Through a seamless combination of cartoon-like imagery and dense layers of thick, textural marks, Gerasimos Floratos’s paintings reflect the inner psyche of the city and its denizens—an exercise in exteriorization that, in its visual translation, bridges the terrestrial with the ethereal; figuration with abstraction; and the grotesque with the everyday. Painted quickly and arranged on self-made stretchers, the artist’s canvases present a pulsating and turbulent narrative of street dwellers, performers, commuters, drivers and tourists that, at times, includes himself.
The strong autobiographical component that informs Floratos’s practice is often complemented by a corporeal dimension, with anatomical features such as guts and intestines blending with sneakers, hats and headphones to create hallucinogenic portraits of anonymous figures. This conflation of internal and external body parts, or mind and body, echoes the wider dichotomy between the artist’s highly localized perspective and the globalized world that it reflects. Guided by an autodidact model of creative independence that draws associations to Art Brut, Floratos seeks to capture the elusiveness and immediacy of what it means to be a New Yorker.