CM: Dimitris Milionis' Patricide is an unforgettable portrait. It concerns the mythical Cronus, son of Uranus and Gea, who killed his father and became god of fertility. According to mythology, Gea created Uranus to cover herself, and with him brought forth to the world a whole series of gods - Hecatonchires, Cyclops, and Titans. Fearing losing his throne to them, Uranus knocked his children from the heavens down into the depths of the earth, thus turning them into iron. Unable to bear the sorrow at her children’s loss, Gea decided to arm her most ambitious son, Cronus, with an iron sickle. Cronus used it to emasculate his father and, upon his death, Uranus placed a curse on his son , whereby Cronus would suffer the same fate at the hands of his own chilrden. In response, Cronus decided to get rid of his children as soon as they were born, so they would never be able to get to him. His wife Rhea, who was also his sister, gave birth to six children - Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Pluto, Poseidon, and Zeus - all of whom he swallowed, except the last. When Rhea, unable to bear her children's fate, gave birth to Zeus, she hid him in the Ideon Andron of Crete and gave Cronus a shrouded stone to swallow. Eventually, Zeus, raised by Nymphs, gave his father poison, which made him throw up the children he had swallowed before taking his life.
Milionis presents Cronus in full maturity, at the age of 23 - a number that symbolizes both the cycle of a generation and was the average life span in Cronus' age. Cronus' gaze reveals someone with no regrets about patricide. On the contrary, he feels his deed is justified by Uranus' crimes committed against his sibings, and his sin of exploiting the loneliness of Gea and drawing her into an incestuous relationship. Through his actions, Cronus established his power, yet, by the same token, initiated the inevitable curse that would lead him to give birth to his own executioner. Milionis chose to reverse the rule in renaissance painting by juxtaposing cold colors to a warm background, in order to highlight the surreal dimension of the myth of Cronus. Red color, with its high wavelength, symbolizes not necessarily the myth's bloodthirsty quality, but rather the precariousness of Cronus' divine existence. Parallel to this, however, Milionis' work transmits the feeling that Cronus - as symbol - is a man amongst us. The painter only immortalizes Patricide as a photographer, without getting involved in his sinister case.
[Megakles Rogakos 09/2007]
ROGAKOS, MEGAKLES Silent Dialogues: Multimedia Portraits Throughout Time 2008 The American College of Greece - ACG Art, Athens