The art of Apostolos Tsoris conveys the feeling of an idyll among the Aegean islands. The world he depicts in his vibrant, colorful paintings is one of blue church domes, sailboats, roosters, bouzoukis, wooden chairs, and wine.
Fanciful touches -- earthenware jugs dressed up in blouses and shirts, dancing hats, and floating dresses -- recall Magritte. But Tsoris admits no pretensions. The purpose of his art, he says with enthusiasm, is to bring pleasure.

"My art is about the moment when I'm making it, the feeling, the action," Tsoris says. "The happiness I get when I create comes back to me through the pleasure of other people. This pleasure gives me power to continue."

Apostolos Tsoris was born in Agrino, Greece, and studied in Piraeus. A fashion designer for 20 years, he now lives in New York City, revelling in the chance to do what he loves best. "For a long time, I was far away from it," he says.
The centerpiece of the exhibit, a series called "Weekend in Mykonos," was on display in the windows of Saks Fifth Avenue in New York during the summer of 2000. Saks usually changes its windows weekly, but Tsoris' work was so popular that Saks kept the display for an additional two weeks. "When people saw it, they wanted to have a vacation in Mykonos," Tsoris says, laughing. "Maybe I'm trying to draw people to the Greek islands for their holidays."

Now Tsoris' paintings are on a nationwide tour covering every city in the U.S. that has a Greek embassy or consulate -- eight cities in all, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago. Currently, the paintings are being shown at the Maliotis Cultural Center in Brookline, MA. The exhibit will be there until at least March 31st, according to the center's new director, Tina Papadopoulos. "People are just thrilled," Papadopoulos says. "He is unbelievable. By meeting him you can see the love and the passion he brings to the work. It's here until the 31st, but we're trying to convince him to let it stay here a little longer."

"My work is international and humanistic," Tsoros says. "The Mediterranean does not only belong to the Mediterranean people -- the colors are around for everybody." Besides the eight-week tour, Tsoris is also planning two exhibitions in Greece. And he has embarked on several projects commissioned for the 2004 Games in Athens.

The Maliotis Center is located on the
campus of Hellenic College,
50 Goddard Avenue, Brookline, MA.

Visitors wishing to see the paintings of
Apostolis Tsoris should make an
appointment by calling (617) 522-2800.