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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, Oct. 22


English teachers can expect to receive a few useful pointers today from Evgeny Kalashnikov, the British Council regional teacher, during the EFL Seminar this afternoon hosted by the British Book Center. The topic of todays seminar is Grammar Practice.


Young Petersburgers will get the chance to jumpstart their careers at Professional Growth, a job fair and forum featuring more than 40 major Russian and international companies vying for potential candidates for future positions. The forum not only is a chance to network but also to learn more about the modern business world and to understand what it takes to get the job you want.



Thursday, Oct. 23


AmChams Public Relations Committee meeting is scheduled to meet this morning at 9 a.m. in their office in the New St. Isaac Office Center.


Sportsmen get their chance to stock up on all kinds of gear at the Hunting and Fishing 2014 exhibition starting today at Lenexpo. Everything from rods and reels to boats, motorcycles and equipment for underwater hunting will be on sale so that any avid outdoorsman can always be prepared.



Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBAs ongoing Breakfast with the Director series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at Sounds of the Universe, a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the clubs website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit Neophobia at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBAs Marketing and Communications Committees round table discussion on Government Relations Practices in Russia this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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