Konstantinos Papamichalopoulos, Jinpachi Mishima
The piece Jinpachi Mishima by Konstantinos Papamichalopoulos is a digital print themed after the same-name fictional character of the videogame series Tekken. Papamichalopoulos is a contemporary Greek artist. His conscious oscillation between fine art, Japanese manga and American comics typifies his art overall.
A bold and powerful design
In Jinpachi Mishima Konstantinos Papamichalopoulos works with a strongly graphic idiom. This idiom speaks of the long and successful course of the artist in comics.
The artist very clearly defines a deeply personal universe. The design is simple in its density and surprising with its almost untameable power. It creates a feeling that:
- Forms have their own independent life, as they expand and contract in space.
- Their creator is hesitant to give them a definite, final form before exhausting every last imaginative variation.
The giant Jinpachi
Papamichalopoulos transforms the giant Jinpachi into the ultimate killing machine. He turns him into a regular armoury, in a manner almost surgical in its precision and yet delirious in its ingenuity. He arms the giant with hands that are airplane wings, feet that are battle tanks and a burning beard.
The audience is called to decipher this kaleidoscopic-like composition, as if attempting to put together the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. This slow and arduous effort intensifies the pleasure of the ultimate discovery.
Papamichalopoulos captures these personal visions/nightmares with remarkable energy. He does not only help his audience but himself, too, to realise and control their expanse and dynamics.
In this manner, he truly validates Goethe’s famous quote: “I could not perceive that which I had not depicted” (Was ich nicht gezeichnet habe, habe ich nicht gesehen).
His life in a nutshell
Konstantinos Papamichalopoulos was born in Athens in 1975. He studied Painting at the Athens School of Fine Arts under Rena Papaspyrou. He also attended the Engraving Workshop taught by Michalis Arfaras.
In 2014 he completed a postgraduate programme in Digital Art Forms at the Athens School of Fine Arts. He obtained his PhD from the Department of Communication, Media and Culture, Panteion University. He teaches Painting and Engraving at the Department of Visual Arts and Sciences of Art, University of Ioannina.
Papamichalopoulos embraces and incorporates diverse influences. They start from Piranesi and Japanese prints, and extend to David Hockney and the Nietzschean superheroes of modern videogames.
Papamichalopoulos’ artistic production is diverse in kind and large in quantity. The artist has worked in painting, and also sketching, engraving, comics and illustrations.
One common thread runs consistently through Papamichalopoulos’ work, from his first efforts until today. The common element of his art is the fully conscious oscillation between the forms of fine, formally institutionalised museum art, and the explosive and stylised Japanese manga or the American fantasy comics.
It is this osmosis of different forms of expression and the use of a hybrid form-shaping idiom that reflects this post-modern convention. It is obvious that Papamichalopoulos does not treat the work of art as a static object. Instead, he sees it as a multipotent, multifaceted and constantly changing field.
Collaborations and published works
Konstantinos Papamichalopoulos collaborated with the magazines Babel, MovMag and 9 and the Vivliothiki of Eleftherotypia newspaper.
He also works with the monthly book review Athens Review of Books for which he designs the covers. He is an associate of the Dutch magazine De Groene Amsterdammer and co-founder of White Island Works.
He has published:
- 3 comic books (O Giaponas, 2000, O Giaponas - Deuteronomion, 2009, and Epilarchia!, 2011).
- 3 painting books in 2015 (Après Dubuffet, Après Tanguy and Biomorphic).
A young artist with a strong presence
Papamichalopoulos has been honoured with the Jannis and Zoe Spyropoulou Foundation award (1998) and has been awarded scholarships from the State Scholarships Foundation (2004-2006) and the Propondis Public Welfare Foundation (2006-2008).
He has presented his work in numerous solo and group exhibitions.
Videogame characters at the forefront
The piece Jinpachi Mishima by Konstantinos Papamichalopoulos is one of the many studies of the artist for the Great Golden Room. It is a piece he has been working on since 2008-2009.
The theme of the piece is the same-named character of the videogame series Tekken. The superheroes of modern videogames are among Papamichalopoulos’ most significant influences. This holds true for the mighty figure of Jinpachi Mishima depicted in this piece of the Alpha Bank Art Collection.
The representation of violence
It is not the first time that the demonisation and cruelty of such futuristic human-like figures caught the interest of the artist. His older works, such as the sequence of the “Giants made of Cement” and the “Homage to G. Viziinos” echo:
- The obsession with the aestheticisation of violence.
- The representation of the horrendous and the unworldly, which is free from any idealisation.