Nikos Floros is an internationally renowned Greek sculptor who has been described as an ambassador of contemporary Greek art and has been honored with several international awards, for his offering of cultural diplomacy between Greece and the Commonwealth of Nations.
He was born in Tripoli, Arcadia, but grew up in Athens. He studied sculpture at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, as well as classical piano, ancient drama and design in Athens; he has also worked in many major cities around the world, while based in New York. His way of life is the constant search for deeper knowledge for the evolution of his art.
Nikos Floros always mentions with emotion that he comes from a family of revolutionaries and heroes. He often thinks of his namesake ancestor, the leader Nikos Floros, who fell in the battle of Athens against the Turks, who occupied Greece for 400 years. And when he walks down the street in Athens that bears his name, he feels real admiration and pride.
His works have been exhibited all over the world, including in many important museums, such as the Portuguese and Russian Academy of Letters and Arts, the Tsaritsyno State Museum in Moscow – where more than 11,000,000 visitors have admired her works – the National Museum of Women in the Arts, in Washington, the Hofburg Palace in Vienna and the Palace of Monte Carlo, Monaco, the Bologna Opera House, the International Exhibition Center in Abu Dhabi (UAE), the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki and the Benakis Museum in Athens, Greece, the Cultural Foundation of the National Bank of Greece and the Palace of the Grand Master in Rhodes, under the auspices of UNESCO, among others.
- When did you realize you had a meaning for art?
To be honest, maybe I haven’t discovered it yet. Maybe I’m not everything other people think I am. I would say that I am a very curious person, constantly seeking to find, through the details of daily life, the meaning of things that other people may not even notice or are unaware of. And when I find something, I have the desire to share it with others.
- How thrilled are you with all the critical accolades and awards you’ve received from government and private entities?
I don’t want to underline them because they are not the most important things for me. The real rewards are those given by those who have suffered and are suffering and you are there to hold their hand during a difficult time. The sense of gratitude expressed by these people is truly priceless. These are the rewards I appreciate, the closeness to others, the mutual support in difficult times and the hope of making a difference.
- What is Art for you and how do you feel about it?
This question doesn’t really have an answer. It’s like asking me to explain what is life, what is death and what exists after that. I don’t know exactly what art is. I don’t think there is a definition for it. There is a similar question regarding the meaning of life and being. It is perhaps an expression of people’s struggle to understand the miracle of life and the universe. And maybe that’s how you approach the unknown. Starting with the desire to know the unknown, maybe art is the key that will open the door for us to see the essence of things.
- Where do you find your inspiration?
I am inspired by God, who gives me the opportunity every day to live and create my own work.
- What is your favorite time of day to create?
There is no specific moment in the day when I am more creative. Inspiration comes to me at different times and when I’m inspired to create, I lose track of any time and place.
- Does your artwork convey social and political significance?
I do not want my works to be categorized. In this age of media and social media, propaganda is at its peak. Art should have universal themes and hopefully be the exception. There are many movements today, including “awake culture” based on Cultural Marxism/Neo-Marxism and many other movements. My response to your question is to repeat something expressed by Voltaire, who represents both me and my work, “I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to express it .”
- Do you weigh more the love of the people or the fame and money you get from your work?
No true artist is materialistic. It’s a luxury for someone to focus on getting rich and famous while having to focus on creating and being productive in life. Wealth stays here when our time ends on this earth and cannot sustain us after our time is over. Neither money nor fame. This is why what matters to me is the love of the people around me and of those with whom my art communicates. My art really belongs to them, not to me. If people realize how little time we have on this Earth and how precious that time is, they will re-evaluate a lot of things.
- Does art change over the years and especially in recent years?
Yes, he has already changed. We have entered the era of digital art where artworks become “avatars” and you live with them along with your feelings. Art communicates different things in different times. Before long, art won’t look like what we know it does. I would compare it to water, which constantly changes shape and form, and can become liquid, vapor, etc. but it still remains H2O.
- Have you admired sculptors who have the tremendouskills to produce realistic human forms?
As a Hellene, I have an immense admiration for sculptures of incredible beauty like those of Phidias and Praxiteles. They are ancient sculptures that have become timeless. Art has transported me and others through time, into the past but also to look to the future.
- What types of materials do you use?
I make sculptures with basic materials of our time, aluminum and cans of drinks. It’s a method that I developed, patented, and has been known to be works of art since I first developed it in New York.
- Define the role of an artist in our society.
Art is not a profession, it is a way of life. You never retire when you’re an artist but keep creating until you die.
It is a very difficult road and through it you search deep within yourself, digging deep within yourself for the meaning of life itself.
You could say we are “cursed” because we are never able to relax, but are always searching and moving. You don’t choose to be an artist, art finds you. There is no room for selfishness or lies. On the contrary, you must be totally honest with yourself. The artist is not always happy, not known, not successful. Success is determined by the passage of time as your artwork endures.
- Say a few words that might encourage a new artist.
To young artists, I would say to have an open mind, and that the inspiration and the ideas are what counts and not the creation of the work itself.