CM: Responding to the theme of Lafcadio Hearn, the Japanese poet of Greek origin, Christos Antonaropoulos found the resultant of the following coordinates: Lafcadio as a silhouette in the shadow theater, the pop sensibility of art, and the significance of traces. Antonaropoulos is affected by the way Lafcadio faced life. He was distinguished by his cosmopolitan character, which was rather rare for a Greek man of his time to develop.
This portrait of Lafcadio is made entirely of two consecutive sheets of Perspex in gray tones, of which the gaps on the exterior sheet allow the exact design of the dark background to appear. From an aesthetic point of view, the picture's horizontal lines reference the scanning quality of classical television's screen, helping thus to modernize an old image. Unlike previous works of his, where the gaps allowed recognizing the image by means of light, for the first time Antonaropoulos makes use of darkness. This way he endows Lafcadio's figure with a dramatic quality. The economy of his pallet evokes the Doric appearance of Lafcadio's physiognomy. Antonaropoulos dealt with an archival photograph of 1870, presenting Lafcadio as a reporter for the Cincinnati Daily Enquirer. Indeed, Antonaropoulos chose to create a close up of his portrait, so that the composition becomes more abstract. This detail of his profile portrait summarizes Lafcadio's unquiet spirit.
The letters, numbers and drawings of chalk on the surface of the picture form aesthetic and conceptual traces that betray the artist's thought. Such traces are deliberately preserved both as evidence of the author's relationship with his work and as a notebook of the work's facture. The disclosing of the work's production process at some point reminds the adventurous life of Lafcadio. As a matter of fact, Antonaropoulos reveals that the idea of preserving traces was inspired to him by the texts that were incised upon the marbles of Sounion by various travellers over the centuries. Finally it is worth noting a fleeting resemblance, which those who know the artist may discern, between Antonaropoulos and Lafcadio.