Picture
Alexandra Kollaros
When did you first start meddling with art?

I have been “meddling” with it for a while now... My background is originally in design but art has been in the picture since forever. And I will keep “meddling” with it until it comes to the point that it bores me. But at the moment art makes me happy, you can count on it.  Do note though that meddling is a term that will not be particularly appreciated by the general art crowd, people tend to take their stuff a bit more seriously!

How did the artAZ project come up and how has it evolved in time?

It has been in the back of our minds for a very long time before it eventually materialized. At some point we decided (together with Angel Agiostratitis, artAZ partner and Creative Director) the time was right to go ahead. That was in February 2007. It has been going crazy ever since. The idea was an immediate hit but it is such a relative thing within the entire context of things. It is private effort that started very small and just keeps growing. Within this time we managed to already have a solid, international presence but artAZ is still a baby, compared to what we have in store for it.

Talk to us about your most interesting project till now.

At the risk of sounding complacent, I find all my projects to be very interesting. They become so for different reasons every time (e.g. “Surprise” was extremely interesting because of the challenge of working with a phenomenal amount of artists and at the end of the day we were contributing to a noble cause, “Bad Girls don’t go to Heaven” was interesting because we had the opportunity to work with superstar names like Louise Bourgeois and make their work naturally converse with that of young, upcoming artists, and so on). Obviously the most interesting project is always the next one. So far it has been a very interesting ride – there is always a nice moment coming up.
What are your thoughts concerning the Greek contemporary art scene?

Is this a tricky question? Do you mean in relation to itself in the past or within the bigger picture? It is a different thing altogether. There sure is plenty of talent here, which is great but sometimes I feel the main problem is exactly that: we seem to have too much of everything - plenty of artists, plenty of galleries, plenty of exhibitions, plenty of everything and in the end we get caught up in the excess of things. But as a general assessment I think things are looking up and there is PLENTY of good stuff going around and plenty more to go.

What fields of art attract your more and what inspires you?

Art that is good really - it attracts me regardless of the field it comes from. My personal preference lies in Urban & Street Art. Not in the way that it is capitalized upon by whomever – I am talking about the real thing. As far as inspiration goes, all kinds of things inspire me. To name a few at random: challenge, beauty (the way I personally perceive it), power, skulls, guns, harmony, death, money, food, pain, myself… and I could probably go on for a while...
Picture
Boarding Gate @ K-art Gallery
Favorite artists/ designers?

Uuh, that would be a very long list really. I’ll just focus on today: The Chapman Borthers, Damien Hirst, John Isaacs, Pure Evil just to name a few. Obviously, I am not willing to name Greek artists; I hope it is understandable I can’t afford the time to explain myself to those I will not name! Design-wise I’d have to say Verner Panton Tom Dixon, Michael Young, Inflate. With very few exceptions, my flavor is British.

Would you like to share any of your future plans?

Not really, I think I’ll pass on that. Whenever we share plans they end up being stolen, so it will have to be a no! Let’s just say that we are making sure there is constant growth ahead of us, to the extent that we can control it. The main plan is to enjoy it all, otherwise it is not worth it.

At the moment we are preparing the second edition of SURPRISE – the grand scale charity exhibition for the homeless of Athens. This time it is even bigger, we are working with 300 hundred artists. You can check it out here: http://www.artaz.gr/eng/hotspot3b.html

Also, let me just say how honored I am to be the first to be interviewed here and wish you my sincere best for success and fun, always.