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Pop-art colourfulness meets local history and the penetrating Mediterranean light in the work of Athens-based painter Philippos Theodorides, who likes to discover the extraordinary in the everyday.

“It’s like still life, but without the stillness,” says Philippos as we stand in his studio looking at his latest series of paintings; comprising medium-sized canvases with compositions of plants, decorated pots, ancient Greek statues and other symbols of Greek identity, this new body of work is the artist’s most spontaneous and intuitive yet, as he admits. With a healthy dose of self-assurance and experimentation, he’s creating these works in his sun-drenched studio in the centre of Athens for his upcoming solo show in Nicosia, Cyprus.

I first came to Athens by chance and it really worked out for me. I can’t imagine myself living in any other place. There’s always something to do here, and the food —oh the food is amazing! Every time I eat something here I get excited! It’s really a part of Greek culture I guess. That, together with the light and the great weather.

An award-winning illustrator and with several solo exhibitions in Greece and abroad under his belt, Philippos first studied painting in London before wandering around the world a bit looking for a place to call home. He ended up in Athens, where he set up his studio on Aiolou street a few years ago together with two other artists. The city itself is his inspiration, as well as his childhood memories: the haphazard Athenian vernacular inspired many of his illustration prints, while the plants and birds his grandparents used to keep are a recurrent motif in his vibrant work.

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