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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

Monday, Oct. 20


Amateur pictures from World War I are on display for only one more day at Rosphotos exhibition On Both Sides, chronicling the conflict through the eyes of observers on both sides of the trenches. The price of entrance to the exhibition is 100 rubles ($2.50).



Tuesday, Oct. 21


The Environment, Health and Safety Committee of AmCham convenes this morning at 9 a.m. in the organizations office.


Take the chance to pick the brains of Dmitry V. Krivenok, the deputy director of the Economic Development Agency of the Leningrad region, and Mikhail D. Sergeev, the head of the Investment Projects Department, during the meeting with them this morning hosted by SPIBA. RSVP for the event by emailing office@spiba.ru before Oct. 17 if you wish to attend.


Improve your English at Interactive English, the British Book Centers series of lessons on vocabulary and grammar in an informal atmosphere. Starting at 6 p.m., each month draws attention to different topics in English, with the topic for this months lessons being visual arts.



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