Ta Nea, Paraskevi Katimertzi, 01.26.2000

Ta Nea, Paraskevi Katimertzi, 01.26.2000

The sculpor George Zongolopoulos and his work ''Atrium'' at the Metro

He brought light into the basement


A basement that is a work of art, is named 'Atrium' and brings light to the underground station of Syntagma, was created by the sculptor George Zongolopoulos. In a few days, his artwork will belong to the public.

There are certain tales that say that someone stole the sun (or the moon) and captured it in a well. The sculptor Zongolopoulos with his work 'Atrium' managed to bring natural light in the underground Metro station.

Last May, the people from the Metro company asked Zongolopoulos to see the space at the Syntagma station in case he wanted to suggest a piece for the place. He noticed a hole. A huge well, an area totally unformed. ''I will think about it'' he said and left. Within a week he submitted seven models and three possible solutions for the area. ''I was generally interested in making something out of this empty space, this hole. I think that it was a tool of the Metro'' he stated to the newspaper 'Nea' .

The hole was a tube, of 8.80 meters in diameter and 18 meters in height, under which there is a corridor of 22 meters high. Designs, different versions and portfolios. The artist was in a creative delirium.

Zongolopoulos left the hole as it was. He just added a 'mirror' from stainless metal that depicts the unevenness of the terrain. The well, the hole had now the form and the color of the flowing water that mirrors daylight. In that hole he handled ladders and colored umbrellas that move gently.

The mirroring of the objects creates a shape, ''an imaginative image, a painting'' says Zongolopoulos.

On top of that he designed a roof, ''light, that does not imitate the old architecture of the walls and as the terrain he put a mirror from metal that mirrors the natural light in that way so you don’t have to look up to see the sun and the light. ''

''That would be tiring for old people'' he added.

''I thought that people might feel depressed being underground. The ladders symbolize the will to go up. However, they are broken''

What is the purpose of the umbrellas in the sculpture?

''They are painted with the basic colors and are like antennas with which we communicate with the outside world''.

''Its figures can be summarized in vertical artworks that have almost no weight and require a deep understanding of their structural body; at the same time they maintain a light improvisation'' says the art critic Efi Adreadis.

That mystery of his freshness and creativity is ecstatic. The sculpture is not only a synthesis of elements but also a synthesis of the arts.

Walking under Zongolopoulos' 'Atrium' nobody feels claustrophobia. People feel happy, they feel that there is an uplifting power.

In his late work, Zongolopoulos uses thin metal, works with light and tries to find unity. '' Serving plasticity like a surgeon he placed on the earth's skin youth elixirs.'' states Christos Papoulias. Maybe that is the secret of his longevity and freshness.

A reason also might be the happiness for the love and recognition that he gained.