22 Questions with Alexis Kyriak
1. Name: Alexis Kyriak
2. Age: 70
3. Hometown: Vermont
4. How would you describe yourself in three words? Always at work
5. What’s something not a lot of people know about you? I don’t know what people don’t know
6. How do you start your day? I manage to get out of bed. Then I head for the refrigerator, and then I take a shower and my studio is in the bedroom so it’s one of the first things I see when I wake up.
7. What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done in your life? I headed for Greece without my medication.
8. What’s your favorite food? Oranges. (If it’s edible I’ll eat it.)
9. Do you have a day job? No I don’t, my work is the art totally.
10. What medium do you work in? Pastel, graphite, acrylic and fiber.
11. Why this medium? I was taught embroidery as a young child. The colors of the pastels and the texture of the pastels I love.
12. What inspired you / how did it start? From 4 years of age we knew what I was. For 30 years I’ve worked at it and just now permitting myself to think of myself as an artist.
13. Do you have a process for creating? I have a blank canvas and I will make arcs, an arc at the top of the canvas and an arc at the bottom, juxtaposed to each other and looking for an image, it’s always the female nude. Once I have an outline I go for dark and light. Mass. And then the painting just happens. The arc is my prayer. It’s an invocation.
14. When are you the most inspired / what’s your favorite time of day to work? Nighttime.
15. Which artists inspire you? Cezanne, Matisse, Van Gogh, I do not like Duchamp. He was arrogant. He opened Pandora’s box with his urinal. He opened up what I call negating the negation. Anti-beauty. His work is beautiful, much of it but that urinal just stands in my mind. That and also Koons and that small porcelain knick-knack that he made of Michael Jackson and his monkey Bubbles that sold for like five million dollars.
16. What do you listen to when you work? When I do listen it’s Copeland and Joni Mitchell and Leonard Bernstein.
17. What are your thoughts on being an artist in Rutland? I participated in Art in the Park several times. It’s wonderful that it’s there.
18. What’s your earliest memory of making art in Rutland? Art in the Park and the excitement thereof and the possibility of sales and of meeting others and the community.
19. Why do you think artists are attracted to Rutland/Vermont? It’s liberal. I very often feel that this is the culmination of the 60s and I’m a child of the 60s. I was 12 and 13 when the Beatles hit and LSD and I said that’s for me. I came to Montpelier and about a year ago but I lived in Northfield for ten years. I’ve never seen so much grey hair in all my life. All us old hippies have come to roost and it’s like the fulfillment of the 60s.
20. Which arts organizations in town are you involved with and how has it impacted you? (Being a) member of the Chaffee, there’s someplace to go to where I can be seen
21. What’s your favorite art exhibit/project you’ve seen in Rutland? I think the Art in the Park and the Chaffee itself.
22. What would you like to see for the future of the arts in Rutland? Community. A real sharing. Collaboration.
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