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Sculptor Weaves Magic From Refuse

A fashionable display of thousands of aluminium cans bring together beer, royalty and opera.

Published: March 12, 2014 (Issue # 1801)



  • Maria Callas' costume for the opera "La Traviata."
    Photo: Giuseppe Verdi

  • From a distance, the tight aluminum weaving creates an illusion that Floros sculptures have been made from fabric.
    Photo: Ilias Diamantakos

  • Intricate detailing complete the accessories inspired by Princess Grace Kelly.
    Photo: Lana Matafonov / For SPT

When it comes to fashion, some women are willing to wear anything as long as it looks good even if its aluminium cans. That is definitely the most popular question I get asked, says Nikos Floros, a Greek sculptor who is in St. Petersburg for the first time to showcase his work. Women want to know if they can wear my sculptures. So far only one woman has, a model wearing a corset from coke cans for the Vienna Opera Ball at the request of the event director. I dont know if I would allow this again for any one else, even a pop star not even Lady Gaga or Madonnaeven if they kneel in front of me, he says laughing.

Wearing an outfit from aluminium cans may sound absurd at first but Floros dramatic sculptures are created in such a way that you could be forgiven for easily mistaking the dresses to be made from fabric such is the intricacy and precision of his work.

Now, after a six-month showing in Moscows Tsaritsyno State Memorial Estate, where an estimated four million people are said to have visited, Floros exhibition has arrived at the Museum of the Academy of Fine Arts for one month only. Titled Tribute to Maria Callas and Grace Kelly, Petersburgers have an opportunity to admire up-close Floros retrospective work dedicated to the aura, soul and charm of legendary opera singer, Callas, and the American actress-turned Monaco princess, Kelly.

Both of these women were great personalities of the arts who inspired many others. Both of them also left their mark in history and both had a tragic death. In addition, both were friends in real life. Its these factors that make them special to me, says Floros before adding, I feel they also both embody the three basic principles of Hellenism: strength, beauty and harmony.

Hand-cut, twisted, woven and shredded, Floros technique with the aluminum is immediately impressive. While his collection, which includes a series of dresses, handbags, shoes and gloves, may not be to everyones taste, you cant help but appreciate the work behind it especially the grand sculpture inspired by the wedding dress worn by Kelly for her marriage to Prince Rainier of Monaco. Created specifically to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the death of the princess, the remarkable dress took four years and over 4,000 diet coke cans to create cans that Floros collected himself from factories and restaurants, and still does today.

When I start, I dont have a clear idea on how it will be, says Floros, explaining his creative process. I have heard this from many artists too, that when they start, they dont have a clear idea on the finished product and finally the work itself dictates how it wants to be done.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at todays Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nations premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the citys elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolans latest film Mommy at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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