Mykonos 11-20 August

Right across from my office, on an earthen roof terrace that is a relic of the past, I observe every year two plants growing side by side. In Patmos, we call them “Skordoules”. They blossom towards summertime. Two thin leaf stalks ending in two white little balls. The merciless Etesian winds make them move back and forth and bend in an ever ending dance. They make their appearance on the white-washed walls of the house and oscillate like two delicate figures on the backdrop of the Aegean sky. At times approach each other, then they move away, coming closer and then apart. This poetic image moves me: the movement, rhythm, colors, textures, reminiscent of the place in which I grew up, the moment in time, life itself in its eternal cycle.
If you are moved when contemplating the pieces of the exhibition, then this means a small connection is created between you and the work of art -  a kind of contact. The work of art itself will have spoken to you and I need not add anything else! From the moment the paintings leave the workshop, they, inevitably, take on a life of their own- which is bestowed on them by your eyes. My intentions when facing the white canvas no longer matter, what I had to say is of no importance, nor was my purpose when I filled it with colors. If they leave you totally indifferent, then it would not make sense even if next to each piece I narrated its story, explaining how I produced it, how it started out and how it ended up, what style I used, how many times I changed it, what I meant to say, and all those other details that we often wish we knew when we contemplate and especially when we buy a work of art…
I can only tell you two things generally about myself and the manner in which I work.
I paint instinctively, without a theoretical background and “training” in painting.
I am alert when I face the white canvas, but I do not have an important starting point, my inspiration comes from my own work. Sometimes I have a vague image in my mind. If the image is overly clear, I almost always fail to depict it. It will have been transformed into something else once I have completed the painting. As I am producing it, the painting itself guides me with respect to its own path. This journey is a hedonistic arduous struggle and the reason I paint. If I am not satisfied I work on it again until I feel that I have imbued it with a sense of myself,  that I have managed to distill even the smallest part of my inner essence. And even then I remain uncertain. My vanity may be assuaged if, during an exhibition, someone spends a little longer in front of it. I would be happy if I knew from the outset that it could take on its own life, go on its own course. A life taken on through your senses. The life that I see in the two flowers: move eternally in the wind, striving to come closer. Let this be the occasion for us to come closer.

Manolis Pentes
Patmos, July 2018