Nikolaos Antoniou: Did I see this?

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Nikolaos Antoniou invites visitors to take a different approach to seeing.

At his latest exhibition, Antoniou challenges the viewer to perceive different realities and accept the unpredictable, illogical and surreal in equal doses. The paintings are about the artist’s personal world, but the viewer can create their own stories and interpretations of the past and present, real or dreamed.

“The viewer can create their own stories and interpretations of the past and present, real or dreamed”

Antoniou’s collages use printed material, such as newspapers, photographs, digital print; at the same time he works on paintings, using acrylics: “I find collage more journalistic in a way, it has more immediacy. Painting takes longer and requires more preparation, it’s a different approach.”

Antoniou hasn’t taken a conventional path as an artist, like Tàpies – who also features in this edition – he is self-taught. Born in Greece, he first exhibited at the local arts centre. He went on to study mathematics at Ioannina, Greece, where he had two exhibitions, one private and one at the French Institute. A collage and an acrylic painting were exhibited at the French Institute in Athens as part of a group exhibition for young talents. 

He continued with postgraduate studies at Durham (UK) where he became the artistic director of the monthly Durham University Arts Magazine. While a student in Durham, he had the chance to meet Charles Saatchi who bought one of his collages for his private collection. In 2019, one of his acrylic paintings, ‘The Prophecy’, was selected for the Royal Academy of Arts, Summer Exhibition in London.

“Mathematics is very associated, I think, to a certain surrealism”

When asked if there is a link between his mathematical studies and his art, Antoniou says: “Mathematics is very associated, I think, to a certain surrealism. I did my PhD on stochastic network modeling, which is very philosophical, it’s about understanding the world through a probabilistic viewpoint. Mathematics is a creative science in the sense that you play with logic, the logical and the probable, it’s an artistic idea.”

Antoniou works in business development strategy and communications, which consumes much of his time; nevertheless, he has always managed to find time for his artistic pursuits, publishing poetry, short stories and developing further art works, which can now be enjoyed at this latest exhibition. 

Press Club Brussels, 12 October – 6 November, 09h00-18h00, (not accessible during events), Rue Froissart 95, 1040 Bruxelles.

A few pieces will also be exhibited at the specialty coffee shop United Tastes, in Ixelles next to Place Luxembourg, Rue Caroly 39. A perfect opportunity to take a pause and reflect.