Mount Athos sand potent on amazing picturesque canvases

National Art Museum hosts On Mount Athos exhibition

National Art Museum hosts On Mount Athos exhibition, by Greek artist Aleksander Kayas, showcasing over two dozen striking works
National Art Museum hosts On Mount Athos exhibition, by Greek artist Aleksander Kayas, showcasing over two dozen striking works

Exhibition of original works by Greek painter Aleksander Kayas at National Art Museum

Aleksander Kayas is an icon, genre, portrait and landscape painter, a member of the Artists’ Union of Northern Greece and the Chamber of Fine Arts of Greece. He was born in Kryoneri — a district of Thessaloniki. From his early years he was interested in painting. One day a well-known Greek iconographer Nikolaos Georgiadis saw the works by Aleksander Kayas and invited him to study the icon painting at his studio. Moreover, outstanding Russian artist Ilya Repin has also influenced the young artist’s creative activity. The icons of the Greek master stand out by an internal spirituality and truthfulness in depiction of saints.

From 1972 till 1992, Aleksander Kayas has painted several temples in various Greek cities, including Kastoria, Thessaloniki, Grenev, etc. He fruitfully worked on the Mount Athos. Since 1995, the painter taught at various higher educational institutions in Thessaloniki.

From the middle of the 1990s and till today, Alexander Kayas is working in movable painting. The painter has developed a unique technique. He uses the sand from the Mount Athos and mixes it with acrylics. In this way, the master achieves a unique texture in his works. Due to this technique, the canvases of the artist are notable. Monochrome colours and plastic power of Kayas’ paintings give a sensation of the involvement in liturgical process represented on a canvas. Even everyday scenes of monastic life involve onlookers in the atmosphere of church sacraments. The paintings are mostly drawn from nature. Alexander Kayas is the only artist, who was admitted to paint the scenes from the life of the monks on Mount Athos.

In 2004, at the General Officers’ Club of Thessaloniki the icon master has presented the painting dedicated to Saint Demetrius of Thessaloniki (the size of the work is 35 square metres). The works by Aleksander Kayas are kept in private collections both of Greece and abroad. One of his canvases is placed at the Official Residence of the President of Greece in Athens.

By Victor Mikhailov
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