Triptych, gold leaf on archival printsPanos Tsagaris The Union, 2014 Triptych, gold leaf on archival prints Each: 152 x 82 cm Courtesy Kalfayan Galleries, Athens - Thessaloniki. As the artist states, "During the last few years I have been working on a series based on the first page of international newspapers that I have been collecting and which had Greece’s financial crisis as their lead article. Every single photograph and text on those front pages have been covered with gold leaf with the exception of the central photograph that depicts scenes primarily from the violent demonstrations that have been taking place in Greece since the beginning of this financial crisis (“The Union” artwork is a prime example from this series). This ‘Golden Newspapers’ series juxtaposes the transformation that Greece has been going through during the last few years with the symbolic transformation in the Alchemical work (Opus Magnum), during which the undeveloped consciousness (lead) transforms into a fully developed consciousness (gold). Life is a “purification” process in which we, as modern alchemists, are trying daily to elevate our “impure” self to the level where it can reunite with our “Divine” essence (awakened consciousness). And for that aim we work simultaneously at a personal and collective level; the Opus Magnum (great work) of the Alchemists had two aims: the rescue of the human soul and the salvation of the cosmos. The gold used in those artworks is a representation of wealth, but not in the form of material-monetary wealth. It is the reminder of this precious process, of the ultimate goal, which is the awakened consciousness of the individual and of the whole. "