Some works affect me more than others. An oil painter acquaintance of mine said that people don’t pick the art they like, the art picks them. I have a piece of this artist’s work hanging over my fireplace. My son has said that when I die all he wants of mine is the painting over my fireplace.

Would you agree with me that some work affects you in a more profound way than other works of art. Another example: Ken Farrar sculpted a flat of a French military man holding a young girl in his arms, cheek to cheek. The piece is well sculpted, but the title he gave the piece turns it into a significantly emotional piece. The title doubles the value. It is titled “Au Revoir” meaning good bye. If he had titled it “Home Again,” it would have still tugged at my heart, but “Au Revoir” tells you they may never see each other again. I find it difficult to put into words how significant this piece by Ken is to me.

I’ve said all that to introduce the work of yet another artist, sculptor, Michael Kontraros. I first saw the pieces represented in the photos below in someone’s collection of photos from a show. I was taken back by the magnificence of the sculpting. The first question that came to my mind was whether they would be mass produced in order to paint them. (Selfish I know.) The  second best thing was for them to grace the pages of my website. Michael graciously granted me permission to post them here.

The first thing that caught my attention was the quality of the sculpts themselves. I think another reason these caught my attention is related to another of my past times over the last 40 years—sleight of hand with a deck of cards. (A misspent youth.)

Let’s take a look at the pieces Michael sculpted. The concept and sculpting belong to Michael. Chris Panagiotou painted them.

The first one is called “The King is Dead.” Michael writes:

The first bust of the series inspired by a deck of cards. Four figures sitting on top of the King of Hearts, the Queen of diamonds, the Jack of clubs and the Ace of spades. Titled “the King is dead”, there is no doubt that the King has fallen victim to the Joker’s lust for power…Concept art by: ANRY NEMO. Best of Show – Fantasy SWISS WORLD EXPO 2011 Best of Fantasy – Monte San Savino Show 2011

King Card

King 2 King 3The second piece is titled “Jack’s Ghost.” Michael writes:

The second bust of the series inspired by a deck of cards. Four figures sitting on top of the King of Hearts, the Queen of diamonds, the Jack of clubs and the Ace of spades. Titled “Jack’s Ghost”, this undead ghost-like crusader knight symbolizes the questionable morals and motives behind the so-called “holy” crusades. Best of Show – Fantasy SWISS WORLD EXPO 2011 Best of Fantasy – Monte San Savino Show 2011

Jack Card Jack 2The third piece is titled “Enslaved Queen.” Michael writes:

The third bust of the series inspired by a deck of cards. Four figures sitting on top of the King of Hearts, the Queen of diamonds, the Jack of clubs and the Ace of spades. Titled “Enslaved Queen”, this once powerful oriental lady-queen is now in shackles… Her crown, instead of being a symbol of power, is actually an instrument of torment…Based on a Lois Royo concept. Best of Show – Fantasy SWISS WORLD EXPO 2011 Best of Fantasy – Monte San Savino Show 2011

Queen of Diamonds Queen 3 Queen 2Michael has a website at: http://www.mkontraros.com/home.

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And there is more of his work on display at:  http://www.puttyandpaint.com/mkontraros

Three Cards

Great work, Michael. I look forward to seeing more of what you have planned.