The One: New Drawings by Harry Michalakeas
Revolution Gallery in Buffalo, NY is pleased to announce a solo exhibit by artist Harry Michalakeas. This is the first solo show at the gallery by the English artist (who is now based in Dallas), and his opening reception is on Friday, September 30th from 6:00pm to 11:00pm—music provided by DJ Bud Redding beginning at 9:00pm.
The One is a vampire story. We meet the vampire who begins the cycle, and learn a bit about her ravenous nature. Then we meet "The One," the special victim who rather than being drained, the Vampire has chosen to pass her gift to. The Vampire then bites The One, who becomes infected and transforms into a vampire. The tale ends with The One biting a new victim, continuing the cycle.
One of the most frightening aspects of vampire mythology is the loss of self. The victim gains immortality, but the catch is that it isn’t them that gains it; the old personality withers away and is replaced by the new vampire one. This theme of identity threatened occurs over and over again in my earlier work, and that is a story which I continue here, as "The One" is turned and loses herself. In one of the pieces, Things Die, we see her bloody hand holding a dying rose, representing the remnants of her old self. In addition to being set in the pandemic, the tale is a metaphor for the pandemic itself.
A deadly virus spreading from person to person.
"When I was a kid growing up in England, there were two comics called The Beano and The Dandy which were popular," Michalakeas says. "We had them delivered, and one of my fondest memories of childhood is of getting home from school and my new Beano or Dandy would be there in my room. Falling into that world influenced me a great deal artistically. It introduced me to the idea of using art not just to portray things, but to tell a story. Telling a story through a limited number of panels really distills storytelling down to its essence. First this happened, then this, then this, the end. There is a purity to that. It’s how a young child might tell a story. My love of comics resulted in my first art sales. I would draw my own little one page comics and sell them to other students at school. I approached ‘The One’ the same way I approached my comics. I wanted each piece to be a moment in a larger story, but in this case, also stand by itself."