Iconography today, as an art and as a vital approach to our faith, its course throughout the modern world and its perspective, is something that concerns me as a human being serving this art. The knowledge of tradition as well as of the techniques of the great masters of iconography in the past, constitute for me the basis and the motive to further personal progress. What is most important for me as an iconographer is to conceive the tragic life of a Saint whom I paint and try to transfer it to the expression of his face and body so that the result would state that the depicted person is a sanctified form of human life. Only in this way does the art of iconography become interesting. Otherwise, it contradicts its very purpose when it merely copies older prototypes and techniques under the pretext that it maintains the historic character of iconography. Like every other form of art, iconography has to follow the demands of its time, which means to represent, collect and realize the spiritual, social and personal needs of contemporary people. If something has saved or will save iconography as an art, it is the adaptation of its technique and of its messages to the changing needs not only of individuals, but also of society as a whole, without affecting its religious and social character. Each one of us needs to realize that iconography is not just a worship medium but it is also ART, which means that each artist must be primarily concerned with aesthetics and artistic details rather than just confine himself to copying old prototypes. He who will manage to combine all the above and apply them in his work creatively will begin to pave a personal way of expression, or at least he will have set a new target to that direction, which is one of the most important, if not the single most important qualities of a conscientious artist. I firmly believe this and in my work I try as much as I can to fulfill such a difficult task. Iconographer Sotirios Panailidis
Biography: 1991 graduated from the Lyceum in Katerini after specializing in Applied Arts. 1992 as the best student from the County of Pieria got the scholarship to attended courses of specialization in Graphics and Applied Arts in Thessaloniki. 1992 he left for the Holy Mountain where he attended courses of iconography for two years, by father Arsenius (kellion St. Nicholas Burazery) and father Kallistos Polatidis (kellion Saint Metrophanous Kaspala)
Site: Orthodox Byzantine Art
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