Spotted Owl Icon Triptych
Gouache & gold leaf on panel, 32 in. x 16 in. ©2017-2021 Exhibition Provenance: Transplants: Greek Diaspora Artists, Anya & Andrew Shiva Gallery, NYC. 2018 Set within a luminous context of metaphysical symbolism and Byzantine brushwork, the Icon Series transposes endangered species of exotic plants and creatures as the iconographic characters of our contemporary natural environments. Inspired by the rich traditions and distinctive styles ranging from the Cretan-Venetian School of icon painting to Italian Renaissance art, Gerakaris relishes the processes of gold leafing and painting on wooden panel by hand — a sacred process by which the object and picture ultimately frame a view into another dimension. In addition to meditating on his own Cretan-Greek ancestry, the artist’s genuine fascination with art history, Nature-Culture dynamics, and his love for the natural world form the core of this intimate series. The triadic family of owls in “Spotted Owl Icon Triptych” confronts us with their enchanting eyes — a species that is alarmingly endangered throughout much of the American West due to deforestation, wildfires, climate change, etc. Soaring overhead, a fantastical falcon makes a cameo; an inside nod to the artist’s family name in Greek, meaning "The Falconer". The austere aesthetic pays homage to the Cretan-Venetian school of Icon painting — the island of the Artist’s ancestry — while a more lush stylization and brushwork pulses within the owls. The vibratory color and patterns conjure the feel of an East-meets-West cultural fusion, while a contemporary, high-keyed palette presents a phantasmagorical, Pop-Art vision.