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Meet the Artist: Alexis Vasilikos-A dive into the artist's meditative process.




This week we welcome Alexis Vasilikos ,a multitalented artist who lives between Athens and Leros. He studied photography in Athens, at Focus and A.k.t.o., and Art History at D.A.M.S. in Bologna. Since 2012 he is co-editing Phases Magazine an online fine art photography magazine. He is also represented by CAN Christina Androulidaki Gallery and his work has been exhibited worldwide and is part of private and public collections. Concerning his artwork ,he captures the spiritual experience of everyday life through peripatetic and abstract imagery. Mostly inspired by Eastern philosophy like Buddhism and Hinduism, his imagery comes up from meditative and experimenting experiences which question conventional photographic processes and practices .


Explore his simplicity and depth as he transcends mere representations and dives into the essential aspect of reality!





alexis vasilikos

Photo of Alexis Vasilikos




What visual motifs in your photos reveal the concept of presence?

My work arises and revolves around the mediative state of the mind, I use the term “presence” to indicate precisely that which is non-conceptual. I don’t generally try to convey any particular concepts through my work, I’m more interested in the experience of direct, non-conceptual perceiving. That space within which concepts manifest is what I call “presence”. No particular motif can contain it. At best photos can carry a bit of the stillness of the state of presence.






Variations of Presence.01(2019)

Variations of Presence.01(2019)




As one explores your photos, one notices elements of disappearing /appearing and existing in shadow/light state. How do you manage to maintain the minimal quality of your photo instead of making it dramatic?

It’s hard to be dramatic when you have no interest in storytelling. And since I don’t try to tell any story with my photos, I just explore the dynamic play of light and shadow, form and formlessness. I like minimalism, because in it, I see the potential of bringing things to their essence.

The closer to nothing a form is, the closer to its source it feels.





Oceanic Series.02(2018-)

Oceanic Series.02(2018-)

Oceanic Series.02(2018-)

Oceanic Series.02(2018-)

Oceanic Series.02(2018-)

Oceanic Series.02(2018-)





Your ‘Masks’ ‘Waterlines’ or ‘Mirrors’ series seem to carry visual elements from Abstract Expressionism and often may remind of Malevich’s black squares. If so, How do you believe it connects with your mystical concepts?

I love very much the work of some Abstract Expressionist artists, such as Franz Kline and Agnes Martin. Regarding the mystical concepts, I feel that mysticism is all about something very basic, not something exotic, which is the fact that reality cannot be conveyed through language. Everybody knows this, because everybody is part of the mystery of life.

I think that Agnes Martin has expressed it beautifully in this quote:

My interest is in experience that is wordless and silent, and in the fact that this experience can be expressed for me in art work is also wordless and silent.

—Agnes Martin





Masks.03(2019)

Masks.03(2019)

Waterlines.07(2021-22)

Waterlines.07(2021-22)

Mirrors.04(2020)

Mirrors .04(2020)




How does the concept of monument intertwines with the different emotional states apparent in your titled photographs?

In the series “Imaginary Monuments” I play with the question: “If photographs were monuments, what kind of monuments would they be?”. It’s tackling a bit the question of authority and who is writing history, because after all a monument is a symbol of the collective consciousness, and who decides what is important for the collective? Can anybody make up its own monuments? In this sense, this work is political, because politics, the way I see it, is all about the game of dominance over the narrative. Of course every “monument” individually can evoke different emotions, however the underlying current of this work is playfulness and the urge to question authority.




Monument to the mystics(2022-2023)

Monument to the mystics(2022-2023)





In your “Oceanic” series how do you manage to balance the feeling of melancholy and what are we to expect from these ongoing series?

“Oceanic” is a long-term project that revolves around the oceanic feeling, the feeling of oneness with all life. Most of it is situated in Leros, an island of the Dodecanese where I live half of the year. I don’t feel it as a particularly melancholic body of works. For me it’s all about the ecstasy and transcendence of the limited sense of self, meditation and intimacy with all of life, starting from where life started, the water and its creatures. I am in the process of making a book with it, hopefully it will be finished by winter.





Oceanic Series.02(2018-)

Oceanic Series. 02(2018-)





Images of Courtesy:CAN Gallery



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Index:


practice: engagement in creative activity to develop a skill

process: structured steps from idea generation to idea presentation

representation: depiction of objects and subjects

essential: fundamental (eg .opposed to illusionary nature)

visual motif: a recurrent element (e.g shape) that carries meanings or contributes to the mood of the work

form: 3d quality of an object

mysticism: a spiritual and philosophical pursuit aimed at achieving a direct, personal experience of the divine or ultimate reality

abstract expressionism: art movement developed at 20th century that emphasizes emotional experience over physical reality

narrative: a structured sequence of events that is presented in particular contexts and meanings




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