Andreas Stylianou is one of the artists that have participated in the exhibitions 'Art Still Flourishes' and 'Recurring Memories', and he answers some of our questions about his inspirations, the best part of being an artist, and more.
What’s your background? Born in Cyprus I spent most of my adult life in London. I am primarily trained as an Architect but fortunately my university, The Architectural Association, made it flexible for me to switch many of my classes for life drawing, photography, sculpting and video. I have yet to implement many of these skills into my practice, and I can’t wait!
What does art mean to you? Art for me has the same ambiguous meaning as life. It is everything and nothing all at once. Without life you can not experience or appreciate art, nor does art exist. So for me the question would be: What does life mean to you?
What inspires you? What are your biggest influences? Life and Art inspire me. Life is so unexpected, there is always something crazy to create around. My work is at times autobiographical, even though it is usually impossible for the viewer to put the story together. Good art makes me feel powerful, you look at a painting by Rubens and you know that there is a limit of human greatness. How close can you get to that? Fast. While conveying ideas in the pace of todays world? Additionally, Bad art inspires me. It makes me question.
How did you start making art/Why do you make art? I remember making art from the earliest memory recollections I have as a kid. From making imaginary houses out of scrap wood with my grandfather, to magazine and flower collages with my grandmother, and creating imaginary languages on paper with my first friends in the neighbourhood. The following story is one of at least three events that lead me to start making art professionally. I was in Mykonos on the last week of August (2019). During the trip I had vaguely planned in my head 2-3 paintings. I had done this planning process countless times in the past 10 years, and I knew that I would probably fail again to follow through with the intention. What changed this time? I wanted to continue my Mykonos holiday, and the only way to continue living the dream... I went to the art supplies store, got everything I needed, and executed those paintings planned in Mykonos. One sold the following day...
What’s the best thing about being an artist? Not sure how to answer this without making everyone jealous. I don’t like making people jealous and the job is not as easy as the answer would sound! I love being an artist and I love everything I create. I wish I could keep them all!
What is your dream project? One day... A massive public sculpture and/or installation in a park. I would love for the art to be part of the infrastructure of the city. I can’t imagine what the feeling would be, standing next to an artwork of yours, that makes you feel small. The idea excites me.
What's the best piece of advice you've been given? David Greene, an Archigram member and one of my tutors once told me, “There is nothing original, just variations of something that has been done before, but I would love to be proven wrong.” I guess I’m still working on it.