Money conditions opinion like religion once did, Rigoutsou

Modern icons by Greek artist on show in Naples

19 May, 14:08

    NAPLES - "I use traditional icons to show that the power of money and the media are like a new religion for they way they influence public opinion," Greek journalist and artist Maria Rigoutsou said at the presentation of her exhibition 'New Icons' which opens today at the PRAC Gallery in Naples.
    The show has been curated by Wilko Austermann, a specialist in contemporary art at the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf, and is dedicated to Jannis Kounellis, the Greek artist who had strong ties to Italy and Naples and with whom Rigoutsou studied. "Kounellis had a very strong relationship with Italy, it was the country that enabled him to realise his dream and vision of art," the artist recalled.
    "He took us pupils to Cortona and to his workshop in Rome. He always said it was very important for us to see the art in Italy, particularly Caravaggio. He was right, Italy and Naples are like a big museum, for an artist visiting Italy and seeing the light in the South is a fantastic experience," Rigoutsou said.
    In the Naples show the Athens-born artist brings sacred icons up to date using images referring to the economic crisis or big news stories of our time, including the European migration challenge. Italy and Greece "are in the front line in the migrant crisis and I want to use art to start a discussion and raise awareness among the people of Europe," Rigoutsou explained.
    "But Italy and Greece are also united by the economic crisis.
    In Greece it is more extreme, but the poverty is also visible in Naples. Our two peoples differ only in language, when I am here I feel a strong sense of familiarity." New icons runs until July 19. 

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