George Magalios: Paleolithic Contemporary

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Time travel is a pre-requisite in the paintings of George Anastasios Magalios. Born in Montreal in 1967, Magalios is a painter influenced by many moments and artists, from the cave painters of Lascaux and Altamira and the thermal paintings of Rembrandt to the chromatic life stories of the Australian Aborigines.

The word “contemporary” is out of ammunition when it comes to describing George Magalios and his paintings.  The artists himself calls his works examples of “abstract impressionism” or “Paleolithic Thermodynamics” in an attempt to re-asses and mold language into an expanded paradigmatic usage more befitting his work.

If we say “contemporary art” comes after 1945, then Magalios is in that time frame. But as a signifier, his work is more thermal than temporal, more sexual than intellectual, more corporeal than cerebral. Straddling many names and voices, Magalios paints and philosophizes within a number of names: Giorgio Fati, Jorge Griego, Will Swinburne, and Georges Ducharme, each signifying a different medium or series of work. He is Ducharme as much as he is Fati. Magalios is Griego when it comes to his “Energy Plan for the Florida Man” series of paintings.

Always and everywhere he resist categorization. Typology cannot keep up. It pants, then collapses, frustrated by the pace of warmth and the hue of emotion that radiate from the ground palette. Therein lies the warmth, the thermodynamic component that heats up and reveals the artists diverse, yet related, bodies of being.

George Magalios is a paleolithic contemporary, in dialogue with the wild painters in the caves and a dismantler of the cowardly pathos surrounding him in today’s art world of ghosts and weak people. Once the untruth, the lies and the weakness of the feeble and the afraid is heated by the rays of the ground palette, the burnt sienna and red ochre revelers of aletheia, the future of art and art’s history, will be divided in two: that which came before the ground palette and that which comes after.

 

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