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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, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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