In his pen and ink drawings, with delicate touches of watercolors, Australian artist and philhellene Max Grierson manages to capture the unique sensation of strolling through Athens and the Greek islands. His drawings perfectly depict the country’s distinctive architecture bathed in the delicate light that Greece is famous for.
A long-time lover of Greece and Greek culture, Grierson took inspiration for his collection, titled “Greece,” from the stunning old buildings dotted around Athens, many of which are in need or repair and refurbishment, as well as the traditional architecture found on the islands.
Most of his architecturally-focused was created while Grierson and his wife vacationed in Greece for three months in 2018. While on holiday, the couple visited Athens, Kardamyli, and many other gorgeous Greek islands, including Hydra, Serifos and Sifnos.
On his website, Grierson makes it clear that his depictions of run-down buildings was not a statement on the status of Greece as a nation, but on his “regret at the loss of such architecture.”
His drawings, made with ink-based markers and aquarelle pencils on acid-free paper, imbue the old, graffiti-covered buildings with new life — effectively preserving them on paper despite their abandonment — and likely demolition.
While Grierson has been visiting Greece for many years, he has no Greek heritage nor does he speak the language. He simply feels a deep connection to the country’s rich and unique culture and history.
Like many artists, Grierson finds Greece to be an unending source of inspiration, both thematically and aesthetically.
Deeply interested in Greek mythology, Grierson has incorporated aspects of ancient Greek myth in his work, to help analyze how ancient Greek themes are present in contemporary society, specifically in fashion and pop culture.
Greece, through her many faces, has served as Grierson’s muse throughout the years, as the artist explores the country’s unique golden light, stunning natural landscapes, monumental history, and compelling cultural heritage in his work.
Grierson, connected to art for all of his life, was once head of the Art Department at the prestigious Caulfield Grammar School in Melbourne.
Now retired, the artist and educator has now invested all of his time in his art and has even more opportunities to travel to Greece with his wife, who has been studying Greek for many years.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, Grierson was not able to visit Greece this year, but anxiously awaits his next trip to the country, where he can find the seed for his next collection.