the transmission of an inner ground that becomes a reality.
Attention though! Let us not confuse all this with a portrayal of somehow nostalgic figures, or with a creation of distressing pictures of memory. Psaradelis is neither an expressionist nor a symbolist. He uses an ancient language derived from a hereditary remembrance that becomes present since it holds all the "New-baroque" complexity of modern era. However, the complexity of the sculptor never runs the risk of becoming nominal, adapted to the globalization of multimedia society. He has absolutely understood, as Ι have written in a recent document of mine, that "in the distant past is detected a "complexity," which however has to be searched in the variation of the tantamount, where the presence of "Being" is a continuous reckoning of anthropological reference. Whereas the "complexity" of postmodern is the alteration of different, a presence-absence, that gives us active relationships between beings, having as a measure not the humanism but any possible and relevant point.
George Psaradelis has understood then that every work becomes art if it is going to become a "Place" but he has also understood that time is of paramount importance. However, time is not about the past or about the future, as he refers, but about an absolute time: in the topical moment of creation. When Psaradelis composes materials, following this procedure as if it is temporal, he meets seasons, seasons as vehicles of the essence not only of scents, tastes, colors and atmospheres.
The new element in the artist’s sculpture is not to think that the figure is already within the materials, for that you only need to take away the superfluous, as Michelangelo believed, nor to the utopian idea of creating the shapeless, typical characteristic that belongs only to gods, but more humanly. It is found in the amazement to see the appearance of figures as if they come from another time. As when the mermaid comes out of the sea to ask the seamen whether Alexander is still alive, as when an angel plays the trumpet to call his numerous spirits.
The work "Place" created by Psaradelis leads us to consider once more the dangers of globalization. If this is, as it seems to be, an unavoidable development, then the effort of the artist, and that of others, could be interpreted from the aspect of a chimera, in which all of them, who dream of the Mediterranean Sea as the preeminently "Place" writhe. However, Mediterranean Sea is not only a natural reality. " ... Mediterranean Sea cannot be limited to an exact definition, it is not only geography or nostalgia, and its boundaries cannot be measured neither in time nor in space. Oceans are wide in size but the Mediterranean Sea is endless in its reflections in an artist's soul." The Mediterranean Sea is the point of the Planet, where an unknown and mysterious will wanted to anchor the logic thought, where even time had its origin. If all this runs the risk of being forgotten in the semblance of globalization, it is the duty of artists like George Psaradelis to reveal again the Places of Time by shaping the "Place" of Art.
Critic of artistic works – Painter
A real artist
In the inaugural ceremony of George Psaradelis’ exhibition the ex-Prime Minister Mr. Konstantinos Mitsotakis spoke with particularly warm reasons for the artist: “A few days ago George Psaradelis, son of an old friend of mine (with his family I am connected closely for decades) visited me in my house in the Cape, in order to invite me to his exhibition. It was a pleasant surprise to me, since I did not know his artistic attainment that well. I am glad because today I could assist in the official inaugural ceremony and congratulate from my heart a genuine artist, with genuine vein. A Cretan artist that I am certain he will honor our place with his work. I am glad and wish the best success in your effort dear George and have to say that since I saw the exhibits, I am much more convinced for the value of your artistic work. I am sure that one day Crete will classify you among her best representatives in the field of art. I wish always success in your way dear George.”
Diverter of sculpture
“Believe me, I never before saw stones speak so clearly through their form, illustrate adventures of another life…“ George Psaradelis comes occasionally to surprise us with the dynamic dialectic of the schematic matter. He himself chooses to speak through graven structures of a complex fabulous and historical reality. He is a diverter of the anastatic aesthetics of sculptured movement who fights the rusty swamp of shapeless. His mind blows the material and engraves his personal mythology with constant consequence and depth of corresponding historical projections and resets. The main part of his work is involved in a conspiracy that is in contradistinction opposite to the conventional appointment of rules of sculpture. He is the artist that plays steadily a game in his own terms that he does not hesitate to risk in the movement of next lappet, expression of soul and finally, attitude of life.
Following him in the progress of his work, one discovers an alter ego of the artist, the genuine author that exceeds the borders of place and is recognized in a universal writing of art, since he becomes an ambassador of eternal values. There is nothing more left but for you to approach him with eyes and ears open, since his work speaks first of all straight to the heart.
Vasiliki Alexaki Chronaki
Professor of Literature