Rinos Stefani - St. Neophytos meets Apsevdis

Cyprus : Rinos Stefani - St. Neophytos meets Apsevdis

Chiaki Kamikawa Contemporary Art Gallery is pleased to present the solo exhibition of Rinos Stefani under the title “St. Neophytos meets Apsevdis”.

Stefani (1958) is a Cypriot artist. For the last 30 years he uses a variety of media, including installations, painting and drawing. He introduced in Cyprus a hybrid form of action that includes installation and happening under the name Praxis.

Since 2006 he has created a number of paintings and drawings inspired by the frescoes of the 12th century painter Theodoros Apsevdis. The particular painting which has fascinated Stefani since his childhood is among the frescos at the St. Neophytos Monastery near Paphos which portrays Archangels Michael and Gabriel having St. Neophytos between them. In this scene, the Archangels are depicted with a severe facial expression holding the Saint very tightly whereas the Saint looks helpless with his hands crossed over his chest.

As a child visiting the St.Neophytos Monastery, Stefani had imagined as if the two Archangels were arresting St. Neophytos. Years later he found out that the scene in fact depicts the Archangels leading the Saint to Christ on the Day of Judgment. This pleasant misunderstanding of Apsevdis’ intention inspired Stefani to create a series of works on the subject of St. Neophytos and Apsevdis.
In the exhibition Stefani will show some of his first paintings on the subject which were produced in 2006 and a new body of work revisiting the same theme in 2016. The series from 2006 are painted mostly in black and white using industrial paint with quick and spontaneous brush strokes and rough scratch marks. The images are simple, bold and expressive at the same time Stefani’s unconventional depiction of the religious figures are rather humorous and ironic.

The subject of St, Neophytos and Apsevdis has been recurring in Stefani’s work for the past years. In 2016 he created a series of paintings on this subject with new elements and symbols. Stefani uses the metaphorical motifs such as saws, flames, piles of stones which give a violent ‘twist’ to his paintings while the motifs like box-headed figures create mysterious feelings. Compared to the series from 2006, the new series are sober and narrative, and they are carefully executed with a limited range of colours.
In Stefani’s paintings a strong influence of Byzantine art is evident both thematically and visually. At the same time he incorporates his usual brutal art approach and naïve stylistic elements. Religious subject matter could be challenging but for Rinos Stefani who has a playful mind, it seems that the fresco painting of Saint Neophytos Monastery has been a source of new narratives and has given him an opportunity to liberate his imagination.

Opening: Friday 2 March at 19:30

Exhibition Dates: 2-17 March 2018

Opening hours:
Monday - Saturday: 9:30-12:30
Wednesday - Friday: 17:00-19:00


Monday through Saturday
From: Friday, March 2nd, 2018
Until: Saturday, March 17th, 2018
Time: See Description


10 Solonos Street
Paphos, Paphos 8010, Cyprus
Phone: 99311225




Phone: 99311225

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