top of page

Βαγγέλης Πλοιαρίδης – Vangelis Pliarides

Born in 1964 in Thessaloniki, Greece, he graduated from the Aristotle University, School of Fine Arts in Thessaloniki in 1989. He finished his studies in London at the Royal College of Art by obtaining a Post Experience Diploma (PED) in Painting (1992) and a Master of Fine Arts in Painting (1994).

Received awards and fellowships from the British Council, the Fulbright Foundation and the RTZ plc, his artworks are included in various public collections such as Astra Zeneca (Sweden), Alfa Laval (Sweden), Scania (Sweden), Södertälje Konsthall (Sweden), Union of Swedish Artists (Sweden), Royal College of Art (UK), British Council (UK), Fulbright Foundation in Greece, Frissiras Museum (Greece), Foundation Sana-Huja (Spain), and Musée d’art moderne et contemporain (MAMCO) (Switzerland). He is currently a Professor of Painting at Aristotle University, School of Fine Arts. He lives and works in Thessaloniki and London.


Through the numerous watercolors by Vangelis Pliarides, one can enter a space and time utterly subjective and enigmatic. The laws of reality cease to exist (bodies are often invertebrate, or even permeable), ghosts are real and singing songs, often made of sharp looks or deafening silences.

Then again, perhaps in this pictural world, the laws of reality apply more than anywhere else. The vast world of desire meets the finite world and cracks, holes, wounds and fantasies are established for good. In this world, individual memory (which one might call it imagination if they did not believe in its power), shaped in the innermost recesses of the Self, seems to launch a full-scale attack on the order and logic of what we call “reality”.

The hybrid body figures of Pliarides (the body is still the embankment of the “new age”) are fluid and unpredictable, often fragmented and cracked, crowded and insolent, obsessive and curious, unfaithful and undying, familiar and immature, potentially competitive and therefore threatening or threatened. And so, the artist renews the exhausted symbolic repertoire of identity with great doses of vitality, incorporating the repertoire of difference to it. This is where the Ego fleetingly meets the Other in order to create the real condition for both sides to change, perhaps for us spectators to change as well.

His Garden is not an Academy. Tourists, hunters, wannabe conquerors, invalids, couples, balls, swim rings, coconut trees and tropical huts create the narrative setting. Traveling, places, love, accidents, violence and tenderness, broken men and women, where topsy-turvy life seems to be his endless pool of inspiration.

Pliarides’ paintings and journey draw a large map from Laos to South Africa, from Sri Lanka to Burma and from Thailand to Cambodia. In this map, art is reinvented not as a visual universe but as a representative enigma, an existential bet, a metaphysical challenge, a visual paradox, theological hubris, anthropological threat.

Thus, the wild joy in the paintings of Pliarides vividly redefines the notions and nuances of contemporary painting. This chapter had a triumphant opening in the 1980’s in the wake of the exciting times of abstraction painting claiming the freedom of gesture, yet hasn’t closed yet with the paradoxically concurrent recognition of traces of the collapse of faith in the modernity of such expressions.

In these watercolors of Pliarides there is the representation or a “creation” of space of a psychoanalytical anthropology, along with the idea of a utopic Paradise (or an almost demonic Hell).

With his solid techniques and stylistic thematic orientation, Pliarides can awaken all of our nightmares along with the hedonistic side of life. While preserving his own moral independence as an artistic subject, he often presents an allegorical, almost cinematic dimension to the episodes of his narratives. The emotional resonances are well hidden in his imagery of tropical forests and strange heroes, while the painter painstakingly draws the “diary of his day and night”. Those who live with love and lust at all times. Even if they get sent to hell by mistake, the devil himself will send them back to Paradise.

Thouli Missirloglou Art Historian, Curator & Director of Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, about:

Vangelis Pliarides: Traveling Watercolors 2007-2017

June 2018


Pliarides’ paintings explore the negotiation of life’s primal nature – love, death, betrayal, marriage and separation, and the pursuit of happiness – through a personal perspective perhaps best exemplified in Lost. His personal philosophy permeates surrealist scapes imbuing reality with paradoxical dreamlike-concepts. The narrative is one of plurality where the important and the unimportant cohabit, humorously mixing reality with surreality.

Inspired by his extensive travels and experiences around the world, particularly his extended time in the Philippines, each work is an elaborately constructed performance displaying the strength of the characters and their desire. At the same time, human weakness and decay are evident in the deliberate deconstruction and aging of the canvas, reflecting man’s desire for control and the ability to harness time as seen in The Old Man with the Fifty Pound Bill. The paradoxical nature of life can be seen in the Death of Magellan where reality adopts ritual significance – as the vanquished becomes the victor his relentless desire for adventure is vindicated. This theme of obsession can also be found in the excesses of Betrayal which epitomise the reckless urge to betray.

While a painting may represent history or a scene from Pliarides’ life, it is not an attempt to rewrite history but rather a way of understanding events in the wider context of life’s cycle, and in so doing embracing the humorous perspective in spite of the somber dynamics of desire, death and life. Ultimately, the overarching narrative is of the prevalence of nature over all else and the realisation of man’s inevitable inconsequence.

Vangelis Pliarides splits his time between London and Thessaloniki. He is Associate Professor in Fine Art at Aristotle University, Thessaloniki.

From the press release for the first UK solo exhibition of Vangelis Pliarides at Christine Park Gallery, London.

October 2014


Dawei Dream

Η εικόνα είναι πνευματική ιδιοκτησία του Βαγγέλη Πλοιαρίδη και της γκαλερί Christine Park.

Image Courtesy of Christine Park Gallery. Copyright The Artist.


The Bandaged Shoulder (Diptych)

Η εικόνα είναι πνευματική ιδιοκτησία του Βαγγέλη Πλοιαρίδη και της γκαλερί Christine Park.

Image Courtesy of Christine Park Gallery. Copyright The Artist.


Exhibition view

Η εικόνα είναι πνευματική ιδιοκτησία του Βαγγέλη Πλοιαρίδη και της γκαλερί Christine Park.

Image Courtesy of Christine Park Gallery. Copyright The Artist.


Exhibition view

Η εικόνα είναι πνευματική ιδιοκτησία του Βαγγέλη Πλοιαρίδη και της γκαλερί Christine Park.

Image Courtesy of Christine Park Gallery. Copyright The Artist.


Exhibition view

Η εικόνα είναι πνευματική ιδιοκτησία του Βαγγέλη Πλοιαρίδη και της γκαλερί Christine Park.

Image Courtesy of Christine Park Gallery. Copyright The Artist.




Dallas Art Fair presented by Christine Park Gallery, Dallas (April)

ZONAMACO presented by Christine Park Gallery, Mexico City (February)


Vangelis Pliarides: Traveling Watercolors 2007-2017, Christine Park Gallery, New York

Paradise Islands, Ypsilon, Thessaloniki


Vangelis Pliarides – The Last Ten Years, Museum of Ptolemaida, Ptolemaida


Vangelis Pliarides, Christine Park Gallery, London

Recent Paintings, Thanassis Frissiras Gallery, Athens


Café Bar: The Last Days of Your Life, Donopoulos Fine Arts, Thessaloniki


Thanassis Frissiras Gallery, Athens


Sani Festival, Tsatsis Projects- Artforum, Chalkidiki


Same same but different, Thanassis Frissiras Gallery, Athens


Tsatsis Projects, Thessaloniki

Love Dreams, MCO Arte Contemporanea, Porto


ARCO (Tsatsis Projects), Madrid

Art Athina (Tsatsis Projects), Athens

Andre Zarre Gallery, New York

Artforum Berlin (Tsatsis Projects), Berlin

Diaspro Art Center, Nicosia


Galerie Pohlhammer, Steyr

Rocket Shop, Berlin

Statement Gallery, Athens


Artforum, Thessaloniki


Galerie Pohlhammer, Steyr


Gallery Foka, Thessaloniki


Artforum, Thessaloniki


Strand Galeri, Södertälje


Strand Galeri, Södertälje



Prints of memory, Museum of Macedonian Struggle, Thessaloniki

New Look, Christine Park Gallery, New York

All Idea Di Quel Mettalo (curated by Peter Ungeheuer), Verband Deutscher Burgschaftsbanken, Berlin


I Shot the Deputy, (curated by Vangelis Pliarides), Tabya, Thessaloniki

Apologetics to Aristotle, (curated by Regina Argiraki), Megaron, The Athens Concert Hall, Athens

Artists-Professors, School of Fine Arts, Novicad


Professors-Artists, State Museum of Contemporary Arts, Thessaloniki

Art and Politics (curated by Regina Argiraki), The Loft, Athens

Art Busan 15, Christine Park Gallery, Busan


Art Project 35 x 35, Copelouzos Family Art Museum, Athens

Painting III, Fryssiras Museum, Athens


Art-Athina, Donopoulos International Fine Arts, Athens

2011 Art-Athina, Donopoulos International Fine Arts, Athens

Works on Paper, Donopoulos International Fine Arts, Thessaloniki

Art Supports Education, Fulbright Foundation Alumni, Benaki Museum, Athens

Summer Show, Thanassis Frissiras Gallery, Athens

Alumni of Aristotle School of Fine Arts- Archive, Collection of G. Melikis, Imathia

Art Supports Education, Fulbright Foundation Alumni, Hotel Excelsior, Thessaloniki

Espacio Atlantico, MCO Contemporanea, Vigo


G. Kittis Collection, Vafopoulio Cultural Centre, Thessaloniki

G. Kittis Collection, Teloglion Foundation of Art, Thessaloniki

Naked Truth, Frissiras Museum, Athens

Artists of the Gallery, Thanassis Frissiras Gallery, Athens

Art-Athina (Tsatsis Projects), Athens


Red or white. The Olymbios Collection, Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki

Domesticos e Selvagens, MCO Arte Contemporanea, Porto

2008 Uma Viagem Um destino, MCO Arte Contemporanea, PortoNothing of North Unknown (Curated by Laura Schleussner), Galerie Alexandra Saheb, Berlin

Paper Works, Tsatsis Projects, Thessaloniki

Art-Athina (Thanassis Frissiras Gallery), Athens

Summer Exhibition, Donopoulos Fine Arts, Thessaloniki

Works on Paper, Donopoulos Fine Arts, Thessaloniki

Aquarella, MCO Arte Contemporane, Porto

2007 Between Earth and Sky, Tsatsis Projects-Artforum, Thessaloniki

Eclectic affinities between European artists, Frissiras Museum, Athens

Art-Athina (Tsatsis Projects), Athens

Docks Art Fair, (MCO Arte Contemporanea), Lyon

Art Lisbon (MCO Arte Contemporanea), Lisbon

Crossing the borders, State Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki


Reon Idor, Teloglion Foundation of Art, Thessaloniki

Art Lisbon (MCO Arte Contemporanea), Lisbon

Art Shanghai (Tsatsis Projects), Shanghai, China

Art Salamanca, (MCO Arte Contemporanea), Salamanca

Art-Athina (Tsatsis Projects), Athens


Fresh Ground, Thanassis Frissiras Gallery, Athens

Pintado De Fresco, MCO Arte Contemporanea, Porto

The Estranged Human Figure: Collection, Frissiras Museum, Frissia Museum, Spanbroek


In our image, after our likeness, Frissiras Museum, Athens

Group Show, Tsatsis Projects, Thessaloniki


Northwest Passages, Trikala

Art Athina (Artforum Gallery), Athens

Open-End Berlin, Tsatsis Projects, Thessaloniki

Anthropogeography, Frissiras Museum, Athens

Open Studios, State Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki

European Painting Award, Frissiras Museum, Athens


Review-Preview, Statement Gallery, Epidauros

Diamantides Collection, Municipal Gallery, Thessaloniki

New Acquisitions, Frissiras Museum, Athens


Arte-Fiera, Galerie Pohlhammer, Bologna


Blue Chips, Gallery Foka, Thessaloniki

Art-Athina (Gallery Foka), Athens

1999 Art-Athina (Gallery Foka), Athens


There is something odd about painting, Galerie Christine Konig & Franziska Lettner, Vienna


Sani Festival, Sani, Chalkidiki

Just Painting, Artforum Gallery, Thessaloniki

1995 Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Aberystwyth

Cartwright Hall, Bradford

19 John Moores Liverpool Exhibition, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool


A Question of Drawing, Atlantis Gallery, London

BT New Contemporaries, London

Camden Art Center, London

Cornerhouse, Manchester

Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol

Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh


A New Generation of Painters, Henry Moore Gallery RCA, London

The Greek Pavilion at the BMC, Cultural Center of Athens, Athens


Biennale of Young Artists of Mediterranean Countries, Marseille



Painting Award Commendation, Frissiras Museum in Athens

2000 -2001

Fulbright Grant (New York Residency)


RTZ plc Bursary


British Council Fellowship and Award


K. Velides Award


bottom of page