Viral Graphics: inking beyond space continuum
Ilias Apostolakis

 

They describe themselves as non-artists, but their artwork is impressive. Viral Graphics creates some of the best posters and silkscreen prints in the world.

Some people can’t be put neatly in boxes or keep on pretending everything’s fine in a country where situation is getting worse day by day. So, Konstantinos and Aleksandros created Viral graphs and their goal is to contribute not to the Greek but to the international art scene, making amazing stuff. They design posters and make silk screen prints for the international underground scene, doing their best and competing with other companies in the same marketplace!


The question that everyone -even I that I’m making it- dislikes: a short CV please!
Viral was created on January 2006 in Athens by Aleksandros Piromallis and Konstantinos Psixas. We are illustrators and we work digitally creating CD artworks, gig posters, T-shirts prints etc. We have already worked for: Unearthly Trance, Melvins, Miasmal, Coffins, Moss, Graveyard, Keelhaul, Tombs, The Osedax, Sons Of Tonatiuh, Totimoshi, Mudhoney, Wolves In the Throne Room, Jucifer, Grief, Nebula, Dephosphorus, Utech Records, Amplifier Worship fest, Monster Magnet, Electric Wizard, The Howling Wind, Injekting Khaos, Amnis Nihili, Blastbeat Mailmurder.


Viral has worked with many popular foreign bands. So, now I, the fucking journalist, ask you how did that happen. Did you go to them or did they come to you?
In the beginning we contacted some bands in order to create an artwork or anything else for them. Fairly quickly, we received propositions for various jobs and now we have a full- time schedule. We are pleased that we had had the chance to do something that we love so much, to be creative and to escape the gloom of Athens. We want to thank all the people that have contributed to this by any means- not only the bands that we worked for but also every person who bought a poster or even made a good comment on our work.

 

Creating posters is quite popular nowadays. Completed works of art are posted on the walls of buildings in various cities. Do you have high expectations from yourselves?
Of course we try to improve our work, firstly to please ourselves and then to please everyone else. Fortunately, there are still some people who do a great job. So we try to be as good as we can, in order to be “competitive’, but we really dislike this word. We like to believe that we are a very small part of a huge international scene. Competition is something that we receive in a positive way- it improves our work. It has nothing to do with vanity etc


I think that posters are losing their popularity now that the internet and facebook have invaded our lives. Fewer and fewer companies print posters as they prefer online advertising. Is this true?
Posters and flyers are the essential means of advertising for a music festival or something else. Even if you use the internet to promote a festival you will also need a printed version of it. Well, you know some posters are different than others: an offset print is different from a silkscreen print. Anyway, it has to be printed in a way that it would be a collective item and not just an advertisement. A poster should not only inform people about a live performance but also remind it to them after it’s finished. It’s a part of the whole experience, mainly of the things that happen before and after it.

Are there people who are still buying posters instead of getting them of the wall? Can you make a living out of your talent? Do you belong to the category of the cursed artists?
Talking about posters, we should add that Viral Graphs makes silkscreen prints in order to have the possibility to sell them after the events, as a kind of memorabilia.  In fact it’s like a souvenir. Of course there is an audience that is interested in this scene, especially in the USA and in some European countries (Germany, France and England).  Various silk screen festivals take place abroad, for example Flatstock takes place in the USA two or three times per year and annually in Europe. Festivals like this one are not popular in Greece even though some people are thinking of organizing one and this is really positive. Viral is our main occupation. We had much work to do so we had to quit our jobs to achieve our goals. Things towards this direction are difficult, due to the economic crisis, but we prefer doing this –that is more difficult- than working for an advertising agency. 


Tell me a couple of outstanding artists.
Vania Zouravliov, Aaron Horkey, Alan Forbes, David V. D'Andrea, Glyn Smith, John Santos, Denis Forkas Kostromitin among others.

Well, in the underground scene, there is a problem concerning fanzines and music albums. Probably because people are more interested in what they are doing and not in making a profit- not like in the mainstream scene. Is that true?
We totally agree. Nevertheless, during the last few years major record companies are releasing the same disks with a better artwork. These are few cases in comparison to the ones in the underground scene, but you can always find beautiful and ugly stuff, mainstream or not. The thing is that you should have bright ideas, you should be passionate and devoted to what you do. 


Tell me two or three works that you are proud of.
Whatever we did was the best that we could have done at that time, so we are proud of all our works. Nevertheless, our work for Dephosphorus, the Utech Records festival, the poster for Wolves In The Throne Room and the posters for Melvins are our favorites each one for a different reason. Moreover, Bacteria, a fanzine that we released not long ago and that focuses on the “digital” design, is high on the list. Although it is not a work for a band/client it is something that we always wanted to do, first and foremost to please ourselves.

Thank you very much for talking about art to a non-journalist.  It’s time to wrap it up.
Thank you very much Mr. non- journalist for giving the chance to two non-artists to talk about their work. And remember integrity and creativity are the most important things!




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