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)
When it comes to fashion, some women are willing to wear anything as long as it looks good — even if it’s 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 don’t know if I would allow this again for any one else, even a pop star — not even Lady Gaga or Madonna…even 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 Moscow’s 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. It’s 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 everyone’s taste, you can’t 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 don’t 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 don’t have a clear idea on the finished product and finally the work itself dictates how it wants to be done.”
Pages: