Eleni and Menelaus
This painting was originally commissioned by one of the Universities in the Los Angeles area for the poster of a theatrical production "The Return of Eleni" that was an adaptation from Ancient Greek Drama by Euripides. The production director liked the painting but it was later rejected by the university public relations committee (this is what they told me) as indecent and inappropriate. This rejection automatically made me a member of this elite group of banned artists. It made me feel very sad and at the same time very proud of my work. If you read the original play, I hope that you see how this proposed poster introduces some of the ideas of the play with pictorial elements. The composition includes the boat that brought Menelaus to Egypt and would take both away, the jar that she was going to fill with water when she met her former husband, the dove as a symbol of peace, the pyramids in the back, since the story takes place in Egypt, Menelaus with a rose, ready to accept Helen back, and both covering their faces, since they did not recognize each other in the beginning. Regarding the depiction of Helen, one has to bear in mind that her feminine/sexual persona was the reason for the Trojan war and that at the time of her return to Menelaus, Helen must have been between 40 to 50 years old. I had to make the painting in a way that I could show her age and leave the thoughts of the heroes to the spectator's imagination.
Copyright ©: Zafiris Gourgouliatos, 2001. All rights reserved. Art may not be copied or reproduced without permission. For more information please send E-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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