Nick LAGOS – February 18.2007

The Greek artist Nick Lagos( born in Athens in 1970) trained as an architect. So it’s not surprising that his work abounds in structures and motifs that refer to construction and urbanism.

In his paintings (some of them of considerable dimensions ) it’s not always clear whether we’re dealing with an ideal or an alarming image of today’s social patterns.

For our intellectual comfort, we would be inclined to discern abstract fairytales in these colourful pictures, but – just a little too often – snakes appear in the grass. But that’s the kind of painting we like: the charming or the banal sabotaged by a few malicious strokes.

Like a purring cat that lashes out, like lightning and without any warning ; those razor-sharp claws remain a painful memory for a long time to come. In his work Nick Lagos also introduces fragments of text that only he can understand, but that have a strange sense of familiarity for the reader/viewer.

Often, these are merely words or phrases – such as “cow-boys”, “killer”, or “rush hour” – or first names : Nick, Ramon or Hana for example.
What depraved games are being played on those grounds plans, which sometimes look like board games? Who are the protagonists of this shadow theatre ?

Lagos hands us elements of a puzzle, a rebus. It’s up to us, as astonished spectators, to make these elements correspond to the tale we ourselves concoct : Only to realise, a little later, that we could ( or should ) just as easily have attributed a completely different significance to these strange paintings.

Yves de Vresse – for Dese Week – Brussels , 18.2.2007.