‘They're Iike historical mind-maps. The artist’s job is to pull people in. To get into their heads and take them on a journey.’
— George Raftopoulos
Recreation, storytelling and memory are central processes that underpin the painting practice of George Raftopoulos. Visceral and intuitive, his canvases reflect a highly gestural application of paint. As Barbara Dowse states, ‘His style is narrative. His paintings are unstructured in the way of a dialogue and develop like a visual ‘yarn’ as in Plato and his mates.’ With urgency and motion, Raftopoulos conveys his experiences, utilising a highly contemporary colour palette, often punctuated by deep blues and vibrant yellows.
Raftopoulos communicates his narrative style through layers of paint. This layering builds like a dialogue with the surface of the canvas, demonstrating both urgency and fluidity through his painterly interrogations of concepts such as the ‘romantic’ and the ‘heroic’. Not only does Raftopoulos speak to myth-making and history through the depth and materiality of his paintings, but he mediates the personal through broader universal concepts. Interrogating the contemporary condition, Raftopoulos inhabits the role of storyteller, expressing his worldly observations through an almost fable-like visual language.