Constantinos Chaidalis: The Bell Jar II

Collage is not decoupage. we need to make that clear before we start. Decoupage is a Victorian pastime of cutting out pretty pictures and gluing them to a surface, creating a cacophony of colour and composition. Most decoupage has no rhyme or reason, it is a diverting pastime, a decorative craft. Collage is very different.

Collage is not part of the decorative world, but very much part of the fine art world. Collage has purpose, message, understanding, It has direct links with Surrealism, and is wrapt up in ideas surrounding the unconscious, the waking dream state, and connections with worlds within worlds.

Constantinos Chaidalis: Beekeeper II

Constantinos Chaidalis: Rite

Collage is as popular today as it has ever been. So many contemporary artists are using collage to discover and rediscover aspects of themselves and aspects of the world around them. To question what they see, and indeed, what they don't see.

The Greek multidisciplinary designer Constantinos Chaidalis, who specialises in graphic design, illustration, and motion graphics is, like many designers, also an artist. He has produced a number of art projects including one named Sinister, for which all of the imagery illustrating this article derives.

Constantinos Chaidalis: Snake

Constantinos Chaidalis: Summer II

Sinister in particular, deals with personal memory and loss. This is a series of pieces that reflect a cathartic process for the artist, as it does for many artists. Constantinos work for this project deals with past holidays, childhood holidays, those that we wrap up tightly in the good memories, the ones we keep safe and away from the deconstruction methods that are so much a part of the nature of adult memory. 

Constantinos sees the work of Sinister as being the product of his grieving process. He sees each of the pieces as being representational and indicative of the powerless state, the rootless phenomenon that we find ourselves in when dealing with death. Death is inevitable, and with us all the time, and yet we stumble and falter when it comes, as if we had no idea such a thing was possible.

Constantinos Chaidalis: Summer III

Constantinos Chaidalis: The Beach

It is no accident that most of the imagery is represented by children. Constantinos is well aware of this, and the imagery is purposeful. To him, the children represent how we so quickly revert to our childhood stance when it comes to death, and the reality of loss. When we face our fears and anxiety, we seldom face those fears as an adult, but more usually as a child, we revert to the lost and bewildered aspect of childhood, and Constantinos is pretty astute for picking up on that, and reflecting it in his work.

All of the work represented here is of digital collages with overdrawn parts. Although Constantinos is fully aware that a number of the collage pieces that he has produced in this Sinister series could easily be seen as photo manipulations, photomontage even, they still have a definite feel that pushes them towards collage.

Constantinos Chaidalis: The Bell Jar

Constantinos Chaidalis: The Books

The Sinister series has a sense of fracturing, of unravelling, of the deconstruction of the childhood faith in safety and nurturing. In a sense, it is like watching the creeping adult comprehension of futility and inevitability, wrapping itself around the physical and mental body of childhood. A fascinating project from the artist, and perhaps a cathartic tool for us all.
Constantinos Chaidalis: Venison

All work is copyrighted to the artist. Please ask permission before sharing imagery. Thank you.