Greek photographer Michael Pappas explores faith and community of the extraordinary folk culture of Greece.
In 2022-2023 he was designated as a SPOTLIGHT PHOTOGRAPHER by VOGUE for the Mitos Project.
This work focuses on female traditional costumes from all over Greece.
The Mitos project premiered at the Fragonard Museum in the world’s perfume capital Grasse, France, and is a variation of the ‘Ethos’ exhibition, which was successfully completed at the Benaki Museum of Greek Culture, this time focusing on women’s traditional costumes.
His images are being published internationally, including New York Times, The Guardian, National Geographic, VICE US and more.
He is a contributor to KATHIMERINI newspaper and Gastronomos magazine.
The Mitos work is characteristic of my identity as a photographer, it incorporates specific aesthetic forms with the topics that interest me. It is almost idealistic and tends to idealize the faces, it is often compared to “iconography”, however for me it is just an attempt to capture a “truth” that I see exists at the time of photography. Creating only with natural light and with unpretentious faces, I resist the “impressively artificially made spectacle” of fashion that ultimately is an illusion while this condition tends to replace real life. This art does not fit into narrow boundaries and defined types but breathes in the intermediate space “in between and betwixt” while its dynamic is liquidity.
The people who still wear the local costumes are the subject of Mitos which deals with Greek folk art and the particular ethno-scapes. The thread that I “hold”, therefore, takes me on a journey through space and time. The thread unites the stories and experiences of people while at the same time claiming visibility for these stories to be heard by a wider audience. Mitos in a wider perspective is not just a photography work but also a storytelling one.
Clothes / fashion, casual or festive, wedding dresses, are an integral part of the self and the body while suggesting a system of values and containing overt or covert cultural codes. The journey of “Mitos”, therefore, concerns the concept of physicality, the body as the means by which we perceive and understand the world, we exist and we feel, we think and we act. All of these cultural elements emerge on the basis of humanitarian values, the antithesis of nationalism, highlighting multicultural osmosis as a creative process. This process is extremely dynamic and fluid while it has great executive power while at the same time the viewer maintains a “free relationship” with the artwork. I believe that the power of art together with the power of storytelling enables a substantial – between the old, the new, the “meta” dialogue of all human beings, without discrimination, without stereotypes, without social exclusions and controversies, bridging gaps and seeking to combat racism and pathogenesis. The importance of public dialogue that begins on the occasion of photography, concerns the formation of perceptions, attitudes and change of mentality in a more positive direction.
A thread that bind me with my roots!
-Images are published internationally, including VOGUE, New York Times, The Guardian, National Geographic, VICE and more.
-Partnered with Blue Star Ferries, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, UNESCO.
-Digital archive is held and safeguarded by the Benaki Museum, Athens, Greece.
-THE BENAKI MUSEUM OF GREEK CULTURE. GREECE. ATHENS. NOV6 2018 – JAN13 2019. ETHOS.
-MUSEE FRAGONARD. FRANCE. GRASSE. MAY25 – SEP22, 2019. ETHOS.
-PHOTOMETRIA PHOTOGRAPHY CENTER. GREECE. IOANNINA. SEPTEMBER 2021. MITOS.
-GALLERY HESTIA. SERBIA. BELGRADE. JUN20 – SEP17, 2023. ETHOS – MITOS.
-MODULAR PHOTOGRAPHIC INSTALLATION. GREECE. KYTHNOS ISLAND. JUL22 – OCT01, 2023. THREADS.
QUALITY IN COLOR
Based in Euboea island, Greece. Working worldwide.