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Year 2019 in review

“An integral theory of art and literary interpretation is thus the multidimensional analysis of the various contexts in which – and by which – art exists and speaks to us: in the artist, the artwork, the viewer, and the world at large. Privileging no single context, it invites us to be unendingly open to ever-new horizons, which broaden our own horizons in the process, liberating us from the narrow straits of our favourite ideology and the prison of our isolated selves.” – Ken Wilber, ‘The Eye of Spirit’

December is the month we review our work of the passing year. I compiled a review for the past two years (for 2017 check here and for 2018 here), presenting my photographic practice. With this post I continue this tradition for the year 2019. Overview by the numbers: 43 photos shoots of architectural, hotel and commercial projects; 22.300 images taken; 13.200 km traveled; 20 awards & distinctions; 65 print and web publications (actively edited & featured); 6 exhibitions & trade shows; 6 books (self-published & participations); 5 exclusive interviews produced for Arcspace; 3-week intensive academic course (developed & conducted).

Graph #1: photo shoots per month.

Graph #2.1: kilometers traveled per year 2013-2019.

Graph #2.2: geographic distribution of photo shoots for 2019 in Greece.

Graph #3: number of images taken per project for 2019.

Top 5 projects in number of images taken:

01. The Lake hotel Ioannina (1813 images).

02. Mitsis Faliraki Hotel Rhodes (1376 images).

03. UTK GR Course (1361 images).

04. Mitsis Alila Hotel Rhodes (1357 images).

05. Niche Hotel Athens (1234 images).

Graph #4: awards & distinctions per year 2013 - 2019.

Graph #5: publications per year 2013 - 2019.

Graph #6: distribution of new and returning clients.

Commissioned assignments included photo shoots for 17 architectural offices, 16 hotels and 10 miscellaneous projects.

8 projects by Office 25 Architects:

- North Aegean Slops, company offices, Thessaloniki, January 2019.

- Kallithea villa, holiday house, Halkidiki, January 2019.

- Marmaras, single-family residence, Halkidiki, January 2019.

- Kallithea residential complex, apartment building, Halkidiki, January 2019.

- Thalassa Suites, Hotel, Corfu, June 2019.

- Atmosphere Spa, Thessaloniki, June 2019.

- Metamorphoseos Apartment Building, Thessaloniki, June 2019.

- Apartment refurbishing, Thessaloniki, June 2019.

5 projects by Elastic Architects:

- Coco-Mat Athens BC, Hotel, Athens, July 2019.

“Pygmalion Karatzas is a great talent behind a photographic lens! He has pleasantly surprised us with the results of each of our collaborations. His images have a mystery and atmospheric mood, he plays with light and speed, the colours are mythical, and he achieves every time to elevate our architectural works with a unique way he only knows how!” - Ria Vogiatzi, Elastic Architects

- Niche Athens, Hotel, Athens, July 2019.

- Hippie Fish Beach Bar & Restaurant, Mykonos, August 2019.

- EverEden Beach Resort Hotel, Athens, August 2019.

- Neon Bakery & Coffee, Argos, August 2019.

- Anyfi extension, single-family residence, Argos, August 2019.

1 project by Human Point / Loucas Fotopoulos: - Shapes Luxury Suites, Boutique Hotel, Syros Island, January 2019.

1 project by 02 Architecture / Valia Foufa: - Lestel Boutique Suites, hotel, Nafplio, February 2019.

Hotel photo shoots: - Shapes Luxury Suites, Boutique Hotel, Syros Island, January 2019.

- Sofitel Athens Airport, hotel, Athens, January 2019.

- Lestel Boutique Suites, hotel, Nafplio, February 2019.

- Lestel Eco-Chic Apartments, Nafplio, March 2019.

- Mitsis Grand Beach Hotel, Rhodes, May 2019.

- Mitsis La Vita Beach Hotel, Rhodes, May 2019.

- Mitsis Petit Palais Hotel, Rhodes, May 2019.

- Mitsis Faliraki Hotel, Rhodes Island, May 2019.

- Mitsis Alila Resort & Spa, Rhodes Island, May 2019.

- Mitsis Rodos Village Beach Hotel, Rhodes Island, June 2019.

"We are very happy with Pygmalion’s photographic work for Mitsis Hotels. Most of our 17 Hotels & Resorts, were recently renovated and we needed the right photographer to portray the value of our investment, the quality of the materials used, the finishing touch, etc. We found in Pygmalion the best partner for that. Besides his excellent photographic skills, he is also a genuinely kind person, very dedicated and passionate about his work, chasing always the right light no matter the time of day. It is not rare I’ve seen him wondering around the hotel in the dark to be able to capture the first ray of sun!"

- Faye Leoussi, Mitsis Group Corporate Affairs

- Mitsis Rodos Maris Resort & Spa, Rhodes Island, June 2019.

- Mitsis Lindos Memories, Rhodes Island, June 2019.

- Thalassa Suites, Hotel, Corfu, June 2019.

- Coco-Mat Athens BC, Hotel, Athens, July 2019.

- The Lake Hotel Ioannina, Ioannina, August 2019.

- Niche Hotel Athens, Athens, November 2019.

Some of the hotels include within them other businesses and typologies:

- Seasons Restaurant, EverEden.

- Asian Spa, EverEden.

- MY Spa, Mitsis Hotels.

- Unlock Escape Rooms.

- All Day Bar Alila.

“With his photographic lens Pygmalion Karatzas composes an architecture free of compromises and strips down the project. His approach has one parameter: the truth of the design coupled with a dreamy realism. He adds a veil of remembrance around architecture without being romantic. I thank him from my heart for his ethos, insight and magical gaze. I am grateful for our excellent collaboration and his modesty which is directly proportional to his explosive talent.” - Nikos Mourikis, Architect / Artist

Other photo shoots:

- Typeroom, workshop and offices, Athens, February 2019, Parachute / Panos Vassiliou.

- Epixeirein Allios, Patras, February 2019.

- Capturing the human experience in place, University of Tennessee Knoxville, May 2019.

- Atmosphere Spa, Thessaloniki, June 2019.

- Cuba Stage Set, Paros Island, August 2019, Fay Vallidis & Giorgos Argiropoulos.

- Agios Aimilianos villa, Porto Heli, September 2019.

- Agios Aimilianos house, Porto Heli, September 2019.

- Oceanus at Methoni, October 2019.

- Stork View Bar Restaurant, Athens, November 2019.

- Fulbright Polymorphia exhibition, i-D Project Art & i-D Concept Stores, Athens, November 2019.

Collaborative production value Most architectural photo-shoots are individual processes as they require a heightened focus of multiple faculties as well as long hours of preparations, waiting, scouting and testing. The photographer is alone with the building to explore it under various light conditions, perspectives and scales. Sometimes though, the production value and feeling of scenes can increase with the help of collaborators. Stylists, drone operators, models, employees of the businesses, communication and art directors, are included making the photo shoot a much more collaborative process. For the Unique Destination Magazine of Mitsis Hotels, models Marios Lekkas and Lydia Aivali, stylists Aggeliki Martseki and Stefanos Domanian, hair & make-up artist Aleksandros Psarianos, and art director Faye Leoussi collaborated for the photo shoots at Lindos Memories Hotel, Rodos Village Hotel and Rodos Maris Hotel along with the managers, employees and chefs of the hotels. Models Kathy Naka and Xenofon Mantzios, styling Efi Exarchou, drone operator Antonis Vroikos, yoga instructor Fay Balomenou, communications director Dimitris Maziotis, collaborated for the photo shoot of the Lake Hotel Ioannina. Architect and director Loucas Fotopoulos, drone operator Stelios Maoutsos, communications & marketing director Evangelos Antonatos, stylist Elli, collaborated for the photo shoot of the Shapes Luxury Suites in Syros island. Stylist Anouck Brinkerink and the stuff of Niche Hotel Athens collaborated for the photo shoot of the hotel.

Marios Lekkas, Lydia Aivali and stuff from Rodos Village Hotel.

Marios Lekkas and Lydia Aivali at Rodos Village Hotel.

Marios Lekkas and Lydia Aivali at Lindos Memories Hotel.

Xenofon Mantzios at Lake Hotel Ioannina.

Fay Balomenou at Lake Hotel Ioannina.

Stork View Bar Restaurant, Niche Hotel Athens.

Kathy Naka and Xenofon Mantzios at Lake Hotel Ioannina.

Fay Balomenou at Lake Hotel Ioannina.

Graph #7: Google Analytics stats of website.

The website currently has approx. 430 pages and 600 blog/news entries.

2019 saw 2783 users and 25.833 pageviews.

Top 10 countries visited the website in 2019: 01. Greece (34%) 02. United States (12%) 03. United Kingdom (8%) 04. Russia (4%) 05. Germany (3%) 06. Italy (3%) 07. France (2%) 08. Switzerland (2%) 09. Australia (2%) 10. India (1%) Top 10 website pages viewed in 2019: 01. Home page 02. Projects Greece 03. TRIF House 04. News / blog 05. Bio / services 06. Shapes Suites 07. Locations 08. Commercial 09. Projects USA 10. Integral Lens

Graph #8: distribution of work by activity.

The photographic practice consists of more than photo shoots for commissioned assignments. The quantitative and qualitative criteria among the numerous activities that comprise the practice are different so instead of calculating a percentage, are all presented equivalently, as a lot of time and effort goes into all of them.

Looking back at the numerous dissemination avenues, I feel proud with the productions achieved this year.

Gallery 1: a selection of magazines published in 2019.

Gallery 2: a selection of books published in 2019.

Gallery 3: a selection of exhibitions and trade shows participated this year in Greece, Italy, UK, Germany, Russia and USA.

Licensing my images to companies for various commercial usages has also been an increasing component.

Gallery 4: a selection of licensing clients.

Gallery 5: a selection of exclusive interviews produced for

Video 1: A behind the scenes montage from the study abroad mini-term 'Capturing the human experience in place - architectural and landscape photography in Greece' from the University of Tennessee Knoxville, co-developed and conducted with prof. Mark DeKay and Susanne Bennett.

We have created a website with students' portfolios from this course, behind the scenes and more information:

"Over the course of three weeks spent in Greece, I had the opportunity to learn how to capture some of the most monumental moments in architectural history. I learned how to manually operate a camera, take long exposure shots, and edit photographs in Lightroom. Thanks to Pygmalion, Mark, and Susanne, I was able to have the experience of a lifetime Greece, while also learning many new things about photography. I was also immersed into the Greek culture, and I loved every minute of it; from the traditional Greek street food to the gorgeous beaches and kind people, I learned a lot about the Greek culture and got a glimpse into life in Greece. I’m very thankful for the opportunity I had to further my studies and life experiences on this trip, and I would do it again in an instant." - Samantha Richwine

"The picturesqueness of Greece allowed an opportunity to capture the essence of experience through photography. The transition from automatic to manual was the most challenging technique that improved over the course. Overall, the time in Greece was memorable because of the professors and other students who embraced the culture in all aspects." - Juliana Rogers

"This adventure was one I will never forget. I had never traveled out of the United States before the trip began and because of that I was able to experience a lot of “firsts” with an amazing group of people and professors. I knew the trip would be enjoyable, but I had no idea how much it would challenge my ideas of culture and creativity. We were encouraged daily to reach outside our own views and bias to be able to fully experience the next encounter. The aspect of photography only added to the understanding of perspective in terms of personal and framed views. Our shooting and post processing skills grew each day as we built on from the previous day’s travel and continued to grow from one site to the next. I am unbelievably grateful for the opportunity as it shaped the way I view culture and travel in an amazing way." - Allie Bierman

Video 2: A montage from the course and trip by Delaney Phillips.

Participating students: Allison Bierman, Riley Doty, Sydney Kilburn, Corley Kotler, Connor Morss, Delaney Philips, Sam Richwine, Juliana Rogers, Grace Shoffner, Caitlin Turner.

Gallery 6: a selection of awards from international photography competitions.

Equally important are distinctions the photographed projects received in architectural and design competitions.

Gallery 7: a selection of distinctions from architectural and design competitions the photographed projects participated in.

Gallery 8: Behind-the-scenes moments.

My gratitude goes out to all the people who help and support my work. May the new year bless you with health, creativity and prosperity. With Love, Pygmalion Karatzas

Thankful acknowledgement to the following clients and collaborators:

Ria Vogiatzi & Alexandros Xenos; Antonis Perpatidis & Thanasis Chrysomallis; Mitsis Hotels & Faye Leoussi; Mark DeKay & Susanne Bennett; Valia Foufa; Loucas Fotopoulos; Vassilios Bartzokas & Tina Marinaki; Panagiotis Papasotiriou; Efi Exarchou; Nikitas Markopoulos; Panos Konandreas; Panos Vassiliou & Chris Trivizas; Fay Vallidis & Giorgos Argiropoulos; Marios Lekkas, Lydia Aivali, Aggeliki Martseki, Stefanos Domanian, Aleksandros Psarianos; Antonis Vroikos, Kathy Naka, Xenofon Mantzios, Fay Balomenou; Anouck Brinkerink; Lena Koskossidou; Panagiotis Bazos; Nikos Skartsilas; Stavros Niflis; Dafna Navarro; Nicola Charalambous; Robert Martin; Joana Franca, Maira Acayaba, Danica Kus, Laurian Ghinitoiu, Mike Kelley; Els Hanappe; Yiorgis Yerolymbos; George Papatheodorou & Maria Papakonstantinou; Christina Papadimitriou & Ilias Konstantopoulos; Anetta & Artur Heller; Ioannis Eleftheriadis; Giota Konstantinidou; Maria Tsantekidou; Katerina Antoniou; Nikolaos Nikolis; Vasiliki Skylogianni; Maria Nikoletou; Dolores Robles - Martinez Gomez; Sergey Fedotov, Stefano Ambroset, Despoina Dimelli, Maria Koundouraki, George and Maria Kalikakis, Tilemachos Andrianopoulos, Kostas Zouvelos, the Euphoria Retreat stuff, Konstantinos Grigoriadis, Theo Sarantoglou Lalis and Jonathan Cheng.

My love and gratitude goes out to my partner in life Evi who for the past two years has continuously supported my vocation with a steadfast spirit.

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