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MARIA AND STELLA
an illustrated Lesbo-Western by Angelos Spartalis
ATHENS VOICE BOOKS, May 2022
224 pages (all colour), 19 x 14 cm
ISBN 978-960-9515-26-9

 

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INTRODUCTION

Maria, the timid daughter of a major-general, and high school senior in a Greek provincial town at the end of the 1980s, is in love with her childhood friend and classmate, the tempestuous Stella. Alarmed by small-town gossip, the major-general hurriedly forces his daughter into an engagement to a trusted subordinate officer. Straight after graduation, he sees that Maria gets married and swiftly sends her off to Athens. Stella, violently separated from her beloved Maria, burns all bridges and escapes to study in the colourful Netherlands. A chance encounter between Maria and Stella seven years later in Amsterdam at the Van Gogh Museum is where our story begins.  

CONCEPT

A draft of a contemporary tragedy or the storyboard for a film, the fragmentary story of Maria and Stella by Angelos Spartalis is a kind of a contemporary less elegant Romeo and Juliet. Structured and numbered in the manner of Wittgensteins Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus and of the unfinished poem Woman of Zakynthos by the national poet of Greece Dionysios Solomos, this is not a compact, well-rounded rhythmical narrative. There is no literary pretence in this anarchically illustrated hybrid Lesbo-Western. All in your face!

 

 

ABOUT THE WORK

I wrote Maria and Stella during the summer of 2021 in Crete, in my estate in Vathy, near Agios Nikolaos. The philologist Elpida Grigoraki and the graphic designer Manos Siganos offered valuable assistance. From the first draft until the completed version, the book was read and aptly commented on by a number of loyal friends and collaborators (well, they also did say a lot of nonsense that I chose to forget). I would like to thank Layia Giourgou, Irena Oikonomou, Amaryllis, Annie Shiradze, Voula Kokolaki, Erato Kapetanaki, Evi Lazoura, Theodora Samara, Nikolas Tavlas.

I illustrated the work while I was writing it, in a way that the images were often the inspiration for the text rather than the other way around. Thus, I found myself oscillating between illustrating the text and putting illustration into words, something I found as amusing as being on a seesaw, or even more. I painted the images with oil colours on Hahnemühle paper 310 gr or Royal Talens paper 240 gr size 30x40cm. The paper was often prepared with acrylic sizing. All works are signed at the back. Invaluable help during the illustration was offered by Mara Apostolaki, Daniela Cazanu, Marianna Ghika, Nadia Spartali and Dimitra Spartali. The images were photographed by Giannis Bousdoglou and Angela Svoronou.

In addition to all the treasured friends I already mentioned, I also wholeheartedly would like to thank Yiannis Nenes, Yiannis Flaskis, Nikos Georgoulakis, Giorgos Tzanakis, Stelios Kteniadakis, Sofia Charalampous, Maristella Papadaki, Nikolas Askordalakis, Giorgos Drakonakis, Eleni Apostolaki, Maria Zoumaki, Panagiotis Garefalakis.

Angelos Spartalis

 

 



10 of the 97 illustrations of the book

 

 

BIO

Angelos Spartalis is a painter and cinematographer. He grew up in Crete, Greece and Dusseldorf, Germany. He holds a Degree from the National Technical University of Athens (Mechanical Engineering-Aeronautics).

Among other awards and distinctions he has won the Innovation & Digital Effects Award from the Hellenic Film Academy (2014) as well as the Golden Digital Alexander Award and the Fischer Audience Award at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival (2008). In 2014, he was selected to represent Titanium Yiayiannos Gallery at the ART ATHINA International Contemporary Art Fair with his solo exhibition Christ Re-crucified curated by the art historian and NKUA Professor Dr Manos Stefanidis. In 2015, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Crete and the Cultural Organisation of the Municipality of Agios Nikolaos co-organised his solo exhibition The Apology of Socrates in Kaufbeuren curated by the Museums director Maria Maragkou.

He lives in Exarchia, Athens and in Agios Nikolaos, Crete.

INFORMATION - CREDITS

Copyright 2022 ATHENS VOICE
1st edition: May 2022
Series: Litterature
Series supervisor: Angeliki Birbili
Editor: Fotis Georgeles

Writing - Illustration: Angelos Spartalis

Illustration Assistants: Mara Apostolaki, Daniela Kazanu, Marianna Ghika, Nadia Spartali and Dimitra Spartali.

Consultants to the author: Elpida Grigoraki, Manos Siganos
Photographs of works: Angela Svoronou, Giannis Bousdoglou
Music in video banners: Antonis Papaspyros (OBLIVION)

Technical editor - Proofreader: Konstantina Tsiaga
Cover design: Manos Siganos
Artistic director: Konstantina Vlachopoulou

Translation: Sofia Charalampous

 

LINKS

       The cover of the book   2D   *   3D

       Video banner of the book   Landscape   *   Portrait   *   GIF

 

       The book presentation in Athens   Article   *   video

       The book presentation in Crete   video

       Athens Voice Books Editions


       Angelos Spartalis