Artist: Makis E. Warlamis
Title: Utopien 04
Collection: Kunstmuseum Waldviertel
Source/Photographer: Own work, Daskunstmuseum, 2007-01-05
About the word “Utopia,” via Wikipedia:
The word utopia was coined from Ancient Greek by Sir Thomas More in 1516. “Utopia” comes from Greek: οὐ (“not”) and τόπος (“place”) which translates as “no-place” and literally means any non-existent society, when ‘described in considerable detail’. However, in standard usage, the word’s meaning has shifted and now usually describes a non-existent society that is intended to be viewed as considerably better than contemporary society.
In his original work, More carefully pointed out the similarity of utopia to eutopia, which is from Greek: εὖ (“good” or “well”) and τόπος (“place”), hence eutopia means “good place”, which ostensibly would be the more appropriate term for the concept the word “utopia” has in modern English. The pronunciations of eutopia and utopia in English are identical, which may have given rise to the change in meaning.
What I love about this painting:
This Utopia is unreachable, as all true Utopias are. It floats high above the mundane world, visible but just out of reach. The colors are intense, vibrantly moody. The landscape above which this perfect island floats is serene, a beautiful place.
Every idea of perfection is different. Warlamis’ Utopia is not the golden city many storytellers and writers of speculative fiction might imagine, but is instead an island of undisturbed landscape, looking almost like the untrammeled headland one might find beside the sea.
His Utopia is a step back to nature, to a simpler time.
In truth, it isn’t too different from the land over which it flies. And, if that is the case, why strive to reach it?
What story lurks within this painting? What a great visual prompt to jumpstart Nation Novel Writing Month.
About the Author via Wikipedia DE:
Efthymios “Makis” Warlamis (also: Efthymis, Efthymios Varlamis; born 1942 in Veria, in Central Macedonia, Greece; died 27 December 2016) was a Greek-Austrian architect, painter, poet, writer, educator and museum founder.
Warlamis was a versatile artist. In addition to his basic profession as an architect, he worked as a sculptor, painter, designer and writer. He had exhibitions in museums and exhibition centres in Europe, USA, Asia and Egypt. His works are represented in international public and private collections such as the Graphic Collection of the Albertina Vienna, Museum moderner Kunst Wien, DAM Deutsches Architekturmuseum Frankfurt, Collection Alexander Jolas, Collection of the State of Austria, Collection Liaunig.
In 1992, together with his wife Heide, he founded the International Center for Art and Design I.DE. A. in Schrems. He planned and built the Kunstmuseum Waldviertel, which opened in Schrems in 2009.
Credits and Attributions:
Wikimedia Commons contributors, “File:2010 Utopien arche04.jpg,” Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:2010_Utopien_arche04.jpg&oldid=501416249 (accessed October 30, 2020).
Wikipedia contributors, “Utopia,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Utopia&oldid=986041921 (accessed October 30, 2020).
Wikipedia DE Contributors, Efthymios Warlamis, Wikipedia the Free Encyclopedia, https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Efthymios_Warlamis (accessed October 30, 2020).