The visitor to Metsovo, 1995
Pavlos Samios studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts (1969-1972) under Yannis Moralis and Nikos Nikolaou; he then went to Paris, where he lived until 1992. Among those artists opposed to the trend of the new abstraction and of giving precedence to the gesture over the object, thus raising afresh the problem of depiction, Samios did not hesitate to promote his belief in easel painting, which continued to provide scope for a revision of the relation between reality and art by deriving features and methods from the past of painting itself. His constant encounters with the teachers, the great figures of the avant-garde or the older 'classics', and with the painting tradition of Greece - Byzantine and ancient - repositioned in his work the problem of relations with the past, not at the level of sterile nostalgia, but at that of a belief and awareness that the artist is the addressee and partaker of his cultural heritage. This assumption led to a new approach to the questions which modernism had neglected, such as the importance of the subject, and the re-creation of the context of a story, with a quest for references in art history itself. With special reference to human relations, which have concerned Samios throughout his artistic career, in the 1990s he gave expression to the equally strong bonds, interwoven with the very nature of man, which bind him to nature, and his activities within it.
In Visitor to Metsovo, the dominant figure is the woman of Metsovo in local costume who is hospitably welcoming the stranger to her village. The painting of Pavlos Samios is purely anthropocentric, giving a picture of reality through a form of narration in which with episodes, comments, and digressions he tries to re-create the setting of a story, at the same time lending a symbolic, emotional, cultural charge to its content.