1993 . Table football . Critics from Katerina Koskina .
Lazaros Maravas is one of the young artists who already given evidence of a remarkable art idiom. His work < Table Football > that consists of 11 stylized football players, is an environment directly referring to the < table football >> a game particularly popular in the 60s and 70s.
The concept of play, with all its inherent seriousness, makes its presence ever more intensely felt in the field of fine arts. The multiplicity of opinions and freedom characterizing international art since the end of the 80s. < Allow > ever more artists to turn to play , either as memory or as ironical provocation and critic or as research into the first elements of creation , without running the risk of having their work considered naif . From Niki de Saints Phalle and J. Tinguely to Borofsky , D Oppenheim , G .Lappas or T . Pavlopoulos and others, with different associations, experiences and aims , play has been proved to function in a way complementary and not opposite to the world of adult and rational creativity . Besides the term artist-child is not new and may fit more artists than it seems to express at first sight.
In the case of Lazaros Maravas , the table football , as work and game , is the playground of a particular period , inextricably linked with many remote but not forgotten elements . The billiards room was a lumpen - space popular songs by Gavalas and Kourti (Greek song artists) were heard and where the clients, frequently candidates for a real or internal migration, entered with their sports newspaper folded under their arm. Play was not only a amusement, but a battle aiming at showing one s strength or proving his skill. The player represented a team -often his own-and competed with his opponent. This kind of play tends to become extinct now, following the spread or electronic games. But the billiards room, apart from nostalgic, is connected in Greece with an unpleasant period of its recent history
The work is clearly based on a background where play has both a recreation and social dimension. The artist - child is also here the player, an element necessary in the whole construction, since what can or cannot be done.
It is game used by the artist in an effort to search not only the concept of play per se but also its social implications, transformed into a work through the artistic process.
Lazaros Maravas enters through this work in a difficult space, where his morph plastic and ideological search risks competition with the sociological content of his proposals.
It is a difficult, painful, but at the same time very interesting enterprise, fully compatible with the multi - dimensional character of artistic activity.