Panos Kokkinias Gets Existential With 'Here We Are'
In his new monograph, Here We Are, photographer Panos Kokkinias looks simultaneously outward and inward in order to capture images that evoke the human condition in all its glorious frailty and uncertainty. Much of Kokkinias's work comes from a place of internal strife, so the theme of man's existential conflict within his surroundings comes naturally to him. But as cerebral as that might sound, the Greek-born artist's pictures have an instantly accessible visual appeal as well, the kind that grabs the viewer in a visceral way before the brain even begins to process the subtext behind the photographs.
Here We Are features 84 of Kokkinias's full-color photographs taken between 1994 and 2007, presented in four discrete sections organized both chronologically and by the images' overriding themes. Home contains photos taken during a time of intense personal tribulation, where Kokkinias moves slowly from self-portraiture to the outside world. Interiors seems to turn people into some kind of living ghosts floating through uncertain surroundings. Landscapes explores the intersection of urban paranoia and the wide open spaces, and the final section, Here We Are, casts an eye on the ability of Kokkinias's chosen medium itself to grapple with the big questions. Here We Are is set to arrive in February from powerHouse Books, but until then, you can catch a sneak peek at the publisher's website.