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Sculptor Weaves Magic From Refuse

A fashionable display of thousands of aluminium cans bring together beer, royalty and opera.

Published: March 12, 2014 (Issue # 1801)



  • Maria Callas' costume for the opera "La Traviata."
    Photo: Giuseppe Verdi

  • From a distance, the tight aluminum weaving creates an illusion that Floros sculptures have been made from fabric.
    Photo: Ilias Diamantakos

  • Intricate detailing complete the accessories inspired by Princess Grace Kelly.
    Photo: Lana Matafonov / For SPT

When it comes to fashion, some women are willing to wear anything as long as it looks good even if its aluminium cans. That is definitely the most popular question I get asked, says Nikos Floros, a Greek sculptor who is in St. Petersburg for the first time to showcase his work. Women want to know if they can wear my sculptures. So far only one woman has, a model wearing a corset from coke cans for the Vienna Opera Ball at the request of the event director. I dont know if I would allow this again for any one else, even a pop star not even Lady Gaga or Madonnaeven if they kneel in front of me, he says laughing.

Wearing an outfit from aluminium cans may sound absurd at first but Floros dramatic sculptures are created in such a way that you could be forgiven for easily mistaking the dresses to be made from fabric such is the intricacy and precision of his work.

Now, after a six-month showing in Moscows Tsaritsyno State Memorial Estate, where an estimated four million people are said to have visited, Floros exhibition has arrived at the Museum of the Academy of Fine Arts for one month only. Titled Tribute to Maria Callas and Grace Kelly, Petersburgers have an opportunity to admire up-close Floros retrospective work dedicated to the aura, soul and charm of legendary opera singer, Callas, and the American actress-turned Monaco princess, Kelly.

Both of these women were great personalities of the arts who inspired many others. Both of them also left their mark in history and both had a tragic death. In addition, both were friends in real life. Its these factors that make them special to me, says Floros before adding, I feel they also both embody the three basic principles of Hellenism: strength, beauty and harmony.

Hand-cut, twisted, woven and shredded, Floros technique with the aluminum is immediately impressive. While his collection, which includes a series of dresses, handbags, shoes and gloves, may not be to everyones taste, you cant help but appreciate the work behind it especially the grand sculpture inspired by the wedding dress worn by Kelly for her marriage to Prince Rainier of Monaco. Created specifically to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the death of the princess, the remarkable dress took four years and over 4,000 diet coke cans to create cans that Floros collected himself from factories and restaurants, and still does today.

When I start, I dont have a clear idea on how it will be, says Floros, explaining his creative process. I have heard this from many artists too, that when they start, they dont have a clear idea on the finished product and finally the work itself dictates how it wants to be done.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Nov. 26


AmChams Public Relations Committee will meet this afternoon in their office in the New St. Isaacs Office Center on Ulitsa Yakubovicha at 4 p.m.


Zoosphere, an international exhibition focusing on the pet industry, opens today at the Lenexpo convention center on Vasilievsky Island. Not only will items such as toys, terrariums and accessories be available for purchase, but animal enthusiasts can also learn about the latest in veterinary medicine and behavioral training thanks to the conferences and presentations that are part of the event.



Thursday, Nov. 27


The Customs and Transportation Committee for AmCham meets this morning at 9 a.m. in their office on Ulitsa Yakubovicha.


Tickets are still available for local KHL team SKA St. Petersburgs showdown with Siberian club Metallurg Novokuznetsk tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Ice Palace outside the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. Tickets can be purchased on the teams website, at the arena box office or in their merchandise store on Nevsky Prospekt.


Celebrate one of Russian literatures most tragic figures during Blok Days, a two-day celebration of the 134th anniversary of the poets birthday. The tragic tenors work, which led to writer Maxim Gorky to hail him as Russias greatest living poet before his death in 1921, will be recited and meetings and discussions about his contributions to the Silver Age of literature in St. Petersburg will be discussed in the confines of his former residence.



Friday, Nov. 28


Join table game aficionados at the British Book Centers Board Game Evening. Held every Friday at 5 p.m., aficionados and amateurs alike can come take part in a variety of different games that test ones intellect and cunning.



Saturday, Nov. 29


Cats, dogs, birds, rodents and reptiles are just some of the things that will walk and crawl at Lenexpo convention center this weekend as part of Zooshow, a two-day exhibition featuring not only mans best friends but a four-legged fashion show, as well as a food fair that will help pet owners find out more about which kibbles are best for their hungry pets.



Sunday, Nov. 30


Remember the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Russo-Finnish war in 1939 during todays reenactment titled Winter War: How it Was. More than 200 people will take part in recreating the opening salvoes of the battle for the north in Kamenka, a small village situated between Vyborg and St. Petersburg, using authentic equipment and vintage vehicles from the era. The faux battle begins at 2 p.m.



Monday, Dec. 1


Serbia filmmaker Emir Kusturica is the featured guest this evening at the Lensovet Palace of Culture the Petrograd Side. Fans of the director will get the chance to watch his movie Black Cat, White Cat, as well as ask questions about his award-winning filmography. Tickets for the event, which starts at 7 p.m., start at 2,000 rubles ($42.50).



Tuesday, Dec. 2


Today is the final day of Takoy Festival, a three-week program of plays based on the works of Dostoevsky, Remarque and other famed European writers, whose work is transcribed for theatrical performances. Tonights festival finale is Fathers and Sons, a two-act drama staged by the Novosibirsk Academic Drama Theater based on Turgenevs classic about familial relations.



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