In his body of work Kostis Fokas searches for a new take on the human form and seeks to explore its infinite capabilities. His photographs are a testimony of human sculptures, a landscape where the bizarre meets the ordinary. In this alternate universe, everyday objects and props are juxtaposed with partial nudes and covered faces, suspended somewhere between reality and fantasy. As the title of his first conceptual project “I’M NOT MALFUNCTIONING, YOU ARE” suggests, the artist allows his models to interact freely, most of the time in uncanny and quirky ways, often conveying a sense of surrender and submissiveness. Instead of capitalizing on the feelings of the objects portrayed through the use of faces and expressions, Fokas shifts his focus on the complete freedom of the human body. Completely surrendered on the viewers eyes and decisions.
What’s the concept behind your images?
The images I created the past two years are all part of my first project “I’M NOT MALFUNCTIONING, YOU ARE”. This project is based on a particular idea. Through my photos I wish to present a new take on the human body and explore its infinite capabilities. The use of quirky, and sometimes hidden faces communicates exactly that. Unlike photography that seeks to reveal the feelings of the objects through the use of faces and expressions, I shift my focus on the complete freedom pertained to the image of a human body. Stripped from its clothes, I leave the body fully exposed and completely surrendered.
Are your images in “I’M NOT MALFUNCTIONING, YOU ARE” meant to be erotic photographs?
The images are not meant to be sexual or erotic photographs. The contrary on the naked bodies serve as a metaphor for how we feel when we get undressed. This uncomfortable feeling of exposing ourselves to others, revealing our inhibitions and feelings that were well kept within us.
What’s the importance of the props in your images?
Props are an important element in my work, their use is symbolic and metaphorical. A mask that is used to hide a face is as important as the face that is hiding behind it.
What’s your inspiration behind your first project?
When I started with my project I was very interested in “Glitch Art”. I wanted to achieve some kind of an abstract quality, which is the reason why I created the awkward gestures in my models. It was a mind extending time for me, which has helped me free my imagination. I was in a very experimental phase and the direction I wanted to follow was something unknown at the time. I wanted to create images, where the viewers had a hard time understanding, what they were seeing. Whether if it was reality or fantasy, I wanted to explore the gab between those two things.
Is there any reason behind why your subjects are always faceless?
The main idea behind this project is to give to the bodies the opportunity to talk about my story. It is almost as if you let the body speak for itself. To me these bodies are not faceless. They are perfect, and the lack of facial expression makes them more complete/perfect.