Nikos Floros is an internationally renowned Greek sculptor who has been described as an ambassador of contemporary Greek art and has been honored with several international awards, for his offer to the cultural diplomacy between Greece and the Community of Nations.
He was born in Tripoli, Arcadia, but grew up in Athens. He studied sculpture at the École des Beaux-Arts (School of Fine Arts) in Paris, as well as classical piano, ancient dramatic art and design in Athens; he has also been working in many major cities around the world, while based in New York. His way of life is the constant search for deeper knowledge for the evolution of his art.
Nikos Floros always mentions with emotion that he comes from a family of revolutionaries and heroes. He often thinks of his namesake ancestor, chief Nikos Floros, who fell in the battle of Athens against the Turks, who occupied Greece for 400 years. And when he walks on the street of Athens that bears his name, he feels real awe and pride.
His artworks have been exhibited around the world, including many important museums, such as the Portuguese and the Russian Academy of Letters and Arts, the Tsaritsyno State Museum in Moscow -where more than 11.000.000 visitors admired his works- the National Museum of Women in Arts, in Washington, the Hofburg Palace in Vienna and the Palace of Monte Carlo, Monaco, the Bologna Opera House, the Abu Dhabi International Exhibition Center (UAE), the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki and the Benakis Museum in Athens, Greece, the National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation and the Palace of the Grand Master in Rhodes, under the auspices of UNESCO, among many others.
- When did you comprehend you had a feel for art?
To be honest, perhaps I have still not discovered it. Perhaps I am not all of what others believe I am. I would say I am an individual who is very curious, who is constantly searching to find, through the details of daily life, the meaning in things that other people may not even notice or be aware of. And when I do find something, I have the desire to share it with others.
- How elated are you for all the accolades from the critics and the awards you have received from governmental and private entities?
I don’t want to highlight these since these are not the most important thing to me. The true awards are those given by those who have suffered and are in pain and you are there to hold their hand during a difficult time. The feeling of gratitude expressed by those people is truly priceless. These are the awards I value, the closeness with other people, supporting each other during difficult times and hoping to make a difference.
- What is Art for you and how do you sense it?
This question does not really have an answer. It is like asking me to explain what is life, what is death and what exists after that. I am not sure exactly what art is. I don’t think there is a definition for it. There is a similar question regarding the meaning of life and being. Perhaps it is an expression of people’s struggle to understand the miracle of life and the Universe. And perhaps that is the way to approach the unknown. Beginning with the desire to know the unknown, perhaps art is the key that will open the door to us so we can see the essence of things.
- Where do you get your inspiration from?
I am inspired by God, who gives me the opportunity every day to live and create my own work.
- What is your favorite time of the day to create?
There is no specific time in the day when I am more creative. Inspiration comes to me at various times and when I am inspired to create, I lose track of all time and place.
- Does your artwork convey any social and political meaning?
I don’t want my artwork to be categorized. During this time and age of media and social media, propaganda is at its apogee. Art should have universal themes and hopefully be the exception. There are many movements today including “woke culture” based on cultural Marxism/neoMarxism and many other movements. My answer to your question is to repeat something expressed by Voltaire, which represents both me and my artwork, “I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to express it.”
- Do you weigh more the love of the people or the glory and money you get from your work?
No true artist is a materialist. It is a luxury for someone to focus on becoming rich and famous while having to focus on creating and being productive in one’s life. Wealth remains here when our time ends on this earth and cannot help us live on after our time is over. Neither money nor fame. That is why what is important to me is the love of people around me and those whom my art communicates with. My art truly belongs to them, not to me. If people realize how little time we have on this Earth and how precious that time is, they will re-evaluate many things.
- Does art change throughout the years and especially in recent years?
Yes, it has already changed. We have entered the age of digital art where artworks become “avatars” and you live with them along with your feelings. Art communicates different things in different eras. In a short while, art will not be anything like what we know it to be. I would compare it to water, which constantly changes shape and form, and can become liquid, steam, etc. but it always remains H2O.
- Have you admired sculptors who have the tremendous skills to produce life-like human forms?
As a Hellene, I have tremendous admiration for such sculptures of incredible beauty as those by Phidias and Praxiteles. These are ancient sculptures that have become timeless. Art has transported me and others, through time, back to the past but also to look ahead toward the future.
- What kinds of materials do you use?
I produce sculptures with basic materials of our era, aluminum and beverage cans. This is a method that I have developed, patented and that characterizes by artwork since I first developed it in New York City.
- Define the role of an artist in our society.
Art is not a profession, it is a way of life. You never retire when you are an artist but continue creating until you die.
It is a very difficult road and through this, you search deep within yourself, digging deep within yourself for the meaning of life itself.
You might say we are “cursed,” since we are never able to relax but are always searching and moving. You do not choose to be an artist, art finds you. There is no room for egoism or lies. On the contrary, you have to be totally honest with yourself. The artist is not always happy, nor well-known, or successful. Success is determined by the passage of time as your artwork endures.
- Say a few words that could encourage a new artist.
To young artists, I would say to have an open mind, and that inspiration and ideas are what matter and not the creation of the artwork itself.