Parallel to the physical solo exhibition of Dimitirs Dokos at The Blender Gallery titled “Alphabet”, the homonymous virtual tour is launched on Artsy. The new series of the artist includes 26 wall pieces with his characteristic hieroglyphic designs, presented in a more "individualistic" way, as well as floor sculptures that create an imposing play of shadows.
Dimitris Dokos takes us on a journey back at the beginning of his linguistic labyrinths.
Dimitris Dokos was introduced in the Greek art scene as a street artist deeply influenced by the symbols of ancient Egypt, at first with the motif of the scarab preoccupying his practise and then at a later stage with his famous hieroglyphs taking over his compositions. The artist works mainly with acrylics and oils in bright colors. What is striking is that most of the symbols are not repeated on the surface he has chosen to work on, be it a canvas, a car, a wall or a mirror. One symbol follows the other, therefore unfolding a mysterious papyrus, a cryptic letter, a coded diary the symbols of which are interpreted through the eyes of each viewer. The peculiarity of Ntoko’s new series is that each ideogram is isolated in the square composition of the canvas, in contrast to previous series where the ideograms flood the surface, one after the other. Those who have been following Ntokos since the beginning of his career experience a shift of focus on his part from the story to the letter. As if looking through the magnifying glass at his older works, the viewers are invited to investigate thoroughly the form of each letter, the details of the original "texts". They find themselves observing the very beginning of Dimitris Ntokos’ linguistic labyrinth. If more than two works are placed next to each other, in a horizontal or vertical arrangement, a story unfolds on the walls, a story that was once found within the boundaries of the canvas. Through his new exhibition "Alphabet", the artist turns our gaze to the "beginning" of his characteristic artistic identity and reveals to us that each of the symbols is a letter and that its alphabet consists of 26 letters. There are alphabets with more letters, with different characters, with a strange writing direction, with specific ways of imprinting, even particular writing tools. But there are also alphabets like Ntokos’ hieroglyphs that are not decoded. Each representation hides a letter from the Latin alphabet without expressing a note or a syllable. Whether each of them represents a whole concept, retelling a story, remains an open question.
Even though he is self-taught, Dimitris Ntokos has participated in a number of solo and group shows, as well as art fairs, both in Greece and abroad, since 2011. Born in 1984, he lives and works in Athens. He is a graduate of the Department of Graphic Design and Architectural Design where he has worked for six consecutive years. In 2017 he was a speaker at the Art History Week held at the College of Athens, while his last solo exhibition abroad was in 2019 in Palermo, Italy.
Installation shots from the Alphabet show at The Blender Gallery