Artist Profile: Konstantin Dimopoulos

Written by: Adele Dimopolous
Artist, Konstantin Dimopoulos – who is currently working on a range of projects in the USA – was born in Port Said, Egypt, to Greek parents and grew up at the mouth of the Suez Canal until the age of eight, when the family moved to Wellington, New Zealand.
In 2003 he moved to Melbourne to live and work, installing his signature linear sculptures at Federation Square; outside the RACV Healesville Country Club; at the Aurora urban development in Epping; and outside the Belconnen Arts Centre in Canberra.
The images and experiences of his early childhood; his move to New Zealand – which was then a world away- and being a stranger in a country that was not fully tolerant of non-English-speaking immigrants, created in him an indelible social awareness.
Drawing from his diverse cultural and political history, Dimopoulos fashions a visual language based on thematic and contextual constructions. His multidisciplinary art practice incorporates sculpture, installation, performance, painting and printing in the creation of monumental imagery, social and environmental interventions and conceptual proposals that argue the potential of ‘art’ as a means of social engagement and change.
He has an established international reputation for his signature kinetic linear sculptures and his ongoing environmental art installation, The Blue Trees, which is about global deforestation. This socially-engaged artwork takes trees in an urban space and through the use of colour, temporarily transforms them into a surreal landscape. The community helps him create the artwork and, in the process of doing so, learns about the role that art plays in creating a visual narrative.
It is ironic that The Blue Trees began in Melbourne yet never materialised after the City of Melbourne withdrew its permission to colour its city trees based on what one councillor later described as ‘a kneejerk reaction’.
Since then Dimopoulos has created The Blue Trees in more than twenty cities around the world. He has four installations to create around the USA this year alone.
His art practice keeps him travelling for much of each year. So far in 2018 he has installed a monumental linear sculpture in Houston, Texas. Afterwards, he is installing a light work in a public space in Denver, to be followed by a linear sculpture in Jacksonville, Florida. These works add to his body of public sculptures around the USA, including in Seattle, Palm Springs, Denver and Cedar Rapids.
This regular travel to the US prompted him and his wife, Adele, to consider relocating to the USA for a few years. In early 2016 they moved to Canada for three months before driving across the USA, stopping in Breckenridge, Colorado for a month’s arts residency. They continued on to Mississauga, Canada to create The Blue Trees, then also went down to Chattanooga, Tennessee to create the installation.
Kon and Adele are still in Chattanooga but moving to New York in a few weeks’ time. At his Chattanooga studio Dimopoulos created a new body of paintings, The Goldilocks series, based on children’s fairy tales, the environment and today’s political rhetoric of false news and altered facts.
He paints on built-up layers of paper reflecting his fascination with how posters are applied one on top of the other, creating imperfect textured surfaces. Each work is heavily resined, creating what he describes as a ‘veneer of truth’.
Dimopoulos’ widening use of both new and repurposed materials creates works that are, at times, provocative in their own right. His Barbed Wire Buddha uses a functional and hostile material to describe something non-violent and peace-driven.
In all his work he offers reflection and commentary on place, on the environment, the state of the human condition as well as social, political, economic and environmental issues, locally and globally. What differentiates his work is his firm belief that art makes a difference, beyond any concept of art for art’s sake.