Portfolio > Transitions

Against the current
Against the current
Encaustic on plywood
100 x 200 cm

By painting shoes, I wanted to talk about the people who dare to be different in a society, those who do not follow the prevailing trends or popular opinions. They are the individuals who through determination and iron will achieve unattainable goals and truly provide for the common good. Swimming against the current is way more tiring with less distance covered rather than going the easy way which is letting the current take you. Except that it doesn't take you where you would like to be. The red shoe represents my father, a charismatic general surgeon who worked hard for 74 years until his last operation at the age of 96 years old. In 1941, during the German occupation of Greece, he was in charge of healing the wounds of injured Jews and resistance fighters who were sentenced to death and awaited execution by the SS after their exit from the hospital. He risked his life by delaying the stabilisation of the fractured bones while he organised the prisoners' escape. He managed to save and hide them all in the following months. During the course of his lifetime, he performed thousands of operations. Not only did he work without pay, but he discreetly gave money to very poor patients. I recall him saying that he felt in debt to his patients because they trusted him with their bodies for him to perform his art: He said, "Surgery is a labor of love requiring fine skills. It should belong somewhere amongst the fine arts, yet it differs from them because surgery, with the exception of skin incisions, cannot be seen by the light of the sun''.