Mural of the murdered husky Oliver in Kallithea – Interview with artist Madpitt

10 13

Since the day I learned of Oliver's abuse and violent death, I haven't been able to look at the husky's beautiful face in the photos without feeling the need to emotionally withdraw and shield myself from the horror by putting up a wall, almost paralysing.

The first time I allowed myself to feel anything in relation to the violent incident in Arachova was when I saw the wonderful Oliver graffiti adorning Kallithea's marina by the artist Madpitt. Madpitt is a painting teacher and was driven to create the mural with the electric blue background by his love of animals and the need to inspire his students.

With his visual intervention that Athens so needs, Madpitt does not let us forget Oliver. It makes him a part of the daily life of all the pedestrians and drivers who pass through the area to go to work, immortalising the beauty and innocence of the deceased animal permanently.

Topetmou asked Madpitt his opinion on the importance of art in social change and the needs of his students today.

Can we resist the darkness through art? What do you think is the role of artists in facing serious social issues?

Through the art of painting, we can resist the darkness and, on the other hand, completely immerse ourselves in it.

Painting has the ability to speak to everyone individually; a painting that captures our attentio, expands our imagination, always stays in our minds, and promotes the mental agility of the brain.

Therefore, because painting is a form of language for me, I believe that a painter with excellent technical knowledge can affect the viewer very negatively or very positively; it depends on the degree of identification of the viewer with the work and the emotional state in which the viewer is viewer.

Consider that colours alone evoke emotions, amounting to a well-executed work.

I cannot give a clear answer about the role of artists towards serious social issues, because I cannot identify a specific role alone. Each artist has the free will to either cause joy or anger, or impress with a bold move.

I personally act with my feeling and paint motivated by it, without wanting to take a position or a role in serious social issues. However if I am faced with them, my intention is to make the viewer feel good regardless of the gravity of the situation.

Looking at your students, what do you think today's kids need? What are they missing?

Very nice question, after 4 years of teaching painting, experiencing 300 or so personalities, I believe they are missing something they have in abundance. They miss the images, but not those images that are in digital form. Images of the real world.

The digital world has a serious impact on psychology, especially on young children, it spreads wrong knowledge about everything, pessimism and idle thinking. So much information does not help a young person's imagination, it causes confusion.

Let us not forget that the greatest development in the arts took place when there were few images.

Oliver's mistake was that he was a dog. And the life of dogs, like all animals, has no value.
So what young children lack is isolation from the digital world and not from everyday life and life.

Where do you think we stand in our country on animal rights?

I believe that in addition to the dysfunctional state organisations, in our country there is enormous activity and human resources in animal charities. Which makes me happy.

However I am strongly opposed to the domestication and humanisation of wild animals, I am referring to wildlife theme parks.

I strongly believe that the rights of wild animals should be enshrined in the Constitution as separate entities, protected by it and benefited on the basis of the rights of nature.

Stella Panopoulou is a columnist for To Pet Mou

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