White-Faced Owl Icon
Gouache & gold leaf on panel, 16 in. x 16 in., ©2018-2021. Private Collection (Johannesburg, South Africa) Exhibition Provenance: Loaned to 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. This work features exotic creatures indigenous to Kruger National Park (South Africa), whose magical species would have been all but desecrated due to hunting, deforestation, & illegal hunting if it weren't for the sanctuary of this National Reserve. 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.