Xenophon Bitsikas’ In Limbo comes to establish his painting qualities and exploit his powerful symbolisms during an alienated and devastated era in which man has lost each one of his standards. This particular series enables him to develop his personal research, to explore new possible methods of representation and narration, to suggest a different perspective on the way we view and interpret things, and to speak of hostility, disharmony, the nightmarish isolation of humanity, and of all those feelings he senses and experiences beyond the foreseeable. His artistic creations reflect an inner way of experiencing reality and reveal a unique mentality, while being dramatic and intense, feverish, sensitive and integral. These are the works of an already achieved maturity; works that give off emotion and truth, works that constitute autonomous artistic events and solid narrations of multiple readings and references. The practiced vision, the drawing sharpness, the masterful representational methods, the intensity and vehemence of the gesture, and the skillful techniques juxtaposed to the mental concentration and emotional breadth, they all conspire to reach his peak in the In Limbo compositions, by means of a modern, dynamic, incisive, original and contemplative approach.
The flexibility of forms, the light, the variation of gray shades, the processing technique of superposing and cutting, the conceptual use of collages, the catalytic contrast of black and white, the expressionist intensity, the dealing with the relation between form and space through a remarkably austere and suggestive method, are elements which contribute to the imposing atmosphere of his themes charged with intensifying connotations and a unique practice by Bitsikas. In this series, the artist contemplates on the concept of boundaries and their trespass, multiple levels and their alternation, transparency, exposure and concealment; elements which re-appear and dominate in In Limbo as they did in several of his previous creations. These mixed media (charcoal, acrylic, collage) compositions are developed in three dimensions and shift between the limits of painting and installation; thus the static position of the viewer switches with an optical variation.
The artist’s thorough familiarity with the great tradition of European painting is considered to be a fruitful apprenticeship and experience which decisively formulated the context of his artistic creation. In the In Limbo series he makes direct references to and employs images and figures from Tadeusz Kantor’s works (such as those of the Dead Class series) thus demonstrating that man continues to be the reference axis in the overall of his artistic creation. The body seems to hover in its ambiguous and spectral revelation as oneself and as the “other”, vulnerable and lonely, silent and wounded, tormented, defenseless and distorted; it comes face to face with death anxiety and the inevitable fate, with loss, fall and crash, it lingers in a fragile and precarious equilibrium, in the semantic and fragmentary inner elliptic, in moments frozen in space and time. The title given to this series of works makes strong references to the circumstances of emptiness, dependence, uncertainty, and to the decontextualization of the human condition. The artist presents a world in turmoil, a world in-between, an episode of life staged on an imaginary theatre directly correlated it to the frames of mind, in his attempt to reveal a secret meaning. Nonetheless, his creations are not devoid of lyrical mood, structural charm and of a romantic feeling which can become occasionally extreme and unpredictable, sharp and subversive.