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On the occasion of TROPHY RAISING exhibition, Manos Stefanidis wrote:


What happens when a great misery is cut into several small pieces of happiness?
On the recent sculptures of Nikos Yorgos Papoutsidis


“Happiness is made of iron, not to be stronger but to be more easily broken”, I wrote somewhere recently, playing with
words. I like this paradox because now it helps me talk more easily about the sculptures of Nikos Yorgos Papoutsidis.
That is, about those images of tangible reality he makes so devotedly and has them hovering between narration and
silence, poetry and the body, the drama and the joy of things. I am talking about the metals, the fire that transmutes
and reshapes them, the boundaries among them, the idea spawned by these “hot” relationships, the elements’ love
affairs and their attendant passions.

For this is how art is born: from fervent loves and from those loves’ inevitable deaths. From the ceased embraces of
wither humans or objects and from their fateful mourning. It is then that art comes to claim eternity in the name of the
ephemeral. As long as you believe that everything—objects, ideas, humans, landscapes, seas and waters—has a kind
of soul.

This is always what happens with art: you either cut a greater misery to pieces or you melt several small joys to make
a bigger one that will last better over time. Only, this new, greater happiness concerns not so much you, its maker, but
the others. Your own happiness was smashed during the hammering of the happiness of others. Here lies a great secret
of art. For what good would be the world without its melancholy? The artist wants the world’s melancholy to be entirely

What is the sculpture of of Nikos Yorgos Papoutsidis at a deeper level? It is an attempt at making small, self-contained
worlds that will fit I harmoniously yet also stand out emphatically in the great, infinite world. To be visible at night to
those walking on the moon! He used to focus more on metal fairy tales with huge iron flowers and chromatic fires, with
houses-temples that re-enchanted the world, with thrones for Lilliput princesses and heavy, precious crowns for the
head —the stubborn head !— of Little Thumbling... With arms waving about without bodies, like branches from tree
trunks. Today the fairy tale has turned more into contemplation—without shedding its mythical roots—and is now
about oracles, riddles, trophies from secret victories and banners that first appeared in secret nights, in constructions
where the monumental remains graceful and the Doric has not lost its tenderness. For the maker of all these images
I am trying to describe to you knows well that tenderness is made of steel, and it the tender, the forever steely who
will save the world. Effigies, trophies, antennae, signals, sirens, mirrors, shrine, iron, iron plates, stones, glass, colour,
inlaid elements, paintings with various materials, lenses, symbolic eyes of perfect machines in an imperfect world! A
visible, tangible world that strives to interpret those other, invisible, spiritual worlds.

Here, in particular, in this series presented by Eikastikos Kyklos, the intensely theatrical atmosphere, geometry and
the magic numbers of Pythagoras, the magic eyes that scan the universe, come to trouble the initiated and impress the
uninitiated. No harm is done. In the end, something always remains unexplained. And that’s good — because it is only
thus that the next fairy tale can begin...

Manos Stefanidis
Epiphany ‘19