Stelios Faitakis

[
ATHENS, GREECE
]

One of the remarkable murals...

at the Wynwood Walls center is Stelios Faitakis' Allegory of Florida. The Greek artist's detailed work takes us back through history in its visual connection to classical frescoes, Byzantine art and the Middle Ages. With its socio-political undertones, we could even make a connection to Mexican Muralism from the early 20th century—with a twist. Here the icons are not saints or religious characters, nor are they political figures. The mural portrays contemporary characters such as the half-naked prostitute and the movements of everyman to reflect society today.

Before Stelios developed this virtuosic and complex narrative style, he spent time painting quick pieces in the street, using the graffiti name BIZARE. "I loved the fact that being an outdoor artist makes you witness so many unexpected, funny and weird episodes that take place in your city. You have many stories to tell after every painting raid." Stelios' stories no doubt come from his personal observations including those he gets from the news and informing himself about the world. The Wynwood Walls project gave him a chance to travel to the United States for the first time, and he based his mural on his impressions about American society and culture. He is fascinated by the interpretations that you as the viewer could make about it.

Coming to Wynwood, Stelios was excited to paint with people who had influenced his art. He knew FUTURA from Martha Cooper's Subway Art book; he also followed Shepard Fairey's work, and he had met Os Gemeos in Greece after seeing a magazine article about their art. His first-hand experience being in the US, finally, was mixed. While he was distressed to see signs of collapse in American society, he was very happy to meet great people whom he admired. That his brother was able to accompany and help him with the wall, along with the great working conditions provided by the Goldman team, made the trip even more special.