It was a brilliant sunny day in Athens when Angelos called me and asked me to take on his styling for a shooting he had for Screw Magazine, with the very talented George Striftaris.
I opened my erstwhile wondrous stock and gave him a pair of white cowboy boots to match with a gorgeous vintage wedding gown. Andreas would be the groom and the location was TAF – The Art Foundation in the center of Athens (a gallery bar built into the ruins of a castled Athenian mansion ).
Of course I joined Angelos for the shooting and had my first contact with this man that his lens catches my eye ever since.
BBB : Your professional background is directly related to advertising. How have you managed to combine this part of yours with your artistic side?
GS : Good question. I took great care of it and I managed to organize all my activities under my artistic status. In fact, I’m dealing professionally with advertising for several years and from the position of the casting director I have enough freedom to be creative, setting my own filters. To be completely honest, you can find really beautiful things in advertising, especially when it is not commercial… it can end up to be a really constructive process. Also, in advertising one invests and learns from the arts, otherwise there is no much to say…
BBB : Your art could be described as anthropocentric. Which side of the man is the most exciting for you?
GS : The hidden, the dark side... This inner side of yours that makes you put more and more effort into finding out more about yourself, without any pretense or -let’s say- ornaments.
BBB : Each man has two sides or do you believe that these two sides are harmoniously united in one? Which is your opinion in social terms?
GS : The Man -no matter the gender- is a helpless being with as many faces as he can be entertained by but yet stand. He has the right to enjoy the aromas and colors of life till their expiration date. The society is consisted of small, undefined masses, which are struggling to get reinforced by imposing their controlling perceptions. The society is accommodated in this falsehood, but, fortunately, life often has its own plan…
BBB : Did your status as an actor change the way you see faces?
GS : Being an actor changed my way of perceiving the world. The more I go under the surface, the closer I get to the core of my own New World. Thus, random everyday faces which are present in my everyday life and work become something more... They become my own heroes.
BBB : You have done several covers for Fagmagazine and Screw. Which are the best experiences made out of this cooperation?
GS : Yes, I've done many and some of them are among my favorite works... For Screw I've done all the covers, starting from the 21st till its 30th and last issue. In my opinion, Screw has a really strong team in which I was integrated in a direct and generous way. I've done almost all the interviews and the "guy of the month" was one of the main photographic columns. Then, it came Fagmagazine, same group, but only 9 issues due to the economic crisis. Once again I took care of the covers, interviews etc. We didn’t have the intention to flatter our readership, we confronted respectability with anarchy. Both the material and the front cover were highly politicized, even aggressive towards our readers. It wasn’t easy at all to keep the balance. This experience of imposing each month your inspiration on your personality, the uncertainty about the results of your work, the acknowledgement of the readers, the desire and the anxiety for the next one, every single part of my work was a valuable experience. This need to get better and better all the time and to free your imagination... it is very exciting. The Queer audience was expecting our new issues, setting each time the bar even higher. Without even realizing it, our front cover became a traveling exhibition in progress. During these two years (2010-12), of course there were times of tension between us, mostly about the quality of our work. What else to ask for?! I suffered of course some economic hardships, but nothing is compared to this experience.
BBB : And what about the future?
GS : I continue to work with my obsessions. I also make a huge effort to enjoy my present life, because this is all I have by my side at the moment. Recently, I published my photo album PHOSPHORUS which is by far my best and most complete work. I am very happy and glad to see many people embracing it, but I'm at the same time charged with the duty to introduce and recommend it to an even greater audience.