Nestled in a cozy, hand-built studio just off the
Mornington Peninsula, Charlie Nanos has embarked on
a transformative journey from tradesman to a full time artist. In 2021, a rare heart condition forced him to leave his trade, but he found solace and healing through the world of art. His aim now is to weave storytelling and nostalgia into his artworks, infusing them with vibrant colours and a touch of sentimentality. Through his unique and simplistic styles, he strives to transport viewers into a realm of cherished memories and imaginative narratives.
Q: What distinct features of Australian cities and
suburbs inspire you to include them into your art?
A: I try to choose buildings, like milk bars, or things like
old trams. I feel like they have a nostalgic value to them. Generally, people love re-capturing happy memories
of the past.
Melbourne has a good blend of old charming buildings,
and newer bigger buildings made of steel and metal.
Both things blend well within the city skyline.
Q: What do you do to get into your creative zone?
A: I take inspiration from things like buildings that
have a lot of character and personal memories attached
to them. Or maybe places that have stories which
have affected myself or the peopleI love or have a connection to.
Q: What emotions do you aim to convey through
your artwork when depicting quintessentially
A: A lot of the places that I’m depicting in my paintings have some nostalgia or have connections to happy memories such as meeting a first date at Flinders St Station or going to the MCG. I also love the laneways because they are gritty, and it’s really paint on paint
on paint. I love the imperfections and things that
have a story within them which then brings different meanings to people.
Q: What is the soundtrack of your life?
A: I did listen to an album a lot when I was sick, by a band called “Gang of Youths”. The album is called “Let me be clear”. There is a song on there which is about seeing the other side of life, and I feel like that’s where I was in the hustle and bustle of doing a trade and breaking my back
to make money, and now where I can paint which brings me so much happiness and joy.
Q: Can you share a specific piece of artwork that holds a special place in your heart? Why is it meaningful to you?
A: I have an artwork titled “self”. I painted this one during
my recovery from when I was sick. The inspiration was
the old me transforming into the new me, in terms of my trade profession transforming into who I want to be, the other side of myself I guess. You grow as you get older,
and you become interested in new things.