Likissas was born and raised in Belgium and has Greek roots which has influenced visuals of his work. In his 20s he moved to the Caribbean where his career began as an artist. Stemming from a tradition of using dots of colour in art there is art trickery where the viewer’s mind blends together the colour and the shapes to create the final image.
Dimitri plays with chromatic tonality and the dissection of visual planes to create pieces that seem to move and undulate within the canvas as if attempting to escape their two-dimensional confines. While the dots work together in harmony to create the image, their circular nature acts in opposition to his square or rectangular canvases, reminding us of the basic elements of life and how atoms are in a constant movement – propelling against each other – creating matter itself.
Having studied the works of the original Pointillist masters, such as Georges Seurat and Henri Edmond-Cross, as well as pop artists like Roy Lichtenstein and Keith Haring, Likissas offers a totally fresh interpretation on the usage of dots in painting which he discusses with us…
Where, when, why did you study art?
I am a self-taught artist. And I am proud of that fact, as I don’t think an institution makes you an artist. I started my career as a graphic designer for newspapers in the Caribbean where I learned the entire craft of being artistic with images and text to create appeal for the newspapers.
Which is your favourite era for art?
I have to say the eighties for me were the golden years, the Warhol, Basquiat, Haring era!
Sum up your exhibition, who do you think it will appeal to?
To my knowledge, my art appeals to millennials and modern art lovers.
How do your Belgium and Greek heritages have an impact on your art?
To be honest, it doesn’t have an impact at all. I consider myself a world citizen. I am inspired by pop art, techno, minimalism.
For your exhibition, what do you want your viewer to feel?
I want them to be immersed in the works that I created by looking at the dot pattern, staring at it from close by, where they will see their eyes will change focus, and when they close their eyes they will see the negative of the work burned on their eyelids. To take a distance from the work and see it anew. As the work is optical art as well, it changes depending on the distance of the viewer towards the work.
Who or what has had the biggest impact on your career?
Instagram now in terms of exposure and relationship building with collectors. Keith Haring and Nam June Paik as I met them when I was a teenager.
Check out ‘Pointillism Revisited’ at Guy Hepner, 520 W 27th St
By Sarah Jones