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The healing power of art

Published in Apr, 2021

The healing power of art

Published in April, 2021

From Hagiography to the healing effect of art

Yiannis Yigourtakis is one of the most talented painters of his generation. Coming from an artistic family and with a father being hagiography painter, art was something that defined him from a very young age. His involvement with art was not something he discovered along the way but as a natural evolution. He grew up in the workshop of his father, thus all his childhood memories have to do with the world of painting and creation.

Until the age of about 30, when he entered the School of Fine Arts in Athens he worked side by side with his father painting beautiful icons. After completing his postgraduate studies in art, he followed the path of painting.

In recent years, in addition to painting, he also deals with the part of art education. Yiannis is a sensitive person, therefor, he is lately working on a project that deals with “the effect of the healing properties of art on people with mental illness.”

His vision for life and the world is to creating art with a “therapeutic” impact for the viewer. Undoubtedly, we live in a society with “sick” and “violent” attributes and one can think that in such a situation art can might its dynamics and its magic. However, art has the ability to influence the viewer from a state of mental disorientation imposing a healing effect.

Sophisticated techniques and Byzantine elements

What really pleases Yiannis as a creator is that his works have the element of sophisticated technique. The same time each new painting is a new journey and enjoys the whole journey from beginning to end. But what characterizes the works of Yiannis Yigourtakis?

It is a mixture of different factors. He is inspired by reality itself and everyday life, combining it with images he may have seen, anything which has impressed him remaining in his mind. He always uses his imagination, many times Byzantine elements, he “reconstructs” them in his mind and always guided by high technique creates his artistic masterpieces.
For most artists their public relations work is important. For Yiannis his first exhibition marked a milestone due to the process of its creation and the amount of artworks arranged harmoniously together. It was the moment when a circle closed and a new one opened in his life.

Everyday’s life and magic escapes

His life is divided into two parts of daily life which include stress, anxiety, obligations and everything that a person experience. The second level is his own “magic world” of creation, which is his world in the workshop. Being there, he automatically enters a phase of introspection, calm and creation.

Yiannis Yigourtakis is a man who has traveled a lot in his life. Every trip for him has its individual beauty.

However, when he was in Pompeii, Italy for the first time it was something like a revelation, as he characteristically told us. There you have direct contact with antiquity and the inhabitants combine it harmoniously with modern life. At the same time, it is a place with a lot of paintings and wonderful works of art that can fascinate both painters and the viewers.

Sometimes the silent ones have the most impact

Some of his favorite idols in art who he admires are the following: Walton Ford, Denis Sarazhin, Ali Cavanaugh, Adam Miller, Kehinde Wiley, Glenn Brown, Conor Walton.

Within the 20th century he names artists as Mark Rothko, Otto Dix, Max Beckmann, Edvard Munch, Giorgio De Chirico, René, Magritte, Gustav Klimt and even older as Edouard Manet, Gustave, Courbet, Auguste Renoir, William, Blake.

It is a dream and expectation of every artist, especially in countries likeGreece, to have the luxury of making a living exclusively from painting. We certainly live in a very strange and difficult period, but art is developing not only in periods of wealth, peace and prosperity, but also in periods when society is “boiling”, as a means of people’s expressions.

In closing, I would like to say that I admire Yiannis Yigourtakis not only for his undoubted talent, but mainly for his humility and the quality of his character.

Life has taught us many times that people who matter do not have to “scream” to be seen because they shine on their own.
Elena Iliadou
April 28, 2021
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