Christos Santamouris


Born in 1948 at Tinos in the Cyclades, he lives and works in France and Greece.
He grew up with the local tradition of the Tinian marble sculptors, which combines the robust earthy element with the intense spiritual world. He studied at the Drawing and Sculpture School in Tinos and at the Fine Arts in Athens and Paris from 1973 to 1980. Even though the excellent technique is his indelible reference point, he chooses to overcome it and to open relentlessly new perspectives of creation. Since 1990, he also worked as a Professor of Engraving at the Academy of Fine Arts in Chaville, contributing in a significant way to its international reputation. Faithful to the cultural past of his home country and attentive observer of traditions in progress, he has included the intangible and relentless element of Time and the luminosity of the Cyclades in his works.
Several exhibitions and major awards followed, in Belgium, Canada, China, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Korea. From 1982 to 2009, he regularly wins First Prizes for his work. In 1999, he won the National Competition for the design and the realisation of the significant "Prix Mireille 2000" in France. His presence is prominent in both engraving and in the embossed paper (gaufrage), as well as in art books, books-objects and in his recent compositions in engraved marble.
The work of Santamouris is characterized by a hyperrealist intensity draw from the harmonious coexistence of multiple levels: the emotional tension of tradition ("Pigeon Houses I-XIV») with the subtractive innovation (final triptych from Ascese "Even the One does not exist!"), the rigor of black and white ("Tribute to Y. Ritsos") with the explosion of the colours (the 24 engravings of "Odyssey"), the simplicity of the compositions ("Intensity") with the complex construction of materials and layers ("Philopolis I-VII")...
The artist made his creative path in the company of the texts of Nikos Kazantzakis for more than 15 years, marking his works with the themes of the creation, of change, of the perpetual struggle for the transformation of the matter into spirit, of the march and the continuous improvement of humankind, themes that we may find in the writings of the great Cretan who enjoyed worldwide fame and recognition. Out of this fusion came the works "Ascese", "Odyssey" and "Report to Greco". The period 2004-2013 opens another creative era, with the introduction of the third dimension in his works. At first, with the gaufrages, where the volume of the embossed paper made by him, the magma of amorphous wisdom always in growth and the lead printing letters -regular reference to the accumulated knowledge of the past endangered by oblivion- compose a geodynamic landscape of the contemporary man. After that, with the "Constructions in Time" where insolent marble structures rise as buildings made by man containing segments of wisdom, references to art and samples of technological power. Finally, with his recent marble circles, symbols of perpetual motion, which contain remains of the past, geological memories and elements of the human effort to find an accord with Nature.