The world of art: magical and fantastical. While some express themselves and their reality the way they see it; others, like Tel Aviv based Costa Magakaris, use art to express their feelings theatrically and with extensive use of imagination. Magakaris’s pieces act as characters in a story; they come to life, creating a parallel world, a reflection of dreams and thoughts; his shoe sculptures in particular giving a sense of surrealism.
Giulia Catani: Costa, your background heavily involves fine art and sculpture. Where did you first learn and hone your craft?
Costa Magakaris: Although I grew up in an artistic family - my great-grandfather was a professional painter - I also studied art, first in Greece and later in Israel. My background involves a rich engagement in prop design and construction, mostly for theatres. This is a field that improves your ability to solve problems and pay close attention to detail.
GC: The pieces you present are so emotive. What do you feel while you are creating them?
CM: Each new artwork that I start to make is a new challenge for me. I feel like I have to solve a very interesting and mysterious puzzle; I'm also curious to see its completion.
GC: Your style transports me to a magical and grotesque world. Where do you get the inspiration for such innovative creations?
CM: I find inspiration almost everywhere: science, religion, mythology, archaeology and art.
GC: Your pieces almost appear like a mythological way to explain life and reality. Do you consider them as part of dreams or dysfunctions of reality?
CM: I think that my art is a way to control reality and give it a better, more interesting outcome.
GC: What message are you trying to convey through your imaginative sculptures?
CM: There are not necessarily hidden messages in my art. I like to stimulate the viewer's eye and usually each viewer responds differently.
GC: Recently, you started to work with shoes. Why did you choose this subject for your art?
CM: A shoe is a familiar every day object, and also a symbol of travel. When you take your shoes off, this symbol could take a whole bunch of different meanings. I like to explore this meaning through my lens’ point of view.
GC: You are now living in Tel Aviv. How do the city and the population there accept and understand your work?
CM: Tel Aviv is one of the world's most innovative cities, full of a young population, art galleries and a very vivid, interesting art scene. I feel very proud to be a part of it.
GC: What are you working on now? Do you have any future projects lined up?
CM: At the moment I’m working on a new collection of shoe sculptures and after that I will have to look for a gallery that will present it.
Words: Giulia Catani
Artwork: Dancing Skeletons, 1934 by Edward Burra
Sculptures: Costa Magakaris