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Montana LOOKBOOK #08 / 2023

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MontanaCans LOOKBOOK 2023 Issue #8 It's that time again to welcome the release of the Montana Cans Lookbook 2023 edition #8. There is no rewind button on life, making it all the more important to reflect on the year that was, and the things that happened during that period. The Montana-Cans Lookbook does just that and reflects on some of the highlights from the year prior. A moment to reflect on those things that may not have received as much shine as they deserved while being "in the moment".

into the graffiti world.

into the graffiti world. I can't explain it exactly but for some reason, that's why this particular word created a lot of emotions for me and I started to write it on the walls and my school desk. At that time my friends and I created our first graffiti crew. Very beautiful times that I often miss. As the years went by and I followed more career path in the field of art, I sometimes thought about changing my tag to something more mature, but in the end, I concluded that I had become attached to it and nothing else filled me as the word GOSPEL does. Just because it reminded me (and still reminds me) of where I started and with whom. This signature, therefore, encloses a beautiful part of my life and my artistic career up to this day. MC The colors black, white, blue, and red play a strong role in your work. What are the origins of this color choice? G I am a sea lover. I consider it to be one of the most important pieces of Greek culture. I spent all my childhood summers on a beautiful island in the northern Aegean called Limnos. This particular island is my mother's birthplace. There I fell in love with the blue I could see on the fishermen's boats and the windows of the houses on the island. I was also always struck by how beautifully this blue blended with the sunlight-white walls and red flowers of the island. As well as the red life jackets of the ships I traveled on. This combination of these colors from an early age created very beautiful feelings for me. Over the years, and after having tried many different techniques, around 2018 I ended up with this color palette adding the black color to give more contrast. Since then it has been my main color identity with small additions of blue, pink, and gray tones from time to time. MC Which colors in the Montana BLACK or GOLD range are you using for these 4 colors? G I use to paint with Montana BLACK. My favorite colors are “Lollipop’’ and ”Horizon”. They work perfectly with black and white. I was also always struck by how beautifully this blue blended with the sunlight-white walls and red flowers of the island. As well as the red life jackets of the ships I traveled on. ← A little of everything from Greek graffiti culture, GOSPEL merges multiple visual messages with the Greek subway car serving as the glue for them all. 36 Artist in focus/Interview Gospel

↑ “Protect What Left Alive”. With little detail this picture is clear that we need to protect our environment. ← Visual communication. Depth and emotion captured in the clever use of 4 solid colors. When it comes to the graffiti side there is a very strong core of talented people in both its illegal and legal forms. MC Your work often portrays masked figures, with tracksuits, sneakers, and baseball caps on. Is this the unwritten uniform for writers in Athens? G To a certain extent yes. Of course, I also add the element of fantasy to the way I portray my characters. I also borrow a lot of ideas from vintage clothing and old 90s football team looks. MC Do you see your artwork as uniquely Greek? And how do you feel when its context changes due to its location? (i.e. Does a classic GOSPEL piece function equally as well in London or Sydney as it does in Athens in your opinion?) G I created this style thinking of combining the Greek element with the graffiti culture. But I don't think that this particular style is only for my country. On the contrary, I borrow pieces of Greek culture to turn them into a global design language through my images, just like graffiti. MC What is the source for much of the symbolism you use in your work? G I paint mainly themes from the graffiti area as well as the urban environment. One of the main symbols of my work is the hidden faces of my characters. Apart from the fact that the hidden face is intertwined with the graffiti, it also gives the possibility, in my opinion, to the viewer to identify more easily with the character of the image, as well as to create his own story around him with his imagination. I believe that when you show your face people are more engaged with it. Whereas when you hide it, you transfer the power to your actions and create a myth and a mystery around them. For me, it's not so much the faces that matter, but the ideas behind them. This is what I try to capture through my characters. MC Living in a city like Athens with all its history and heritage, what is your point of view on which buildings, walls, or surfaces you can or cannot paint on? Are there any rules you guys abide by that outsiders may not be aware of or is everything fair game? Artist in focus/Interview Gospel 37

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