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Kiriakos Tompolidis

Kiriakos Tompolidis

God Loves You (But Not as Much To Save You)

Exhibition

-> Oct 12 2023 – Jan 13 2024

Labor

today open 11:00AM 6:00PM

Labor presents the exhibition God Loves You (But Not as Much To Save You) by Kiriakos Tompolidis.

Kiriakos Tompolidis (Essen, 1997), is a painter of Greek descent who works and resides in Berlin. Deeply influenced by his Greek heritage and his personal experiences as a Greek immigrant in Germany, Tompolidis’s paintings reference his immediate environment through the use of objects from familiar places that are part of his personal history and motifs associated with ancient Greek culture that, together, weave a narrative exploring the connection between his own identity and his cultural heritage.

Thus, the artist’s paintings often incorporate references to his Hellenic origins, such as classical amphorae painted with the traditional black- and red-figure technique, Greek statues and vases, the Greek eye of protection known as mati, and the blankets that his grandmother would weave to decorate tables in the home. Additionally, the two-dimensional style of his works evokes that of theatrical sets, incorporating intimate motifs such as the wallpaper of grandparent’s house in the 70s, patterns from the tile flooring of his relatives, as well as the textured wood characteristic of apartments from the artist’s upbringing. 

While his work references the aesthetics, themes, and techniques of Hellenistic and classical Greek art, Tompolidis’s paintings are derived from the artist’s contemporary perspective, as a means to process and represent the complexities of the immigrant experience. They express the psychological and emotional toll faced by previous generations as they arrived to a new country in the post-war period and living through the integration of the two Germanys. 

Rooted in his own familial experiences as well as those of his ancestors, the German artist’s deeply personal body of work explores the intricate relationship between his identity and his cultural lineage, fostering empathy and understanding of the immigrant experience and thus, offers a reflection of our present-day global migration crisis. 

— Labor