Christoforos Asimis

Christoforos Asimis, a well-known Santorinian painter, inspired me in many ways during a recent trip to Santorini, Greece. A modern-day equivalent of Michalengo, Mr. Asimis spent seven years creating religious paintings at Santorini Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral. Viewing his work brought feelings on par with the Sistine Chapel: creative & spiritual awe.

His smaller, abstract paintings of light and landscape in Santorini remind me of Georgia O’Keefe’s use of color, balancing form with line. I was introduced to his work after my first morning in Santorini, Greece, just after dawn. After photographing for several hours at Aghios Artemios, I walked into the breakfast room and saw what I later would learn was a print of the original that Mr. Asimis gave the owner created on the grounds of where I was staying. I woke early, almost in a dreamlike state. As I explored the grounds of my hotel with camera in hand, I immediately knew this place was special, especially pre-dawn. Everything was photogenic, the powerlines, the pool, the stray dogs. I blogged a few of the images from those early photo-safari mornings here and here. The painting encapsulates the entire experience for me in a new happy place: solitude, simplicity, love, beauty, color, and peace.

After a series of very fortunate connections, I was able to meet Mr. Asimis at Phenomeno, his gallery located on the Ypapantis Walkway at the edge of cliff in Fira. I shook his hand, we took a few polaroids together, we took care of business, then hugged goodbye. He had tears in his eyes, almost like watching his own head off to college.

After a wedding booking, I share a portion of my earnings with another artist by purchasing their work. It’s a great form of flattery for an artist. And it’s also a way I like to give back. I’m blessed to share that experience with Mr. Asimis and hang the original oil painting as a prized possession on my wall.

We connected. As a schooled painter myself, we think the same. Artists see the world a bit different than many of the left-brain dominated number crunchers who keep our financial systems alive. It’s a perfect balance, you see. Without us “artsy” types, we’d all be walking around with pocket-protectors (someone had to design Amy’s stunning Oscar de la Renta bridal dress or Sean’s suave Dormeuil suit).

Here, Mr. Asimis holds a photo of himself taken 35 years ago while he painted the Cathedral ceiling:
wpid-Christoforos_Asimis_painter_Phenomeno-2011-07-19-10-582.jpg
His painting of Aghios Artemios inspired me to create this photo of Amy & Sean dancing at the same location during their First Look in Santorini, Greece:
wpid-wedding_photo_AghiosArtemios-2011-07-19-10-582.jpg
I’m keeping my fingers crossed until the results of the next International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers (ISPWP) contest, as I entered the above image category in the “venue or location” category.

PS- If you are stateside, visit Treeline-Gallery near Grand Rapids, MI, to see more paintings by Christoforos Asimis.

6 Responses to “Christoforos Asimis”

  1. Amy — July 20, 2011 @ 7:41 pm (#)

    R.J. – you work is amazing. Look forward to seeing you in New York.

  2. Amy — July 20, 2011 @ 7:42 pm (#)

    *your

  3. Marnie Kern — July 24, 2011 @ 6:05 am (#)

    RJ, your explanation of artsy really is true! Those of us who are calculator types need the compliment to make life more fulfilling and beautiful. Best of luck with your photo, hope you earn much deserved recognition.

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