PHILIPPOS HELLENIC GOODS is Number 1 in the Top 20 Greek Product Design Awards. That is in addition to the Gold Medals for Quality in New York and Tokyo, which are all important recognitions for us. Our designer, Miltos Skouras, talks about the relationship between product identity and product image to promote quality.
The Athenian artist Miltos Skouras, is at present, dedicated solely to painting but has also published graphic novels and has been active in the field of advertising since the 80s working for leading fashion and design brands (Persol, Rolex, Armani, Versace, Fiat, Pirelli, Papastratos…). In 2010 he leaves the advertising sector todedicate himself exclusively to painting. In 2016 he exhibits at the State Museum of Contemporay Art in Thessaloniki, "Black and White Stories" a series of pictures, frames of a narrative, with the strong pictorial impact of the graphic novel. Miltos Skouras agreed to cooperate with Philippos Hellenic Goods to create an innovative concept for a Greek Food line with the ambition to promote the quality of a land which has extraordinary potential.
He answers some questions about the relationship between art and consumers goods.
Aesthetics and authenticity
PHILIPPOS HELLENIC GOODS is a project that intends to integrate aesthetics with quality, convenience and authenticity. This has been realised through a line of products designed to fit into a broad concept of pleasure and wellbeing culminating from their relationship with food. How did you associate yourself with regards to the demands of this concept?
The actual activity of PHILIPPOS HELLENIC GOODS centers on being exclusively involved with the goods of the Greek land.
The very laws that govern Nature, enforce in a way, their own aesthetics. We are therefore, required to be consistent with this condition. In our quest for quality and authenticity, given the essence and the usage of your product, the aesthetics escalate and become unique in a natural originality that is closely related to the ‘well being’, the ancient Greek good life. A simple boat for example, is as beautiful and one of a kind as it is seaworthy, built correctly and carefully.
Aesthetics and food
What is the relation between aesthetics and food nowadays? Is this a new relation?
Aesthetics is part of the identity of every product and therefore food products, too. Products and aesthetics are defined by both: the one that produces them and the one that consumes them. Aesthetics has always been the result of a complex cultural experience of the individual.
Don't you think that a «beautiful packaging» to offer products of nature such as Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Olives, Pistachios etc., goes against the value of tradition orthreatens to deceive anyone in search of a genuine product through which he can achieve an authentic lifestyle?
The obvious is irrelevant and of no use. Inspiration comes from the value of its object and it is given the same way to create a new natural state.
I do believe that ‘to mock’ exists because ‘we are mocked’.
What does it mean for an artist to engage in a commercial project?
I dont believe that marketability is necessarily a condition of manipulating creativity. As I mentioned above, I perceive it as a challenge to turn a truth into a new natural state.
How important is to you the idea of representing the Greek culture and values and how has this aspect influenced you in the style choices for Philippos?
I am Greek in a selective way. The manner in which I have brought out my very own multi cultural experiences, is characteristic of my personal choices and it isregistered in the final result of my design.
What image of Greece abroad but also to the Greeks would you like to present through these products?
I would say as did the ancient Greeks “ουκ εν τω πολλω το ευ αλλα εν τω ευ το πολυ’": the good is not in the many but the much is in the good; meaning: quality is not in quantity but in excellence.