2014 Vandalism as a source of inspiration


An exhibition by Costas Tsoclis on the theme of the Cross

According to the artist, his new exhibition, 'Vandalism as a source of inspiration', is 'an attempt at redemption after the double act of vandalism committed last year on Spinalonga', following the completion of the event 'TSOCLIS: you, the last leper'. It refers to the theft of thirteen mounted drawings that he had given to the island as a memento of the event, and to the destruction of his work 'Exploding Cross', which was a votive offering to the hundreds of anonymous lepers who spent their wretched lives and died on the inhospitable desert island.

He had made the Cross'in situ' with general approval and enthusiasm, without anyone being able to foresee its fate. Unfortunately the work, as the artist says 'instead of being protected, was sacrificed on the altar of worship of the past, of lust after stereotypes, and of blind obstinacy. It's a shame that so much labour and so much danger involved in the construction and mounting, so much money spent, so much mutual love, was lost! But above all it's a sad misfortune for the island, that yet another page was torn from its turbulent history. I tried,' says Tsoclis, 'but I wasn't able to save it.'


These new works were created as a replacement for those that were lost, destroyed, and stolen. It is a series of mixed-media paintings in which the artist sees his work – the Cross – as a living organism that symbolically suffers the same anguish as the artist when he cannot be appreciated by his contemporaries and, in the end is destroyed. No work of Art has ever been found in the rubbish bin. Such a thing is sacrilege for Art itself, not only for a work by a recognised artist but for the work of even the most insignificant or the least talented.


Art includes the import of the human sensibility that created it. It is inconceivable that it might be destroyed! Fortunately, on a world-wide level the responsible authorities are aware that the Art of yesterday, the Art of today, and the Art of tomorrow can and must co-exist. They are part of History and the common reality of a place, as well as monuments for the coming generations.