I don’t know if recycling ever gets boring, or if we ever fall out of love with our favourite paintings and portraits by renowned artists, but just in case, here’s someone who can kill two birds with one stone. (Metaphorically speaking of course, because when you think about it, stoning birds is quite mean.)
Konstantinos “Kostis” Grivakis is a Greek artist and art teacher who has a knack for turning everyday used household items into… art. And lots of it! Not only is he a recycling genius, but he also makes collages of famous figures in traditional Omani dress and settings, which results in something either quite amusing or exceptionally stunning (see: collage of Elizabeth Taylor). Grivakis also creates collages of world-famous works of art mixed with popular landmarks in Oman.
There is a great deal of detail in what at first glance appears to be simple and, in a sense, minimalist artwork. Upon greater study of his paintings, you realise that what your eyes were initially drawn to are the soft blending, depth of hue and intricate use of patterns. The first time I saw one of his collages – a portrait of Sultan Qaboos – I couldn’t tell if it was done by hand or not. Like most of his painted figures (recycled or of handcut wood), it was.
Grivakis’ style is sophisticatedly cartoon-like, and there’s a warmth that comes from what he creates – I wouldn’t be surprised if every single piece was made with a smile on his face.
An artist who is “inspired by [Oman], the most beautiful place in the world and its amazing people,” Grivakis likes to “recycle everything and turn everyday stuff [into] little pieces of art.” He also has plans to open his own shop in Muscat in the future, “where everything will be created by me”.
I’m really glad that Kostis Grivakis works with children, because he is on par with them in terms of imagination. He (as we all do) learns a lot from them, but I am sure that they learn a lot from him because he is exactly what they need: an artist with an innovative and exemplary approach, who is conscientious enough and capable of mixing recycling with art; one contributing to the celebration and preservation of culture. An artist with a seemingly bottomless reserve of creativity.
You can find Kostis Grivakis on: