"I, with my cheap mind, know one thing. I dedicated my entire life to painting because, as it seems, it was my destiny to be born this way; otherwise, something different could not have happened. Like breath a thing. You don't breathe because it means something, you don't torture your mind to understand what is behind the breath, but simply, you breathe incessantly because you want to live. So is my painting, barba. I paint for a living. Don't let the little soul shake me..."
The life of the monk of Varia, the painter of Romiosyna, Theofilos Hatzimichael
Ahmakis means light-hearted, the naive, perhaps even the retarded. It was the accompanying nickname of Theofilos Hatzimichael since his childhood. The mocking award of a society for the most capricious artist of the modern Greek period.
Vangelis Pappa's book reveals in a novel way the varied biography of the most strange and controversial Greek painter. A humble dressmaker, a visionary, in a Greece that almost everyone had stopped dreaming about. A unique artist whose innovations at the time were considered indifferent and graphic and an art that praised Greekness, love and heroism in an unprecedented way, to such an extent that its honesty, although it was considered indifferent by its compatriots, nevertheless in West of modernism was declared as great and priceless.
The historical path of the unsurpassed popular painter, Theophilos in time, was truly fictional. Modern history, the victories and defeats of Hellenism move Theophilus continuously on the geographical map of Greece as a planet and missionary of the higher idea of pure heroism, with his only weapon, a single brush...
Vangelis Pappas, through the history and legend of the great Greek painter who decisively inspired the generation of the '30s, creates a multi-layered work, in which the path to personal freedom and purification is sought. A world of visions and secret apotheosis, interiority and symbols, build the character of the wise Theophilos Hatzimichael, through the popular and universal style of the language of his times, and his works that take us safely to the truths of Ahmakis of Varia.