George Kanis is a Greek visual artist, based in Athens-Greece, originally born and raised at Chios island.
He is well known for his photographic work, although he also practices painting, video art, installations, etc. He was also involved with interior design and product design. But none of these mediums gave him the freedom to express his instincts. That gap photography and painting came to fill.
His aesthetics have not changed through the years but his work evolves like a growing organism and it always depends on desires that need to be nurtured and fed. For him, art offers the ability to make chaos and freedom coexist in harmony. He is known for his nude portraits of the people of the subculture scene of Athens and his experimental \ abstract work. He employs a raw, brutal art style in order to emphasise primal feelings during the photoshoots. He proudly explores questions of gender, class and sometimes race, mostly in Greek society.
“I created the project “Death to Symbols” to depict the severance of human beings from nature, where the primordial womb of the world is the all-inclusive being. Without discrimination, with full-on acceptance. My photos usually are taking place in the urban environment, a place mostly cemented, cold, technological, purely patriarchal. There, the bodies depicted, striped from civilization, return to a primal age when everything belongs to a pre-conscious stage where everything is accepted, where social judgment doesn’t have a place. For me, human beings are not the providers of the call ration but the embodiment of collation. My subjects are symbols carrying the designation that society assigned to them. But, my photoset is an environment where they can shake off the “acquired” and present their truth. Each and every single one of them in their own personal way. “Death to symbols” is the confirmation of the return of unfiltered nature where the desire is a subject only to Itself and doesn’t abide by laws and rules.”
“The ancient Greeks called ecstasy Divine Rage. Plato claimed that through it, the greatest goods are given to us. He even distinguished four types: the prophetic, with the patron god Apollo, the ritual, with the patron Dionysus, the poetic, inspired by the Muses, and the erotic, inspired by Aphrodite and Eros. Me as a greek and studying the Ancient Greek language and philosophy when I was still young at school, I feel totally related to this ‘divine rage.’ So, nowadays, I feel related to this situation during every photo session; it’s like you always get the feeling (at that exact moment that you are clicking your camera) that this is it, this image is gonna be your masterpiece! That actually never happens; when something is done it is done, it’s in the past, so you always move forward you want more, and you try harder. Although something magical happens while you take the picture, you feel more connected with your subject and the environment during the session; the emotions are going crazy. The final image may attract you or may not, but you always feel the electricity, and you recall all the emotions you felt while you were capturing it. So you keep reliving the ecstatic moments over and over again. Past and future merge, but your emotional state stays high, stays at ΕΚΣΤΑΣΗ.”