An Interview with Yanni Floros [Part 1]

Day 9 and we bring you the first part of our interview with Australian artist, Yanni Floros. Part 2 out soon!

Lemonade Magazine: For those who aren’t aware of you or your art could you give us a brief introduction?

Yanni Floros: I’m an artist based in Adelaide, Australia. I’ve been doing art professionally now for about 18 months. I went to the National art school in Sydney and graduated as a sculpture major. I’m working primarily with charcoal at the moment but also paint and sculpt. I’m interested in the way we use what we make but also the process of how we get there.

LM: Who or what inspired you to start drawing?

YF: I’ve always been drawing. Growing up, I would leave it and always come back to it. It was just a fast and direct way to convey ideas. It’s the first form of art that everyone becomes familiar with whether they become artists or not.

LM: You graduated as a sculpture major from Art School, what inspired you to make the switch from sculpture to charcoal drawing? Or do you see a connection between the two?

YF: There never really was a switch; I always draw no matter what medium I’m presently working in. I work in charcoal these days because drawing has been a strong point for me and I wanted to see just how far I could push it.

Definitely a connection is present. It is beneficial to practice many different disciplines because they all help each other in the end. I’ve learned a lot about painting through my drawing and a lot of my drawing through my sculpture.

LM: Do you think that your education in sculpture helped you with your ability to create the highly detailed and anatomically sound drawings that you do?

YF: Yes. Sculpture helps you think in a way that is not just illusionary but physical. That is a very strong combination. You’re not just thinking about the way that a Jacket or hair looks, but also the body underneath it, whether visible or not.

LM: How did you find your time at University? Did it help you become the artist you are today?

YF: Yes and no. At times art school was difficult. I know successful artists that didn’t go to any art school. If you’re not ready for it then it could be very hard. I failed art school the first time around. I took a year off and practiced a lot and applied again the year after. I completed my degree but it was some years before I started doing art again.

LM: You have taken part in many exhibitions across Australia, Can you tell us a little about your first exhibition, post University, and the work you chose to exhibit.

YF: The first exhibition I had after art school was my metal sculpture exhibition. I was a small exhibition at a gallery in Sydney. They were architecturally based with influences from architects Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier and others. Examples can be seen on my website. It was tough and a little scary, the sculptures are very different from my drawings and I was a little concerned about how they would be received. The next was my recent exhibition in July at Lethbridge gallery which was 2 years later.


LM: For me, the work that really stands out in your portfolio is your ‘DJ Girl’ series. Could you tell us a little about the creative process, what inspired the series and where you plan to take it in the future?

YF: Those DJ girls are very personal. I started drawing them at tough time for me at the beginning of 2011. There is a hidden meaning in them masked by this unobtainable beauty which is distracting. The very first one ‘Hear No Evil’ was the last of the ‘Heads’ series which included the fire fighter, scuba diver and others. They were fun and interesting to draw so I made a series out of them. I wanted to represent a DJ and music but didn’t want to use a male in a male dominated industry. The models I chose are usually my friends and sometimes strangers I find interesting. The series has evolved quite a bit since the first and I have ideas for where I want it to go. You’ll have to wait and see…


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