Níkos Aliágas
Art Market|Issue #51. September 2020
Sharing the story behind his latest exhibition in cannes.
José Jeuland

Thalassa People of the Sea

A unique photography collection exhibited at the open-air Boulevard de la Croisette, Cannes. JUNE TO SEPTEMBER 2020.

Art Market Magazine: Hello, Níkos! First, I'd like to thank you for taking the time to talk to us. Here's what I know about you; You were born in Paris, and you are a French with Greek origins. You are a renowned figure on French TV and in France and Greece altogether. Having started your career as a journalist in 1993, you've gone beyond the profession's traditional boundaries and on to being a Radio presenter, writer, host and a producer. Have I missed anything?

Níkos Aliágas Nope, you've got them right! I would consider myself to be a curious man. I have had many interests along the way.

I don't believe in just having one job at any one time, and I enjoy exploring various activities. I've also always been into photography.

A.M.: You are very engaged with the Greek culture. In the past few years, you were awarded several important awards, including the MEDIA award given to those who stood in the field of communication for their invaluable offer in the spread of Greek culture and the diffusion of the Greek ideas, values , and spirit worldwide. In 2019 your work was exhibited at Christie's France with over thirty photographs for sale. You just came back from Cannes, where a significant collection is shown at the open-air Boulevard de la Croisette.

Can you tell us about this unique exhibition, Thalassa- PEOPLE OF THE SEA in Cannes?

N. A.: I frequently connected with strangers, and I knew I had to realize the experience that came by. I may or may not had taken pictures during these experiences, but I knew I had to live in the moment. Truth be told, when you have these moments, you'll feel the freest!

The sea people are alike, have observed the same horizon line for millennia, breathe the same sky embalmed with prayer and mystery, and hear the same winds whispering strange omens they have recognized from childhood.

The people of the sea carry within them ancestral myths and gods from another time; the versatile spirit of men hardly affects them; between heaven and earth, they know full well that the world is perpetual movement and that nothing freezes forever under the sun.

An old fisherman from the Mediterranean told me that the most impressive sandcastles turn back to mere grains of salt and earth when the tide recovers.

The man untangled his net's cracks, indifferent to his time's sounds, gazing into the distance as if awaiting a signal from elsewhere.

Here and there, the eternal promise of a departure or a return.

Thalassa - a Greek word that has existed for thousands of years is designated the sea and an idea that redraws our certainties' contours. The image then takes on a poetic dimension, and a creative breath transforms the dancer of the present into yesterday's existence.

I watch these carefree teenagers sculpting their youth's alacrity in front of the sea, and I imagine them, Homeric heroes. I greet the old man covered in mud on the lagoon, and he becomes a statue in my lens.

The people of the sea, both conqueror and conquered, never forget that the look does not say everything. It is undoubtedly for this reason that they have never abandoned the dream, this secret music that opens the door of possibilities, between light and shadow.

I was born in France to Greek parents, and the Hellenic culture has always been an endless inspiration for me.

In black and white, Greece sends me back to a timeless dimension, to a place where yesterday's human being finds himself aligned with the essential. And it is precisely the sea that connects this dimension, the sea as a natural baseline where passing humans do not fear travel. Is it not the poet Constantine P. Cavafy who speaks about it best in Ithaka?

Greek poets and philosophers are my compasses; it helps me not get lost in the contemporary world's paradoxes. In the images that I recognize behind my lens, it is not only the scent of a country that I rediscovered but also the distant echo of our ancestors—children of the sea and souls of peace.

I have an exceptional job, one I hold dear to heart. I've been exposed to various media types along the way, but photography inspires me in my personal life. I needed to explore this art, not to become a professional for the status or to prove something, but rather to share and live the power that's in the action of taking a picture.

It is not my main job; I do exhibitions, sell prints, etc. But, it is not the end goal. The goal is understanding a story and telling it without making mistakes.

I need human connection and have always been on a quest in my own life and personal heritage, tapping onto my two cultures. I'm interested in people and like to discover our common interests, even if we do not speak the same language or do not have the same God.

A.M.: How important is photography to you? What significance does it have in your life?

N. A.: To me, the most beautiful pictures are the ones I see when I don't have a camera with me; when all I have are my eyes.

In fact, the best pictures are the ones that we don't usually see in a frame. They are ultimately invisible - except for through humanity and destiny. It doesn't quite work out when I try to stage my pictures, even at the studio. The urgency of the unexpected pushes me to understand something with intuition and try it without overthinking it.

It is exactly what I say to young protégés who are keen to explore a career as presenters. The key is not to have plans and to follow your instincts simply.

Destiny - If you miss an opportunity to take your photo, it does not matter. I believe it's the God of Photography above who puts us on the right path [both laughing]. There were many times when I was in the presence of big celebrities, and with that pressure around me, I didn't end up with great pictures due to overthinking my techniques. When I'm in the right place with all the right factors - personal environment, geography, psychological state - my photos turn out great, each time! I think embracing the unexpected is something to hold on to with a few thoughts in the situation's mystic side.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM ART MARKETView All

ANA LEAL

"Psychological Landscapes"

3 mins read
Art Market
Issue #59 May 2021

Yael Dryzin – Transitions

Yael Dryzin Born in 1986, lives and works in Israel and Greece. Graduate of Art Studies at Bezalel Academy, Jerusalem (2014).

3 mins read
Art Market
Issue #60 June 2021

Carlos Blanco Artero – Figurative Abstraction

My work could fit within a contemporary figuration but at the same time within abstraction. I have several lines of work, which often converge, and others go their own way.

4 mins read
Art Market
Issue #60 June 2021

Andi Arnovitz – Medical Exploration

"There are certain elements of the human form that immediately denote ” female.” The pelvis certainly suggests fertility, the womb, the center of life in its most graphic simplicity. Playing with this form, with bones that feel like lace, with blood that is at once terrifying and beautiful, I draw attention to the female form and its cycles". -Andi Arnovitz

3 mins read
Art Market
Issue #60 June 2021

An Exclusive Interview With Jim Tsinganos

"When I first told my father that I wanted to be an illustrator, he just looked blankly at me and said, Are you sure you can make a living doing that? 25 years later, with many awards and work showcased and acknowledged in most illustration annuals across the globe, I'm still here, still making a living."

10+ mins read
Art Market
Issue #60 June 2021

VITA LUKSTINA

"SELF-PORTRAIT"

3 mins read
Art Market
Issue #60 June 2021

Richard MacDonald Icons

What does it mean to be iconic? Surely it is beyond the scope of mere talent or fame and encompasses something that closely resembles an apex of the human experience.

2 mins read
Art Market
Issue #60 June 2021

REZA RAHIMI LASKO ORIENTAL ISLAMIC ART

Reza Rahimi Lasko was born in 1979 in Iran. At the age of 12, he started his official art studies. The most important encouragement came from his mother, who sent him to begin his professional education by Mr. Majid Arvari in 1997.

2 mins read
Art Market
Issue #60 June 2021

OZLEM KALMAZ

THE ORGANIC MOVEMENT

5 mins read
Art Market
Issue #60 June 2021

Louise Giblin

'PHYSICAL BRIDGE' BETWEEN REALITY AND IMAGINATION

4 mins read
Art Market
Issue #60 June 2021
RELATED STORIES

How to Be a Work Rebel

Got a contrarian streak in you? Harvard’s Francesca Gino shares the right way to be an unconventional leader

3 mins read
Newsweek
September 10, 2021

WHAT IS A COVID-19 VACCINE PASSPORT, AND DO I NEED ONE?

What is a COVID-19 vaccine passport, and do I need one?

1 min read
Techlife News
Techlife News #513

THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT

THE NEXT GENERATION IS MAKING THE WORLD A KINDER— AND MORE FUN ! — PLACE. FROM SUSTAINABLE NUTRITION AND SAFER SCHOOLS TO REPRESENTATIVE ROMANTIC COMEDIES AND ROLLER SKATES THAT ACTUALLY ROCK, HERE’S HOW 15 FOUNDERS UNDER 27 ARE MAKING AN IMPACT.

10+ mins read
Entrepreneur
September 2021

The Hedonist's Guide to Mykonos

Seize the Endless Aegean Summer in style on Greece’s posh island escape for the jet set

10 mins read
Maxim
September - October 2021

TYPHOON PROJECT

The Typhoon is the only vessel in the Mediterranean with the sole purpose to clean up the most inaccessible Greek coastlines, which has become, unfortunately, in some places a waste concentration.

3 mins read
Lens Magazine
July 2021

Sally Rooney Addresses Her Critics

The Irish writer has been accused of being overly sentimental and insufficiently political. In her new novel, she makes the case for her approach to fiction.

10+ mins read
The Atlantic
September 2021

QATAR AIRWAYS GROUNDS 13 AIRBUS A350S AS FUSELAGE DEGRADING

Qatar Airways said Thursday it grounded 13 Airbus A350s over what it described as fuselages “degrading at an accelerated rate” in the long-range aircraft, further escalating a monthslong dispute with the European airplane maker over the issue.

1 min read
Techlife News
Techlife News #510

FRANCE WEIGHS CYBERSECURITY MOVES AFTER SPYWARE REPORTS

French President Emmanuel Macron held an emergency cybersecurity meeting Thursday to weigh possible government action after reports that his cellphone and those of government ministers may have been targeted by spyware.

1 min read
Techlife News
Techlife News #508

GREECE - ATHENS

Athens, the capital of modern-day Greece, also stood at the heart of Ancient Greece. Fifth-century B.C. landmarks still dominate this city, which historians generally consider the birthplace of Western civilization. Make sure to explore the many historic sites and breathtaking views.

2 mins read
Global Traveler
July 2021

The Golden Ticket

Companies and countries that depend on travel or large gatherings are counting on the unproven concept of vaccine passports

5 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
March 29 - April 05, 2021