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Stephanos Paschos - A greek master

Portrait
Friday, October 01 2010
 
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Stephanos Paschos was born in 1948 in Ioannina in Northern Greece. He first studied cinematography and then moved to Paris in the 70’s in order to learn more about photography (Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, University of Paris VIII).

The French culture, as well as his passion for photography, has always exercised an influence over him which led him to create the first Centre of Photography in Athens in 1979. On several occasions within this institution, Stephanos Paschos exhibited his first series of nude images and portraits that would later determine his unique style in the world of fashion and advertising.

Since 1988, he has succeeded in integrating personal research and fashion images in the magazines Playboy, Max, Elle, Marie Claire. His style has been evolving to include the connection of the face, either male or female, quite similar to the conception of the theatre make-up of the fatal women as timeless creatures. His technical experimentations, between black and white, the liquid emulsion on watercolour paper or on marble and the large size Polaroids, abstract the garment by giving the model’s body an essential place.

© Stephanos PaschosThe quasi mystical connection created by Paschos between him and the model during the shootings has a great importance in the production of his photographs.

The naked body is always his essential matter in the apparition of the details and the accessories Paschos uses.

The experimentation of photographical techniques as well as his direct and sensual approach will be the two characteristics that will be always represented in all his series of pictures.

According to him “there are no naked women, there are just souls that become bare in front of the camera. That is the reason why I try to catch the direct look of the model. In nude photography, you have to watch beyond the appearances and penetrate the mystery hidden in each person and why not attempt to discover his or her inner myth.”

Photographer Stephanos Paschos is one of the most famous Greek artists. At the end of the 80’s, he distinguished himself by a really creative expression, notably abstraction and claimed a good quality of surface, 2-/3-dimensional bodies. In his series, he uses photography as a means to meet the other, man or woman. He takes pictures of familiar faces and gives more importance to the metamorphosis of the shapes than to the face itself.

Besides, Stephanos Paschos is also someone who constantly changes his personal behaviour: sometimes a philosophical sage, sometimes a teenager who talks about photography with a quite naïve enthusiasm.

© Stephanos PaschosPictures have always punctuated his life: he doesn’t look at someone’s face, he observes his or her features; he doesn’t watch light but shadows.

His world is quite dark. That is no coincidence. Most of his series have been done in his photo laboratory, more precisely in the darkroom.

Stephanos Paschos used to spend endless sleepless nights of creation. He has never been short of ideas.

He always adds new elements to the final image. You can never be sure that his last alteration will be the final one.

Before exhibiting, he always adds pictures made with a new technique that no one expects.

Stephanos Paschos always acts like an artist even when he shoots a professional subject, which is always surprising.

Stephanos Paschos doesn’t like to talk about his work. He considers himself to be an artist of the 19th century, more practitioner than theoretician.

© Stephanos PaschosHe could speak for hours about the technique he uses and the pleasure he has when the image appears in the darkroom. He could tell you about the dialogue between the model and the photographer, as well as the mediating role played by the camera. On the other hand, he couldn’t explain the true meaning of his photos. He declares: “I am not a writer, I am just a photographer.” He imagines a world different from our ordinary world. Each shooting becomes a metaphysical world in black and white, colours and materials.

Except if we can only survive in the real world like shadows among the shadows, following the Ancient Greek.

We have decided to follow the steps of Stephanos Paschos from his stay in France to Greece, where he works, in his place of inspiration: ambient music, the models’ glance that surround you everywhere you stand and wooden boxes that hide his photographic treasures,

You can see his work in both private and public collections but also within the BN of Paris, the Georges Pompidou Center, the Greek Ministry for Arts, the Museum of Photography in Thessaloniki, the Center of Photography I Athens and the one in Skopelos Island.

In Greece, Stephanos Paschos is represented in the Titatium gallery of Athens.

His work has been published in several newspapers, magazines and books: Avant-Garde, Libération, Le Contact, Le Dictionnaire des photographes aux éditions Seuil, Encyclopédie Internationale des Photographes, revue Camera Obscura, magazine Opticon, Fotografos...

IP

Portfolio by Stephanos Paschos

 

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