Christopher Carapetis is having the largest exhibition of his work this month at BMG Gallery. Carapetis came to art later in life when a personal tragedy saw him turn to drawing and painting as therapy, using it as a means to escape.
It was when he was in New York looking at some of the greatest works of art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that the penny dropped. It was one of my first experiences at a gallery of this magnitude and I remember thinking this is something I have to do,” says Carapetis.
In 2013 he took time off from his other career as a web designer and enrolled at the Adelaide Central School of Art. In 2014 Carapetis and a group of fellow students formed Floating Goose Studios.
Originally occupying the old Trims Building on King William Street the Studios moved to their current location on Morphett Street in May last year where they have secured a five-year lease. As well as housing 15 artists the Studios have an exhibition space where they hold monthly exhibitions.
The main focus of Carapetis’s practice is painting and drawing with an emphasis on figurative work and urban landscapes. While he says he tries not to draw too much on his personal experiences they tend to creep in. “A lot of work I do is based around the everyday, the quotidian, the ambiguity of life,” explains Carapetis.
Christopher Carapetis, 17 Degrees and Partly Cloudy, 2017
Through his paintings he is trying to capture the everyday but in particular the moment where you realise we are all on a giant rock spinning. He is also creating work he hopes will make people stop and think about what’s actually happening.
Take the work My Dad is Batman for instance, it’s a painting of Carapetis’s father dressed up as Batman staring at a heater, contemplating life. He explains: “Growing up as a kid your parents have the solutions to all your problems and then you get to a certain point and you realise that they are actually working it out as they go along too.”
Carapetis’s paintings often feature signage which he says stems from his web and graphic background and also adds to the urban landscape vibe. The paintings often feature a central object such as a heater, a fountain and a toaster. “It’s a throwback to artists like Antonia Garcia Lopez who do paintings of ordinary objects but make them look extraordinary,” explains Carapetis.
Christopher Carapetis, Ber-Na-Dette, Ber-Na-Dette, 2016
In another work Ber-Na-Dette, Ber-Na-Dette two identical figures are looking at a toaster with burning toast, one laughing and one with a very serious expression on her face. “It’s yin and yang and it’s about the angst of who does the toast belong to, who is burning it,” explains Carapetis.
While Carapetis originally took up art for therapeutic reasons, it revealed a hidden talent which he can now share with us through his thought-provoking works.
Saturday, February 4 until Saturday, February 18
Header image: Christopher Carapetis, My Dad is Batman, 2016