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Darin Pappas, (born: July 8, 1966), better known by his pseudonym Ithaka is an American hip hop artist, sculptor, artistic photographer, writer, poet, record producer and surfer, of partial Greek descent. He is sometimes referred to by his original family name; Pappagiannis - in Greek: Παππαγιάννης, or the alternative spellings Pappayounis or Pappayannis. Note: name was legally changed to Ithaka Darin Pappas in January 2000.
In Lisbon he recorded his first two hip hop albums, Flowers And The Color Of Paint and Stellafly. His song, Escape From The City Of Angels appeared on the soundtrack for Columbia Pictures' feature release, The Replacement Killers. Using his alter-ego name of Korvorão (the raven-shark) sometimes spelled Korvowrong or Korvorowng, Ithaka was also the lyricist/vocalist on the track "So Get Up" by Underground Sound Of Lisbon.
During his active years in Portugal, the artist's projects were nominated for a total of nine Blitz Awards (the Portuguese equivalent of The Grammy Awards) including; Best Album (for "Flowers And The Color Of Paint" in 1995 and Stellafly in 1997) and Best Male Vocalist (in 1995 & 1997). In addition, the prestigious national newspaper, Publico awarded his 1997 release Stellafly as "Album Of The Year" and considered his most popular song from that record Seabra Is Mad as both the "Song Of The Year" and "Video Of The Year". In an end of the decade retrospective article about Portuguese music, Publico also cited his debut release "Flowers And The Color Of Paint" as one of the country's Ten Most Influential Albums Of The 1990s.
In 1994, the international hit "So Get Up" that Ithaka wrote the lyrics for and vocalized (in participation with Underground Sound Of Lisbon) was nominated for "Song Of The Year" at that year's Blitz Awards, and later climbed to 8th Place on Billboard's U.K. Independent Dance Charts (and 52nd on Billboard's U.S. independent Dance Charts).
In 1998, after over six years in Portugal, Ithaka returned to California where he recorded his third album called Somewhere South Of Somalia with producer Conley Abrams III. The lyrics from this album were written on a two month journey into East Africa. Later Ithaka relocated his base to Rio de Janeiro where he recorded two more albums, Recorded In Rio and Saltwater Nomad. In 2007, he briefly returned to Portugal to record with former Underground Sound of Lisbon member DJ Vibe, providing vocals and lyrics for the track "You".
In 2011, Sweatlodge Records released Fishdaddy Flashbacks highlighting some of the artist's more memorable songs from the beginning of his career in 1994 until present. And in early 2013, Ithaka produced his first all instrumental album, Voiceless Blue Raven. And also collaborated with the seventy-six year old trip hop vocalist, Cyncy. Both projects for the indy label Sweatlodge Records.
In addition to creating music, his short story series entitled, Fishdaddy Chronicles, has appeared in surfing magazines around the world including Surfer (magazine), The Surfer's Journal, Water and Transworld Surf". In 2009, his short story "Miracle At Malibu" was published in the book entitled Surf Story, a collective volume of stories and surf culture compiled by Robb Havassy.
His abstract photographic art and body of sculpture work known as The Reincarnation Of A Surfboard have been exhibited globally, his most recent solo showings were hosted by The Camp in Costa Mesa, California in June 2010, Gallery Alma Do Mar in São Paulo, Brazil in October 2010, WOA-Way Of Arts in Lisbon, Portugal in December 2012 . and Hurley International in Orange County, California in October 2013.
At present the artist creates most of his musical, photographic and sculptural works at Recanto Akahti, his small ranch in rural South America located on the edge of the Atlantic Forest in AkahtiLândia, Brazil.
Ithaka borrowed his pseudonym specifically from the title of the poem "Ithaca" by the Greek poet, Constantine P. Cavafy, which in short summarizes that a journey is more important than the destination, that enjoyment of the journey of life, and the increasing maturity of the soul as that journey continues, are all the traveler can ask for. The poem, Ithaka has stated publicly, has served as a kind of life guide for the artist since he was in his early twenties. It should be noted that Cafavy's poem itself was inspired by the Homeric return journey of Odysseus to his home Ithaca (Island), as depicted in the Odyssey, even further connecting the artist Ithaka to his Greek ancestry.
- 1 The Reincarnation Of A Surfboard
- 2 The "So Get Up" Controversy
- 3 The Tomas Blots
- 4 Works
- 5 References
The Reincarnation Of A Surfboard
In 1989, while living in the Miracle Mile district of Los Angeles, Ithaka began one of the major art projects of his life, The Reincarnation Of A Surfboard. This is a large body of contemporary sculpture work created using garbaged surfboards as raw building material and recycling them into wall-hanging modern art pieces. The series to date, which is said to contain an estimated three hundred full-sized sculptures, has been exhibited on four continents and featured in hundreds of magazines and on many TV features. The most recent solo exhibitions of these works were hosted by Hurley Clothing in Costa Mesa, California in October 2013 and WOA: Way Of Arts in Cascais, Portugal in December 2012. He has been active with this medium continuously since its inception and in every area of the planet that he has had residence; Japan, Greece, Portugal and Brazil - with additional individual pieces made in Mexico.
The "So Get Up" Controversy
In 1993, Ithaka wrote a poem called So Get Up for his weekly segment of a radio program called Quatro Bairro on Antena One in Lisbon, Portugal. The next year he rerecorded it as a guest performer to be the primary vocal of a B-Side single for the Portuguese dance music group called Underground Sound Of Lisbon. The song became an instant national hit and was later released internationally as a ten-mix, double vinyl set on New York's Tribal Records (a subsidiary of I.R.S. Records/E.M.I. Records). The song climbed to 8th place on the Billboard's Independent Dance Music Charts for the U.K. - and number 52nd in the United States. Since 1995, the song has been remixed a minimum of a hundred times including versions by such greats as Fat Boy Slim, Junior Vasquez, Danny Tenagalia and has appeared on over fifty compilations with combined sales in the millions. As the original music has been stripped away by each succeeding producer, the only singularly unifying element of all 100+ mixes is Ithaka's poem and his vocals. Ironically, the song which was considered the first modern "Portuguese" musical export was released without even a "featuring Ithaka" credit even though Ithaka, a Californian, was the primary publishing rights owner of the track and never a member of the Underground Sound Of Lisbon project. Reportedly no actual record royalties were paid to Ithaka for nearly two decades and lawsuits followed, finally being resolved for an undisclosed amount.
The Tomas Blots
Omni-present in all of Ithaka's forms of expression are The Tomas Blots. These are a series of eleven blot-like symbols that Ithaka's father, Tomas Pappas drew before him approximately two hours before his death on February 13, 1991 in Mesa, Arizona. These symbols appear in almost every aspect of Ithaka's artistic life; on his record covers, in his photographs and sculptures and very frequently as collage-paintings.
- 2013 Voiceless Blue Raven
- 2011 Fishdaddy Flashbacks
- 2007 Saltwater Nomad
- 2005 Fuse With Me (Ithaka vs. Cartell 70)
- 2004 Recorded in Rio
- 2001 Somewhere South of Somalia
- 1997 Stellafly
- 1995 Flowers and the Color of Paint
- 2013 Cosmic Gate - "So Get Up" (Germany)
- 2011 Si Brad - "20 Years"(Toko Records-U.K.)
- 2007 DJ Vibe - "You"
- 2005 Cartell 70 - "In the Name of Religion"
- 2000 Primitive Reason - "The Day Will Come", "I'm The Man Who Got No Plan"
- 1998 Mind Da Gap - "Intro"
- 1998 More Republica Masonica - "Grounded Song"
- 1998 Tejo Beat - "The Day Was Hot"
- 1997 General D - "Ekos Do Passado"
- 1996 Cool Hipnoise - "Hidden By The Sea""
- 1996 Red Beans - "Sunny The Bunny", "Sushi-Pack Subway", Excerpt From Return To The City Of Angels"
- 1996 Marta Dias - "Look To The Blue", "Learn To Fly"
- 1994 Underground Sound of Lisbon - "So Get Up"
Music used in other media
- 2013 "Nicateen"- Ithaka's song "Coffin Alley Confinement" (from the album: Voiceless Blue Raven) used in short surfing video by Quiksilver Films shot in Nicaragua
- 2007 NBA2K7- Ithaka tracks "Dine N Dash", "Seabra Is Mad" and "Whatcha Gotta Do" featured in ESPN Games Xbox 360 basketball game, NBA2K7.
- 2006 "Chasing The Lotus" Surf film directed by Gregory Schell featured Ithaka's song, Seabra Is Mad.
- 2006 "Lost Jewel Of The Atlantic" Song "Who's The Enemy?" by Ithaka featuring gabriel O Pensador featured in this environmental surf film about Surfing in Madeira.
- 2005 "Samba, Trance and Rock N Roll": Ithaka's song "Muerto Escondido" appeared in surfing film by director Rafael Mellin. Winner of 2005 Best Film award at the International Surf Film Festival St Jean de Luz - France.
- 2004 Ithaka song "Escape From The City Of Angels" featured on the Sitcom, Good Girls Don't (TV series) on Oxygen (TV channel). Season 1-Episode 3: "Addicted To Love"
- 2004 Timmy Turner's Second Thoughts - Ithaka's song "The Plot" featured in surfing documentary about Indonesia. Winner of Surfer magazine Poll Award for Best Video.
- 1998 The Replacement Killers - Ithaka track's "Escape From The City Of Angels" appeared this Columbia Pictures' action release. Starring Mira Sorvino and Chow Yun-fat. Directed by Antoine Fuqua
- 1995 "G-Land Pro" - Ithaka track's "Flowers And The Color Of Paint" and "The Pigeon Lady" featured in official video of Quiksilver's World Tour Surfing Event at Gradjagan, Indonesia. Sequence features surfing by world champions Kelly Slater, Tom Carroll (surfer), Derek Ho and others.
Solo Art Exhibits
- 2013 The Town Hall at Hurley International Headquarters in Costa Mesa, California (Sculpture, Painting and Photography)
- 2012 Gallery WOA: Way Of Arts (Sculpture, Video & Photography)- Cascais, Portugal
- 2011 Nike Posto 5.0 - Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
- 2010 The Camp - Costa Mesa, California
- 2010 Gallery Alma Do Mar - Sao Paulo, Brazil
- 2008 Clash - Lisbon, Portugal
- 2007 Gallery WOA: Way Of Arts - Estoril, Portugal
- 2000 International Surfing Museum - Huntington Beach California
- 1998 Gallery Ze Dos Bois "Quality_Time: Part One" (Photography)- Lisbon, Portugal
- 1996 IPJ: Instituto Portuguesa Da Juventude "UMBILICUS" (Photography)- Lisbon, Portugal
- 1995 Universidade Moderna - Lisbon, Portugal
- 1992 Gallery YMA -(Photography and Sculpture) Tokyo, Japan
- 1990 Pepperdine University - Los Angeles, California
Group Art Exhibits
- 2014 "Azores Wave Week - Ponta Delgado, São Miguel Island, Portugal
- 2013 Sagres Surf Culture - Sagres, Portugal
- 2010 Oca Do Ibirapuera - Sao Paulo, Brazil
- 2007 Oca Do Ibirapuera - Sao Paulo, Brazil
- 2006 MIS - São Paulo Museum of Image and Sound, Brazil
- 2005 MIS - São Paulo Museum of Image and Sound, Brazil
- 2003 111 Minna Gallery - San Francisco, California
- 1999 Photo Impact Gallery - Los Angeles, California
- 1992 NICAF: Nippon International Contemporary Art Fair - Yokohama, Japan
- 1990 01 Gallery Los Angeles
Articles and Short Stories
- 2010 “RETURN TO THE MOTHERLAND” - Published in The Surfer’s Journal, Surf Portugal Magazine, Fluir magazine-Brazil, Goodtimes Magazine-Greece)
- 2010 “FERNANDO DE NORONHA – A clumsy name for a spectacular speck on the map” published in Transworld Surf Magazine-USA
- 2010 "MIRACLE AT MALIBU" published in the book, Surf Story (compiled by Robb Havassy)
- 2007 “MOEMA” published in Water Magazine
- 2007 "MOROCCO IS:" published in Water Magazine
- 2007 " DOS CAES" published in Water Magazine. This story previously appeared in Onfire magazine (Portugal-2004) and International Surf (USA-1993)
- 2007 "OXYGEN FALLS" published in Water Magazine
- 2006 "PALM TREE REEF" (published in Water Magazine)
- 2006 "MOMENTS OF INSANITY" published in Water Magazine
- 2003 "STILTS" published in Water Magazine
- 2003 "ADVENTURES IN ADVERTISING" published in Water Magazine
- 2003 "THE FORGOTTEN FOUR" published Water Magazine
- 2000 "CARCAVELOS BROWNS" published in Surfer Magazine and Wavelength (magazine) (UK)
- 1993 "STELLAFLY" [published in Shortcut(Japan) & Lava (US)]<
- 2009 "SURF STORY"
- 2007 EUROPEAN STORMRIDER GUIDE" by Bruce Sutherland
- 2004 BELONG: A TV Journalist's Search for Urban Culture – by Jennifer Morton (Canada)
- 2003 ALTAS-LUZES - by Rita Carmo & Miguel Cadete (Portugal)
- 2000 THE END OF PRINT by David Carson (graphic designer) (USA)
- 2006 "ON THE ROAD TO ITHAKA" A documentary about the artist directed by Susanna Lira. Winner of the Best Script Award at the FATU Film Festival, São Paulo Brazil
Selected Commercial Photography Work
- 2013 Portrait of photographic artist Annabella Pritchard for Deja-Vu magazine (France)
- 2002 Ocean Pacific: Fashion and Perfume campaign. Uses: Teen Vogue, Maxim (magazine) etc.
- 1995 General D: Pé Na Tchon Karapinha Na Céu" for EMI Records. Portugal's very first hip hop release.
- 1994 Manual Of Evasion LX94 - publicity for "Manual Of Evasion LX94", Edgar Pêra's Dadaist film about Time.
- 1990 Marlee Matlin / Oliver Sacks: Photo feature about Academy Award winning actress and world famous author / neurologist for Glamour Magazine. Pictures made in Los Angeles and New York."
- 1989 Brian Wilson (of the Beach Boys) photographed for advertisement of Young Chang pianos in Santa Monica, California.
- 1988 N.W.A.: Express Yourself/Straight Outta Compton" for Priority Records. 12" Maxi-Single Cover (multi-platinum).
- 1988 Eazy-E: We Want Eazy" for Priority Records . 12" Maxi-Single Cover (multi-platinum).
- [ http://www.wayofarts.com/en/projectos/eventos/azoreswaveweek14/]
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