The self-taught artist showcased her artwork in the exhibition “All you need is Greece in New York,” at the Opening Gallery, in Tribeca, New York. The exhibition ran from July 29th to September 8th, with the closing ceremony on September 7th. The reception, whose profits went to the nonprofit Luv Michael in support of adults with autism, was hosted by Greece in USA, an organization promoting contemporary and ancient Greek culture abroad. It was also held under the auspices of the Greek National Tourism Organization and the Greek Ministry of Culture. At the ceremony, guests from the diaspora gathered to honor Rovithi’s work, which aims to capture the essence of Hellenism. NGTV spoke with Rovithi to learn more about her impactful work and its influence on the omogeneia.
NGTV: Tell me about your book “All you need is Greece.” How would you describe the artwork?
Caroline Rovithi: This book is part of my mission to promote Hellenism and the love for Greece worldwide, by creating bright, bold, and empowering works of art, showcasing the beauty, spirit, and strength of the country, even in turbulent times. Ιconic symbols bridge history with the modern era, blending Greece’s heroic past with bright colors and contemporary imagery, while accompanied by inspirational texts. All my works are based on my belief, that “All we need is Greece.”
NGTV: What inspires your work?
Caroline Rovithi: “Greece” inspires my work. Greece is a work of art, a masterpiece which I am blessed and privileged to experience every day. Living in Greece gives me the strength and drive to create art to inspire, motivate, and celebrate my country.
NGTV: How important was it for you to showcase your work in New York?
Caroline Rovithi: It is a very important milestone. I am deeply honored and happy to have had this opportunity to showcase the "All you need is Greece collection" in New York City and especially being hosted by the Hellenic Initiative & the organization Greece in USA and contributing to connecting the Greeks in diaspora with their Greek origins and heritage. [The exhibition] was beyond successful. There was an incredible crowd of Greek diaspora and important art collectors.
NGTV: How can your art touch Greeks and Greek Americans in New York?
Caroline Rovithi: I aim to translate the atmosphere, culture, and history of Greece into visual metaphors that instantly bring the country to mind. My artworks are based on events and symbols that are in the forefront of Greek consciousness, some especially are combining cultural components that constitute the relationship between Greece and New York.
Examples of New York-related artworks include the “Filoxenia, NY coffee cup,” the “Most precious diamond,” which is a reference to Tiffany’s, the “Aygolemono” soup can, which is inspired by Andy Warhol’s iconic “Campbell Soup,” and of course the Greek version of the iconic "I Love NY" logo,” an artwork created especially for this show.
NGTV: How did it feel being celebrated by the Greek-American community?
Caroline Rovithi: It was so heartwarming. I felt a deep connection with everyone, and that is the power of the Greek spirit. I felt so honored that all these incredible people dedicated their time to come and support this project, to hear what I had to say, to see my art, and most importantly, all their positive feedback motivates me to create even more.
NGTV: What piece of artwork are you most proud of and why?
Caroline Rovithi: It is very difficult to pick just one... I will emphasize on three that have a deep emotional value. My first artwork about Greece: the “Crying Greek flag”, which I created during a challenging period for Greece with the economic crisis rising. It’s a large Greek flag, standing strong and proud although it is hurting and crying. At that time, I was living abroad and every time I visited Greece, I came across sad people, having huge financial difficulties, coping with anxiety while feeling helpless and at a dead end. This first flag is how all these emotions where expressed. That was the beginning of my series of conceptual artworks about my country. A few years later I created the “New tsarouchi Air” during the peak of the crisis, I wanted to emphasize that “WE CAN DO IT”, Greeks can do it! I used the tsarouchi shoe, an object with tradition and heritage, and “upgraded” it so it can “adjust” to the new era of Greece without losing its identity. Last year, I created an artwork that is of a great importance, the painting “HELLAS the power within us”. This piece of art is one of a kind, because it was made on the top of Mount Olympus. We filmed the whole process from the beginning of the hike until the creation of the painting at the peak of the mountain, Mytikas.
The most important part is that no artist has ever done that before. It was a challenging experience that has marked my heart, my soul, and my life forever.
NGTV: Is there something you are working on next?
Caroline Rovithi: More exhibitions internationally – USA, Canada, Australia – are on the way, as my deepest drive is to inspire people worldwide to feel and become aware of our beautiful country. I want to inspire them through my art, to create a meaningful and emotional connection with Greece.
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