George Zarkadas • Artist
Let me introduce myself as an artist by way of a time lapse shot. In this video you will see me painting the first layer of an image of a group of Afghanee refugees gathered in Victoria square in downtown Athens in the fall of 2010. I interviewed these people and created a short film entitled Desperate Afghanee Refugees. Their story and their faces remained with me and in time I began to draw their portraits with graphite on paper. To paint a large group portrait using my original video footage, I chose the faces I would include and arranged them in the manner you will see here. Using projection as I guide, I painted the first layer of my group portrait in acrylics. The remaining work proceeded with layers of oil paint. Painting the Afghans spanned four years, but in this two-minute shot, you can see how the image began to take shape during the first session. I wanted to depict these Afghan people as I remembered them one desperate fall evening.