Interview with surreal painter and sculptor Costa Magarakis

Costa Magarakis is a fine art trained artist working with different kinds of mediums and specializing in sculptures. His work can be expressed as a gothic wonderland illuminating the gray area between truths and lies. His work is often a combination of grotesque imagery that is drawn from modern symbols and icons merged with mythology, religion and science. Lives and works In Tel-Aviv, a city that continues to inspire his dark visions.
"I often find archetypes in old children’s books and toys. I am attracted to things that evoke memories from childhood. The grotesque and the unknown are all important themes in the body of my work. I try to express something from my inner mind".
Hello dear Costa, please, tell us how did you find the artist inside you? How long have you been doing art? Is art something that you always wanted to do?
I grew up in an artistic family. My great grand father was a professinal painter and the house was surrounded by his paintings. Art was my main interest since an early age.
What   was / is   your major influences? Other artists, books, movies, music or any other media....What inspires you to create your artworks?
As a kid i spent time browsing my grand father's antique encyclopedias and vintage books. I got fascinated by the old style illustrations, victorian prints and the animal kingdom. Besides that i find insiration almost everywhere. From other artists works to films, mythology, religion and science.

How does "a normal day of artist" in your life look like?
My day job is a mould maker at a local foundry. After finishing work i walk to the studio which is close. I work there until late in the evening.
What’s your background? Are you self-taught artist or did you study art? Do you think an art education is important or imperitive for anybody wishing to be an artist? What are some of the advantages and disadvantages that you have encountered throughout your career with/without the formal training of the Art Academy?
I attended a technical secondary school (lycium) where the studies were focused on art and design. Later I attended an art college where I got a Bachelor of Arts degree. I think education was important to me cause I met some interesting people that are now good friends of mine. It was also fun to learn and do some team working. Art schools though not always encourage different ideas.
What fascinates you the most about surrealism / pop surrealism / contemporary art / lowbrow art?

I'm a surrealistic kind of guy and I'm attracted to anything surrealistic.
How would you describe your style?
I don't like to describe me style.I leave this to the viewers.
What themes do you pursue, what surrealism mean to you and what do you hope the viewer will take away from your art?
Since I constantly work on differend ideas the themes I persue change very often. The loss of innocence, childhood, religion, mythology, science and the grotesque. All play important role in my work. What fascinates me most about art in general is that I´m free to express my ideas without any restrictions. I like to stimulate the viewers mind and cause excitement, amusement, surprise.
What do you love most about creating and being an artist? What does “being creative” mean to you?
I love to see that I get recognition by other artists and by simple people.
Creativity together with distructiveness are the most important ingredients of an arwork.
Can you describe your typical workflow when you’re working on your art? What are your tools of trade? What medium do you most often use and why?
I usually work on a few pieces together. First I make a rough sketch of an idea in my mind and after I start to bring it to life. The mediums I use change from time to time. I experiment a lot and I like always to try new mediums. It's important to me to enjoy what I do and not to get bored.
Which creative medium would you love to pursue but haven’t yet?
The list could be endless. Stop motion animation would be one.
Tell us more about your workspace. What was the most funny or weird thing that happened to you in your studio? What is / was the most strange thing hidding in your studio?
My studio works like a sheltter to me. I get there not only to create but also to think or relax. I try to organize and clean it every time I finish an artwork. I can't recall something specific. Funny or weird things happen to me every day. The most strange thing is a pair of false teeth that belonged to a friend's grandmother. Every time the wind blows from my window, they start to whisper.
What toughest challenges have you faced as an artist during your art career? What is the biggest lesson you have learned so far?
Every new work I start is a challenge. I still wait for the toughest. The biggest lesson is to trust my inticts and listen to my heart.
What’s the best and worst advice you ever received in your art career?
There are a lot!I try not to remember. I follow my own beliefs.
What do you dislike about the art world?

That I will die not knowing what the art world is.
What is the hardest thing on being an artist?

Not to be able to materialize an idea for any reason.
Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?

The artistic life can either be lonely or with companion. It is up to each person individually. I'm somewhere in the middle.
Where do you see yourself in the future? Professionally, what’s your goal?

Here and there. I don't like to make long term plans. My goal is to never stop surprising me.
Do you have any tips or inspiring words for others? Maybe advice for beginning artists out there?

Follow your own vision.
Your favorite art or life quote is ...

I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired by Fannie Lou Hammer.
What are you doing when you’re not creating? What (other) hobbies do you have?

I watch films, read art books and comics, spend time with my family friends and my dog.
Do you have an online portfolio, blog or social medias where we can view your work?
Is there anything else you’d like to say? Is there any project you are working on right now   or any ongoing   event or exhibition you would like to share with our readers?
There are some future plans and some group shows in The States mostly and a few in Israel.
Follow me in order keep updated.

Thank you dear Costa, it was a honor to interview you, I wish you only the best for you and your art and already looking forward to see your new art works :)
By contributor Linda. Mar 2015. Find Oh, So Surreal on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google + or RSS.