20 December 1954
Port Said, Egypt
|Known for||sculpture, installation art|
Konstantin Dimopoulos (born Constantin Dimopoulos 20 December 1954) is a sculptor, installation and performance artist.
Born in Port Said, Egypt Dimopoulos spent the first eight years of his life living in Ismailia before moving with his family to Wellington, New Zealand. Although born in Egypt, Dimopoulos was raised in a Greek home. This move by the family across the world to a different country, culture and language has influenced his artwork, in particular his public art installations. He completed a Bachelor of Arts in sociology at Victoria University, Wellington and later studied part-time at the Chelsea School of Art in London. In 2003 he moved with his family to Melbourne, Australia where he now lives.
Dimopoulos’s first exhibition was in 1981, The Passioned, a series of "large, lively and bold linear oil paintings". The exhibition was followed by a second solo show before he travelled to London and Europe. On returning to Wellington Dimopoulos created works for his 1989 exhibition Mind At The End Of Its Tether, a series of dark, figurative oil paintings about the men working in the printing room of Wellington's daily newspaper. "The artist created large canvases that were brutal but beautiful statements of man's survival in sterile and hostile places. Superimposed on a pastiche of crumble-textured surfaces, with the materialising bodies all but lost in the polluted white-on-colour of industrial eternity."
In the 1990s Dimopoulos began to explore the dynamics of form through the medium of sculpture. In 2001 he was commissioned by the Wellington Sculpture Trust to create Pacific Grass the first in the Meridian Energy Wind Sculpture Walk series. "Pacific Grass transforms a traffic island into a beacon of vertical bands of colour that undulate and pulsate with each gust of wind. Its resin rods harness and respond to the extremes of this site, making Pacific Grass memorable as it ushers the traffic around the circumference of the roundabout."
In 2004 Dimopoulos was invited to create a sculpture, Kete for Connells Bay Centre for Sculpture on Waiheke Island, New Zealand. This was followed in 2005 by Red Ridge, a monumental sculpture for a private golf course in Arrowtown, New Zealand. Red Ridge caused controversy when the property owner had the work installed without first obtaining local government consent.
In 2006 Dimopoulos created Red Centre for Federation Square in downtown Melbourne, Australia. Since 2001 Dimopoulos has created sculptures for public and private collections in Australia, New Zealand, UAE and USA. His sculpture, The Red Forest in Denver, USA was voted Westword's Best New Public Art 2011.
The Blue Trees
Konstantin Dimopoulos created The Blue Trees, as an ephemeral performance art installation using transformation provoke discussion about the issue of global deforestation. The Blue Trees was first created in Melbourne, Australia in 2005 and was a feature installation in the 2010/2011 Vancouver Biennale, Canada. Using a natural water-based pigment, Dimopoulos colours blue the trunks and branches of trees thereby transforming them from background species to living artworks.
Konstantin's installation art uses gallery and outdoor public spaces for site-specific works. These artworks reflect social themes and issues, such as Black Parthenon, an installation about cultural appropriation created in 2009 for the Melbourne Festival of Light. Other works include Virus, ‘Level 4’ and Savage Garden – works about environmental ecocide; and Paradise Lost about domestic violence. Early in his career Dimopoulos was influenced by the work of German artist Joseph Beuys whose social artworks have helped develop his own vision. "I am striving to give voice to issues that are important to me that provide a platform to effect change. I want to evoke in people the idea that as individuals we can contribute to change. We all have the ability to impact on our environment and on social issues."
- Thomas, Sue. Three solo shows by local artists. The Dominion, New Zealand, 1981
- Unger, Pat. Mind At The End Of Its Tether. Art New Zealand No. 55, 1989
- Harper J, Lister A, (eds). Wellington, A City for Sculpture. Victoria University Press, 2008
- Sutton, Frances. Art & About: A pocket guide to Wellington's Public Art. Steele Roberts Aotearoa Ltd, New Zealand, 2008 (out of print)
- Woodward, Robin. Connells Bay Centre for Sculpture. New Zealand, 2007
- Ferguson, Lin. "Sculpture Gorgeous". The Southland Times, New Zealand, 2005
- Ferguson, Lin. "Damn the consents, this is art". The Southland Times, 2005
- News:Red tape overcomes art. The Dominion Post, New Zealand, 2006
- Scarlett, Ken. Sinuous Colour. Sculpture Magazine, May 2007
- "Denver Best New Public Art - "The Red Forest" - Best Of Denver". Westword. Retrieved 2011-08-30.
- Griffin, Kevin (March 30, 2011), "Artist's blue period puts focus on deforestation: Vancouver Biennale project gives trees in Lower Mainland a colourful wash", Vancouver Sun
- Hoekstra, Matthew (18 March 2011). "Richmond Review - Latest public art installation turns trees a bright shade of blue". Bclocalnews.com. Retrieved 2011-08-30.
- "Black Parthenon at Federation Square". Neos Kosmos. 23 June 2009. Retrieved 2011-08-30.