Christos Karas and his ties to the island
An exhibition of the paintings of renowned Greek artist Christos Karas is being held at the Historic Archive Museum of Hydra in order to celebrate the establishment of the Christos Karas - Hydra Foundation, which aims to preserve and exhibit the works of the artist himself and of other artists.
The exhibition has been attended by hundreds of people including the Mayor of Hydra, who presented an honorary plaque to the 70-year old Christos Karas. The Mayor also announced his plans to set up a new gallery of contemporary art on the island.
The paintings of Karas on display highlighten the evolution of the artist over the decades, from his early figurative works in Paris to the later development of an abstract, expressionist style.
The foundation symbolizes the 50-year long emotional ties Mr Karas has to the island of Hydra. The artist fell in love with this lovely island of the Aegean Sea when, in 1948, he first visited it at the invitation of the painter Pavlos Pantelakis. He has been visiting the island almost ever year since the early 1950s, when he was a student at the Athens School of Fine Arts.
The lovely house of Mr Karas in Hydra was built in the late 1980s, using stones dug from the mountainous land of the island, serves as a summer house for the artist and his family. The house is situated atop a small hill overlooking the sea and the golden sunset of Hydra. Mr Karas describes his house as a flower that sprang from the earth of Hydra and he adds like a true artist, “When I realized this, I decided that this house should belong to the island. In this life, nothing really belongs to us anyway."
This house will be the future home of the Christos Karas - Hydra Foundation and its ground floor, which the artist now uses as his studio, will be transformed into a gallery that will display, for the moment, 40 paintings of the artist. Future plans also include displaying the works of other artists of his generation, such as Costas Tsoclis and Pavlos Pantelakis.