From the dig­i­tal into the phys­i­cal, 16-year-old artist David Mari­nos ex­plores nu­dity at Ato­pos

Kathimerini English - - Focus - BY ELIS KISS

At first glance he’s your typ­i­cal 16year-old male who spends a good amount of time brows­ing the dig­i­tal world in search of in­spi­ra­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Greek Ukrainian David Mari­nos, how­ever, has taken his savvy use of tech­nol­ogy the ex­tra in­ven­tive mile: Through cre­ative so­cial me­dia out­lets such as Tum­blr and In­sta­gram, an in­creas­ing num­ber of fol­low­ers are track­ing his re­worked images (his own as well as ex­ist­ing photographs) of jux­ta­posed fea­tures and dis­torted sil­hou­ettes.

A por­tion of the young artist’s work is cur­rently on dis­play at the premises of the Ato­pos cul­tural or­ga­ni­za­tion in Athens. The works were de­vel­oped dur­ing a seven-day res­i­dency at the Me­tax­ourgeio venue where Mari­nos ex­plored the idea of nu­dity, a re­cur­ring theme in his work. Dur­ing this time he got to shoot his first ever video – on-screen body ex­plo­rations with neon lights, re­flected off-screen through pieces of glass – and cre­ate a num­ber of in­stal­la­tions spread out through­out the pub­lic and more pri­vate ar­eas of the neo­clas­si­cal build­ing.

Born in Athens, Mari­nos left Greece at the age of 4 with his Ukrainian mother after his Greek fa­ther aban­doned the fam­ily. They landed in the United States, where he at­tended art classes at a school in Ore­gon. He is the founder of the on­line Lu­cent Kids col­lec­tive, unit­ing young in­ter­na­tional artists born after the dig­i­tal revo­lu­tion who share ideas and ex­pe­ri­ences, as well as co-founders of Amer­i­can youth ap­parel brand Icey.

For the Ato­pos project, Mari­nos trav­eled from Bul­garia, where he cur­rently re­sides with his mother and at­tends school, for an op­por­tu­nity to ex­plore his art form beyond the dig­i­tal di­men­sion – a chance to see his dig­i­tal work printed for the first time. He ini­tially re­fused the invitation to work in situ, but agreed after his mother was in­vited to stay on the premises as well. His tem­po­rary bed­room is part of the ex­hi­bi­tion, with a model tak­ing his place on the sin­gle mat­tress.

“He has an eye, the abil­ity to un­der­stand a three-di­men­sional space. He placed the prints in real space in the same way in which he de­vel­ops his dig­i­tal images. He moved from the two-di­men­sional to the three­d­i­men­sional in a nat­u­ral, al­beit fas­ci­nat­ing way,” Ato­pos co-founder Vas­silis Zid­i­anakis told Kathimerini English Edi­tion. “He seems to be con­stantly search­ing and is in­ter­ested in the body as cre­ative fab­ric. Through his es­capism on Tum­blr, for in­stance, he is at­tracted to the no­tion of the body and its ideal.”

Nu­dity is also very much the story of Ato­pos Un­locked, a new pro­gram which be­gan as a means of cel­e­brat­ing the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s 10th an­niver­sary, fo­cus­ing on the de­pic­tion of the naked body and how this is cap­tured on so­cial me­dia by an emerg­ing gen­er­a­tion of young artists. The re­sults of the on­go­ing re­search will be show­cased in a pub­li­ca­tion de­vel­oped in as­so­ci­a­tion with La Gaite Lyrique in Paris next year. The project will be added to a long list of ac­tiv­i­ties de­vel­oped by Ato­pos, a con­tem­po­rary visual cul­ture or­ga­ni­za­tion that ex­plores the ex­pres­sion and adorn- ment of the hu­man body, founded by Sta­mos Fafalios and Zid­i­anakis in 2003. A re­cent ad­di­tion to the cre­ative team is An­ge­los Tsoura­pas.

The cur­rent show, open for to vis­i­tors on Novem­ber 19 and 26, is part of Oc­cupy Ato­pos, a new res­i­dency pro­gram with Mari­nos as the first guest artist. Also on dis­play is a ro­tat­ing se­lec­tion of rare items from Ato­pos’s pa­per fash­ion col­lec­tion, which in­cludes cre­ations by Issey Miyake and Hus­sein Cha­layan, as well as the Camp­bell Soup dress after Andy Warhol and the Lisa Dress by Robert Wilson. Works from Ato­pos’s Mon Petit Chou project (in­clud­ing pieces by London-based fash­ion de­signer Craig Green) also fea­ture.

In the mean­time, Mari­nos con­tin­ues his mul­ti­ple dig­i­tal trav­els. What is it that in­spires him? “I get in­spired by many things,” he wrote to a Tum­blr fan re­cently, “but a lot of my in­spi­ra­tion comes from hu­man in­ter­ac­tions, emo­tions, dif­fer­ent re­al­i­ties, dreams, gal­ax­ies, time and much more.”

David Mari­nos, ‘Un­ti­tled’ 2013. Nu­dity is a re­cur­ring theme in the work of the 16year-old artist, who uses his own and ex­ist­ing images and re­works them dig­i­tally. Mari­nos re­cently spent seven days as the first res­i­dent artist in­vited by cul­tural or­ga­ni­za­tion Ato­pos to de­velop works in situ.

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