in the hot wind of summer


“Don’t say much about these works.
They’re fine and they can defend themselves.”

Yannis Τsarouchis
(About Kostas Spyriounis’s painting)
Eikastika, 1984




I suppose that if Kostas Spyriounis is a more regular visitor than others from his childhood memories, it may perhaps be due to an idiosyncrasy of the senses, to the irreparable defect in the cones and rods of the retina, which causes, for example, the light of sunset to look more melancholy, as sole regulator of the sun’s course through the heavens, making the scent of a summer awning fabric more pungent. I have a feeling that if precious stones had been scattered over the earth less sparingly and gold handed out as generously as water or sunlight, if happiness were as readily available as a light bulb, Spyriounis would still have made the soil, the ruts and trucks of wheels on roads unique, that is, as precious as a jewel box in which among the things covered by oblivion, one would be able to single out winters in a homey warmth, trees whose naked branches are more heart-rending than gestures or faces, and days and nights that vanish one after the other as though they had never existed.

These works should not be regarded as just another version of painted reality, with all the well-known artsy paraphernalia. Nor that the imaginary owners of the buildings, absent and hypothetical in the painting, are in the final analysis co-creators, like visitors to an exhibition. Nor should you see the scales, seed bags, roughly painted walls, ropes, coiled hoses, gates, opening onto untended gardens, or stones and gravel on the road as piles of paltry ruins that have simply become shrouded over by the passage of time.

And since art, like life, is an unsettled account in the bank of the future, look at these paintings not as battle that someone is fighting against silence, but as silence itself. As though all these wires, sweepings, telegraph poles, and rusty signs were no longer refuse, debris from the streets and things of the moment, but the steady lights of human decency and honour.

Haris Megalynos