New York.- By Vicki J Yiannias
The opening reception of an exhibition of paintings, sculptures, and jewelry by the international artist Yannis Amoryanos at the National Arts Club in New York on May 8, sponsored by John and Margo Catsimatidis, drew a large audience of long-time aficionados and collectors of Mr. Amoryanosʼs work. And they came with an eye for more: the exhibition was a great success.
For the prolific Mr. Amoryanos, however, whose lifelong love has been painting, itʼs the process itself that drives him to create. In the exhibition were twenty-five paintings, fifteen sculptures, and several pieces of jewelry using gems.
Among the many present at the opening enjoying cocktails and hors dʼoeuvres were Barbara Amoryanos, the artistʼs wife, John and Margo Catsimatidis, Consul General of Greece in New York, Aglaia Balta, Ambassador Loucas Tsilas and Mrs. Tsilas, Mr. and Mrs. Kotsonis, Mrs. Fotini Xylas, Mr. and Mrs. Dimitrios Orphanides, Mrs. Eve Condakes, Baroness Gabrielle Von Langerdorff, Mr. Peter Kakoyiannis, Monique van Vooren, and others.
The Greek-born Amoryanos develops nature-based themes, sometimes with the interjection of classical images, and colors range from pastels to jewel tones, in many cases combined in one painting.
Margo Catsimatidis spoke eloquently to The Greek News about why she loves and collects his work and admires Mr. Amoryanos, saying, “What I love about Yanni’s art is the bright, vibrant colors, as well as the peaceful animals in his paintings, which have a tranquil effect when one is looking at them. Yanni the artist is like a tamed tiger. Very powerful, but very humble. He has done much for the church and the communities at large. He has given of himself and his art. He is a very special person.”
Birds and animals, trees and flowers make up what Ramaor Faraldo of the A.B.C. newspaper in Spain called “a nostalgic place… a detailed dream world” in which one can “hear the voice of silence”. It is the artistʼs intention, said Faraldo, to “create peace and serenity in the most humble way”.
Mr. Faraldoʼs observations agree with Mr. Amoryanosʼs statement that he feels “personally illuminated by the blessings of nature, by the paradise on earth.”
“Painting is a poem”, said Mr. Amoryanos who took time off from painting to tell The Greek News about his life and his art.
TGN: When did you decide to become an artist?
YA: My first love was the theatre; I studied classical theatre in the school of Pelos Catselis… at the time, however, it was difficult for every actor to be able to work, so I left acting at a young age with the ambition to pursue art studies in the art world in America, and to pursue a career. I studied sculpture at New York Sculpture, and many years later began designing and making fine jewelry.
An artist is born. Since my very young age I knew I had certain talents, especially painting. I personally believe everybody has talent in certain areas. Unfortunately, though, most of the time people are looking for security in other areas. I stuck to what I loved, and I thought I was good… I think I was right. But it is not easy working hard and being honest in what I create and present to people.
TGN: How do you choose the themes of your paintings?
YA: The theme of all my paintings is always peace and love, happiness and aisodowia [optimism]. As far as why I choose this style is simple: I am grateful to God for what he gave me and I am a very happy man. Painting is an expression of our world. I paint places I would like to live, where harmony, love and peace exist… in my painting there is no pain and there is no distruction. There is love. There is friendship and understanding. There is relaxation. There is hope. As a matter of fact, that is the title of one of my paintings in the show, of the lady in a boat: Hope. In my painting everyone would like to some time or always better all our life.
TGN: Were there any other artists in your family?
YA: There was no one in my family with artistic talent but almost everyone in my family is romantic, having been born on the island of Ikaria.
Mr. Amoryanosʼs work is in nineteen private collections in the US, Greece, Spain, Argentina, Uruguay, France, England, Venezuela, and Japan, which includes the collections of John and Margo Catsimatides, Her Majesty Queen Sophia of Spain, Rudolf Nureyev, and Beverly Sills, to name a few, as well as in the collections of seven museums in Italy, Greece, Malta, France, and Spain.
Mr. Amoryanos has had more than twenty-five one man shows in Athens, Greece; Madrid, Spain; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Santo Domingo, Caracas and Maracaibo, Venezuela; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Punta del Este, Uruguay; San Salvador; Puerto Rico; in the US: New York, Palm Beach, Los Angeles, Southampton, NY; in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai and Abu Dabi; Bahrain; in Japan, Nagoya and Tokyo.
To see some of Mr. Amoryanosʼs paintings, go to www.amoryanos.com