Nanos Valaoritis - poet, writer

The spiral mane of a moon that tried, and failed, to become a man – coloured intestines, entomology, the letter 4, the number Omega, question marks, bugs, hearts in sizes and colours, arrows, plants, human figures with fires and suns, a cross or hammer and sickle – it’s all the same – thistles like worms inside fruit.

The heroic screwdriver with its nut and chain, the heart’s throne. This unexpected outburst is like a spring rain, bringing to the earth’s surface not only grass and flowers but all the microscopic creatures of the universe.
And there, at last, is the indescribable described in pictures. Beauty, rising out of the depths of being. A book of Life organized into a Wellspring of life – a spontaneous crystalline whole, equally dizzying as heady. A true panegyric for the eyes that transforms it all into a “personal myth” containing the concept of universality – just as the apple is the same everywhere and the tree with its roots in the soil is also an unbroken continuity, even if submerged as it is in the depths of consciousness, full of islands with orgiastic vegetation.
A great surprise this first appearance of a true, lyrical painter, whose works derive from an incredible magical adventure into the terminus of the Self. The omnipotent Dream maker- a chainlike world that flares like a newborn volcano and branches into an endless sequence.
It’s not just technique or representation, but a series of fireworks and true, gleaming illuminations, in the dual sense of the term, as in Rimbeaud: not only the illustration of a Medieval manuscript, but the dramatization – the meaning within the notion. A shining new page for our Greek eyes – experiences of death, metamorphose and rebirths, a deep adoration pulsing with real emotion in an orgy of colors and patterns.
Bows and arrows for cosmic fertilization, a juggling of dreams in the hands of a gossamer “ Hephaestos”. Aphrodite, too, is sure to be somewhere nearby – she, of the angels and devils, the faithful companion! Hurrah for Akrithakis! Those who have eyes hear and those who have ears will see.

From the catalogue of Alexis Akrithakis exhibition at the Institut Français, Athens 1965