We became acquainted with him through the Athens Video Art Festival and even more so with his work “A little color for nature”, on the wall of the Jason Hotel, a collaboration with Heineken. Manolis Anastasakos is an artist, who never stops re-defining and evolving himself through every one of his projects.
“An artist owes it to himself, to constantly discover new aspects of his character, to learn new methods and act accordingly”, he tells us. An Athenian born and bred, Anastasakos began drawing at the age of 14, creating graffiti on the streets of Kallithea. He got accepted into the School of Arts, and managed to end up on top of the pile each year, thus further funding his studies through scholarships, being unable as he was to lift the financial burden himself. He considers art as a way of life, as one can find all manner of persuasions within it, ideological musings of all kinds and all the teachings that a person may need to live a life of mental harmony. His resume runs through painting, street art, directing, hagiography at the Bourzianis Institute, glass making in Crete, wood sculpting in Lesvos, as well as artistic psychotherapy, with an emphasis on abused children.
All of the above became separate steps and stops along the way, in his constant search as to the meaning of art. “It’s an amazing voyage. I’d rather busy myself with techniques and symbols through physics, science, architecture and so forth”, he tells Ozon Raw. “What does “meaning” mean? It’s a question that moves me and forces me to re-examine everything, in an attempt to see things not just from different perspectives on personal level, but if possible through the eyes of others as well”, he continues.
His work exudes honesty, while he believes that detail is what makes the difference. “In the smallest and most unnoticed of lines is where you get to see if something is beautified, if it is held back, if it is dynamic”. He speaks of social events with a strong sense of pessimism, while he is also a fevered supporter of the natural flow of things. “Nature teaches us that things “just happen”. Τhis has a natural flow to it, which in the arts is the spontaneous element that guides your work. Your inspiration. Respecting that aspect and combining it with method, organization, self-restraint, focus and analytical thought, we can make a difference in these alienated times”.