Dimitri Papatheodorou is a Toronto based artist. He teaches at both the Institute Without Boundaries and Ryerson University. He studied architecture in the 80s at the University of Waterloo where he completed his degrees in Environmental Studies and Architecture. His book titled Painting Architecture & Song was published in 2010 by the Institute Without Boundaries and can be downloaded for free at www.dimitripapatheodorou.com
This series of paintings is inspired by the spatial representations of artists like Kazuo Nakamura. He is likely my favourite of the Painters 11, and even all the artists fitting into the tradition of abstract expressionism. Although my work at first look appears 'cool' I see it as 'hot.' I suppose the general blueness of the palette and the starkness of the images are kind of cool at first look, but I'm going for feeling and emotion here as much as I am cool intellectual construct. I think the best artwork strives for both cool and hot at the same time.
And then it's also about the making of the thing. If I can bring in the famous, and perhaps notorious philosopher Martin Heidegger into it, in architecture Heidegger believed that authentic work only came from building and thinking and dwelling at the same time. So process is really important. For me these paintings are a culmination of many glazes of oil paint. The image is constructed like a building, over a long period of time. If you think about the best art and architecture being about mind and body, or thinking and making, then it follows that all art, ascribed with meaning or value, is imbued with performance, and therefore is performance.
The painted images therefore are about the performance of light, both in the passive and active sense; passively, as a reflection of environmental light, and actively as a design of spatial relationships defined by light. Light is the form and content of the painting. The pigment of the painting was layered up to allow for emanation. The contrast between light and dark, push and pull, allows for this performance to happen. For me, the distinction between artistic disciplines, between painting and architecture, is slight. Design and art merge in real-time and space, the city is the greatest work of all, and painting is a surface for the investigation of these congruent art-forms.