World renown paint-by-mouth artist Elias Raftopoulos was born in 1958 in Kalyves and he spent most of his life there. He was taught to paint from a very young age by his father Manolis, himself a self taught artist and an active contributor to the culture of Apokoronas. Elias Raftopoulos died in Kalyves last year at the age of 54.
In 1979 Elias started his studies in the Athens School of Fine Art but two years later a tragic car accident let him quadriplegic.
Elias returned to his art studies four years after his accident, in 1985, after a period of recovery and rehabilitation using only his mouth. He became a member of AMFPA, the The Association of Mouth and Foot Painting Artists of the World.
A few years later Elias moved to Stockholm mainly to get a better quality of care provision for his disability. In Sweden, “where everyone respects human life” as he used to say, he honed his skills as an artist, creating art with his impressive technique of painting with his mouth. He became known for his unique talent and was recognized by major galleries around the world. Elias has had more than 20 individual exhibitions of his work in Greece, Japan, USA, Spain, England, Portugal and Australia.
The exhibition in the old Kalyves Town Hall is jointly organised by Apokoronas council, the Cultural Association of Kalyves and Kalyves Trades Association
The exhibition to celebrate Elias’s life and work will be open to the public between 18:00 and 21:00 on 9 and 10 May.
Art from students in Chania Special Needs schools will also be exhibited.
Two art workshops for school students will be run during the exhibition weekend by artist Sylvia Petsura as part of the of the Summer 2015 Municipality Cultural Events.
Saturday, May 9th 2015
18.00: Opening ceremony.
Paintings by Elias Raftopoulos will be exhibited on the ground floor.
Paintings by the pupils of the participating schools will be exhibited on the first floor.
19.00: Art workshop entitled “Painting with the mouth” by Sylvia Petsoura, visual artist.
Sunday, May 10th 2015
18.00: Art workshop entitled “Painting with the mouth” by Sylvia Petsoura, visual artist. 20.00: Awards and closing ceremony