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Total Art

One Hundred Days Of Spring
Painting - Poetry: Dimitris Chiotopoulos
Music: Mimis Plessas

Feel Of The Colours
Painting - Poetry: Dimitris Chiotopoulos
Music: Mimis Plessas

Contemplation and search: all the arts (poetry, painting, sculpture, music, dance,architecture) move in a frame where ideas are particularized via the senses (as colour, surface, sound, rhythm, movement, mass), in a search for a formal perfection.
The correspondence of the arts yields the possibility of having a multidimensional art, “Total Art”, in which all the individual arts are linked into a unified synthesis.
The “Total Work of Art” that emerges from this synthesis is not an outcome, but a ceaseless process in the course of which personal and collective ego assert their existence in the person of the artist - contemplator.

Dimitris Chiotopoulos
Painter - Poet
November 2000

Only faith, I think, is able, and only when it reaches fanaticism, to shed light on the paths to follow! For all the arts it seems to me that what COMPLETENESS and a SERIOUS APPROACH DEMAND is achievements that impress by being different.
My closest parallel would be from mathematics, where we have Set Theory and the differential equations that are used to sort out the problems that arise when close to the boundary of truth.
MUSIC IS THE ONE art that is in the uniquely privileged position of having no need of WORDS - words in the sense of logic - in order to make herself understood. To achieve oneness, she communicates at the level of the unconscious.
Any attempt to make logical sense of this function is bound to generate fascinating movements and to enrich others - both students and opponents - at the same time as it enriches itself.
In the paintings and poetry of Dimitris Chiotopoulos, one often feels that the beginning comes close to the end, and the end close to a new beginning.
The motifs of his work remind me of fractal curves; the only thing being that his insistence on repeating them is no mere mannerism but conceals subsets, while all the time trying to arrive at a Total Art. Like a fascinating movement: approach, all ye faithful. There is no elitism, no entrenched meanness of spirit.
For me, the motifs in this book, showing as they do the influence of Dimitris’ images and poems, are, it may be, a path for us to get close to our friend the poet and painter’s concept of art as a while.
Hear, all ye faithful...

Mimis Plessas
October 2010

Any young musician could have no greater ambition than to work with a composer and jazzman who has written ninety works for the theatre and a hundred and seven film scores, and whose works are a substantial part of Greek popular style, an inseparable part of modern Greek music, historically speaking.
While I was doing the studio work on this project, I realized that the Master knew right from the outset just what he wanted to achieve with the broader aim of his take on Total Art.
What he was always trying to do was to help it along from his own musical point of view so that it matched and sounded as authentic as possible. We wrote notes down, rubbed them out, added more notes, tested them out, and lo and behold, all the work we’d put in was justified! So a big thank you to the ‘school’ I graduated from, and my best wishes to my revered ‘teacher’.
And to all true artists - keep at it!
If a true artist strikes lucky, he can make a reputation and win public acceptance, I believe; but what is certain is that he is doomed to a never - ending quest.

Alexandros Avlitis
Writer on music
November 2010

The first person to dream of a unified art was the French philosopher and student of aesthetics, Etienne Souriau, in his book ‘La Correspondance des Arts’ (1947).
Dimitris Chiotopoulos has made unified art a reality. Starting with poetry and the plastic arts, he has inspired the distinguished Greek composer Mimis Plessas to clothe these in music and movement, thus building up a perfect, challenging art form of a distinctive sort, as accessible to a general public as to the cognoscenti. An attempt - a fearless attempt - of this nature can only be made where conditions ensure high quality inspiration and execution; in other words, a high degree of technical skill that is not often achieved.
Otherwise the bold try will end up as a failure, because it is of insufficient quality. Hence there is continuous need for a lift in the aesthetic critical faculty of the average public, to say nothing of the artistic factors that drive the composer.
Only so can there be a lift in the artistic level, and in the cultural level generally, of societies where this level has, in our own time, been cheapened, with a consequent collapse in moral values.
What is sure is that Dimitris Chiotopoulos will continue to work at this ideal.

E. Moutsopoulos
Professor of Philosophy
December 2010

...Nothing is more obvious than the existence of an affinity between the arts. Painters, sculptors, musicians, poets, they are all raised in the same temple. They are serving, if not the same god, at least similar divinities. Brotherhood of the Muses, companionship of the artists, either they are handling the chisel or the pen, the paint brush or the archet, unity of genius of any kind, so many themes for an easy development...

...Poetry, architecture, dance, music, sculpture, painting, so many activities that, without a doubt, they are profoundly communicating or communing...

Etienne Souriau, “The correspondence of arts”,
editions Flammarion, 1947

...As long-drawn echoes mingle and transfuse
Till in a deep, dark unison they swoon,
Vast as the night or as the vault of noon -
So are commingled perfumes, sounds, and hues...

Roy Campbell, Poems of Baudelaire (New York: Pantheon Books, 1952)

...Ut pictura, poesis: erit, quae, si propius stes,
te capiat magis, et quaedam, si longius abstes;
haec amat obscurum, uolet haec sub luce uideri,
iudicis argutum, quae non formidat acumen;
haec placuit semel, haec deciens placebit...

...Poetry is like a painting: it is different when you are up close,
it will attract you more, and different again when you stand further away.
This one loves the shade, that one wants in the light to be seen,
since it fears not the acumen of the cognoscenti;
this one pleased once only, another will please even after ten views...

Quintus Horatius Flaccus
Book commonly called
Poetic Art
Introduction, translation into Greek and comments G.N. Giatromanolakis
Pub. Institute of the Book - A. Kardamitsas, 2009

...Calling imitation to the Sophist what to us is Fine Arts, does not mean the loyal and servile subjection to the external object or event, but that he believes that this constitutes the original standard that the imitator wants to express with colour and form, sound or speech. However, this interpretation is based on subjective powers and rules, which, however much they may be influenced by or may be dependent on the objective world, they still have their own nomotely1, well, self-sufficiency...

Manolis Andronikos
Plato and Art. The Platonic views about beauty and the fine arts
Pub. Nefeli, 1986

...The Muses, according to Hesiod’s testimony, have been singing divine melodies and hymns to Zeus and also to other Gods since their birth..

…Their names, which are mentioned for the first time by Hesiod, are Kleio, Euterpe, Thaleia, Melpomene, Terpsichore, Polyhymnia, Ourania and finally Kalliope, the most significant one of all, according to Hesiod. She is the escort of the hegemons, since, as the preeminent Muse of both Poetry and Epic poetry, she lauds their polemic feats. Homer also, it could be said, refers to Kalliope, when he invokes her by using the singular number, to praise the renown of the Iliad and Odyssey, although in the time of Homer the homophron1 Muses perhaps functioned as one. Herodotus, the father of history, will also name them in the Hesiodean order 200 years later...

...The Muses are homophron, according to Hesiod, and acted as one. The correlation for each one separately with one kind of Art seems to have happened (or at least was completed) later, although Hesiod’s reference to Kalliope (ἡ γὰρ καὶ βασιλεῦσιν ἅμ᾽ αἰδοίοισιν ὀπηδεῖ - because she also escorts venerable kings), probably indicates her relation with epic poetry and the heroic feats of the earlier hegemons...

Efie Poulaki - Pantermali

Art - Luck - Boldness, yes, indeed! Art, since, rightly or wrongly, we want to give an outlet to the Pythian spark, that can hardly wait to become Word and lead the way to a new assessment of the world; and Luck, since this is the one that will blend colours and shapes, smells and sounds, our heart and the heart of the Universe into one point, the lyrical point we are dreaming of; and Boldness, since the destiny of each correct step in this society is destined to leave behind blood, smoke, and tears...

Odysseus Elytis
Open Papers
Pub. Ikaros, 3rd edition, Athens 1987

I approach art as another way of writing poetry. Of course, the materials of these two kinds of Art are different, but their expression starts from the same point...

...The exciting element of painting is its ability to imprint and solidify images that by nature are fluid, only to liquefy them later in its own way. Art functions unforeseeably, often surpassing any pre-planning, just as in poetry one word helps another and their mixing them leads to a discovery.

Yiannis Ritsos
Interview in the periodical “The word”, no. 8
October 1981

As a humble medical research scientist, deeply engaged in the fight against various maladies that plague humanity, I cannot match my rudimentary concepts and definitions of Total Art with those beautifully formulated by the great composer Mimis Plessas, the brilliant painter-poet Dimitris Chiotopoulos and other illustrious artists. I can only express my admiration for Total Art, because it provides enormous intellectual pleasure to mankind. Thus, the music of Mimis Plessas and the brushstrokes of Dimitris Chiotopoulos certainly have this magic.

Andrew V. Schally
Nobel Prize in Medicine for 1977
March 2014

Each one of us has a special way of expressing themselves. With his dual facility for poetry and painting, Dimitris Chiotopoulos tries to make clear the universality of art, which he sees as a totality embracing every individual art form and every specific facet of it.
He has already begun to fill in the gaps, with Mimis Plessas’ music, and with a challenge to all unknown creators, giving them a chance to establish themselves in an open world constantly being added to.

Dimitris Mytaras
Academician - Painter
January 2011

Total Art? What does total art mean? Without doubt it means an art that presents, confronts and expresses all the forms and expressions of contemporary art.
It pursues and manages to reveal to us the nature and directions of the contemporary artistic creation. Not only in its different trends, but also in its intrinsic and timeless content.
It is not representational or abstract, expressionistic or surrealistic, geometric or simply based on strict components.
And all this is better understood by studying somewhat carefully the paintings of Dimitris Chiotopoulos which are often accompanied by verses that among other considerations demonstrate the extent and depth of his pursuits. Because his painting is based on what it says in the title of his catalogue “Feel Of The Colours”. Because in reality his painting creations are not so much based on their expressionistic character or on their descriptive values but almost exclusively on the feel of the colours, on the way they affect our senses, colours that evoke tactile, not just visual reactions. Thus vertical and diagonal themes, horizontal and curved elements acquire a rich and comprehensive voice.
Indeed, what is most impressive is the manner in which Chiotopoulos manages to give
a purely poetic character in his painting language and one could say that his painting is poetry in colours and his poetry consists of colour references with an extraordinary content.
Sometimes with accented colours and sometimes in low tones a multidimensional voice is imposed that will not leave the viewer indifferent. Chiotopoulos does not intend to surprise or to compel the viewer to answer the questions raised by his work as much as to show him that there is something else beyond what he already knows. He aims to give him the opportunity to meditate and seek answers to problems beyond the known and
established answers.
These are works in the spirit and are part of the Total Art that he practices continuously and consistently. Thereby with his artistic creation he manages to make us partakers of
his intentions and admirers of his expressions. And perhaps the most striking feature of
his efforts, as a painter and poet, is the quality and the soulful truth of his expressions.

Chrysanthos Christou
Academician - Art Historian
October 2013