“Hellenic Heads” features six large busts, each one standing a little over six feet tall when adding in the pedestals.
They all have a cultural connection to Greece. “If you are a Greek American,” says artist George Petrides, “ it reminds you of our heritage or portions of our heritage that you should be aware of.”
Petrides did a deep dive into historical research, focusing on six important periods in Greek history spanning 2,500 years.
He also turned to his family for inspiration.
“The blue one is my mother, the green one is my wife, the tormented one is me, because I do get into those moods,” Petrides told NBC Chicago.
He used himself as a reference point, with the inspiration coming from the Nazi occupation of Greece in the 1940s, which was something his parents lived through.
“That’s the kind of memory that gets transmitted to you, and you start understanding who your parents are, who you are, who your society is,” Petrides said.
In fact, one of the goals of this exhibition is to make connections between the past and present.
“When you come in, you get the sense of women’s roles throughout history whether it’s trying times during war or present day heroines you really get the sense of female empowerment through this show,” Elizabeth Niarchos Neukirch, a spokesperson for the National Hellenic Museum said.
Neukirch added that the busts were created with the help of a 3D printer, which interprets a clay model and adds any additional material needed.
“Hellenic Heads” will be on display at the National Hellenic Museum in Greektown through Dec. 10.