Rebetiko, as seen through art - Photos

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The relationship between music and the visual arts has always been close.

Paintings or forms of rhythms, melodies, lyrics and the feeling of a song is a timeless and universal phenomenon.

This is especially the case when we talk about whole musical currents, genres of music that have made history, sealed their time and continue to inspire future generations.

Undoubtedly, Rebetiko belongs to this category and is also the central theme of an exhibition organised by the Municipality of Athens beginning on February 10.

READ MORE: Brendan Perry discusses migration, mangas and his new English-language Rebetiko album with GCT.

This interesting exhibition records the visual imprint of rebetiko, but with a modern look.

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Alexandros Psychoulis, Unknown Pianist, 2021, watercolor, 70x100 cm.

Among the 125 works of 50 different artists included in the exhibition, one can see the masterpieces zeibeks by Giannis Tsarouchis, the wonderful features of Tassos from the covers of Sotiria Bellou's albums, and the inspired drawings of Alekos Fasianos from the covers of Elias' books Petropoulos for rebetiko music.

However, we will learn mainly what rebetiko means for the contemporary artist.

One of the masterpieces by Giannis Tsarouchis
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Book cover by Ilias Petropoulos created by Alekos Fasianos.

"The aim of the exhibition and the accompanying edition is to illustrate rebetiko and its mythology through a modern perspective," explained Christoforos Marinos, the curator of the exhibition and all the activities of the Organisation of Culture, Sports and Youth (OPANDA) of the Municipality of Athens.

"A contemporary artist can connect emotionally and perform rebetika songs through images.

"We were mainly interested in examining how contemporary art converses with rebetiko, how contemporary Greek artists approach and interpret it.

"That is why most of the works are assignments and were carried out especially for the exhibition."

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Cacao Rocks, Rebetiko, 200x150 cm, acrylic on canvas, 2021.

He also reveals that many of the artists participating in the exhibition explored their roots through this process.

"For example, the work of Giannis Theodoropoulos refers to Pikinos, who was his relative and was stabbed in 1931 on Akamantos Street in Thissio.

"Maria Tsagari, on the other hand, studied the history of her great-grandfather, the famous violinist Nikos Syrigos.

"Katerina Zacharopoulou, with the play The Rosa Buffet, examines the case of Eskenazy, retrieving personal family stories and memories."

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Rena Papaspyrou - Hommage to Giannis Papaioannou - 2021.

The exhibition includes mainly paintings but to a lesser extent other arts are also on display, such as engravings, photography, books, sound installation and performances.

Among the works, the cartoons of the rebetis Costas Bezos stand out, who were artistically active under the pseudonym A. Kostis.

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Andreas Lolis - Ah re Giorgos (2021)

Admission to the exhibition will be free for the public.

Anastasia Kouka is a correspondent for Proto Thema.

Guest Contributor

This piece was written for Greek City Times by a Guest Contributor