Statements of Others
I was born in Washington DC, but my father was from Agras, a small northern Greek mountain village and my mother’s family was from Volissos, a Byzantine village on the eastern side of the island of Chios. My father became a pioneering research scientist and electron microscopy inventor, whose fresh thinking was respected enough that within fifteen years of his arrival into the United States he was selected to be on the Apollo scientific committee. My mother's family village is said to the be residence of the writer Homer, with that she of course became an English teacher in Pittsburgh where they were to meet.
With four children, my parents created an environment that instilled that no idea was stupid, inventiveness was encouraged and everything was possible. It was also instilled that ones goals should be endeavors some how to benefit our fellow man and the world around us.
I always had the urge to be making something and in school that meant gravitating towards the art room where I was lucky enough to stumble upon oil paints. With them, I became focused in and ignored all other assignments. Luckily I had teachers Frank Moran in high school and Professor Aikens in college that identified and helped with my process. They allowed me to create what I was driven to and would give me a grade based on that I chose to produce.
I determined that art school would be my own path, so I strove to learn from the masters, male and female, traditional and contemporary - western and eastern. Accepting an invitation from my good friend to come to Paris, I headed over with my trusty dog, Cheyenne, and set up a four by four foot studio in the back of his kitchen. I spent the days painting and exploring the city and its exuding art essence. After a three week mountain trip into the alps, I took the train down to Provence to stay with friends of friends and set up another micro painting studio. With the colors and scenery of this region, the work took flight.
Shipping the rolled up paintings back to the states, it was time for my first show.
After the shows success - liberalization came in the form of not having to work for a while and my car was packed, the dog loaded in and the easel strapped to the roof. I was off to build up a visual vocabulary and to explore the American west with its endless colors and magical scenery. Exploring and finding places to create - the venture was on. A large ranch at the base of the Montana's Bear Tooth mountains and a friend’s remote cabin in the Sierras became my studios.
You can learn the language of others but then you need to learn to speak with your own.
I wanted my work to invite the viewer into a place to explore a new realm - where color and luminosity were utilized to their full effect. After another exhibit, I purchased an abandoned house to build a studio in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado where desert light mixes with high sharp peaks. Amazing people, experiences and undisturbed work allowed more evolution to follow. Acknowledgments came in the form an increased following and the first art grant for that region of the state. I was awarded a funded exhibit of the paintings in the Colorado statehouse to help try sway the state senators towards continued art support at an important time in its debate.
An interest in the three dimensional was calling and upon returning east I was able to learn metal working under friend and master metal worker, Aaron Juarez. Making sculptures was underway and after a time this medium began to dominate my time and focus.
Years of painting aided in creating sculptures with compositional completeness and flow. I was striving to create work that would carry through generations and create an immediate internal reaction for the viewer. I was designing towards a beauty aesthetic aligned with a universal truth of form. I learned to use large automotive equipment and strive to make the steel’s solid form seem fluid and its heavy weight seem light. Curves are designed to catch the light at certain levels in the piece and the finish allows for imagery to play off the sculpture surface threw out the day and seasons.
I have been maintaining a studio along the river by Washington DC. With my belief that artist need to be leading the way with sustainable practices - my studio derives its electrical power from wind power generation.
Positive evolution has always been part of my work and will continue to be. I believe this evolution allows my work to maintain a fresh charged energy. I work to create art that hits the viewer with an essence that hopefully allows for a positive internal emotional reaction. With art everyone's soul sings out in a different way, now i have chosen this form to be the manner mine has chosen.
"..The works of Chris Tousimis always offer new visions. Solid pieces of material. The Chris Tousimis sculptures are peaceful symbols, helpful objects for our stressed time."
Firouz Galdo, Architect, designer of Gagosian Gallery, Rome Italy
""I had a vital place at my home, which required a special and eye-catching sculpture. I retained sculptor, Chris Tousimis to create something dramatic but not overdone, and he created the work Epiphany, which is perfect for the space and has been greatly admired by all who have seen it."
Rick Rickertsen, Owner of historic Laird-Dunlap Coach House Property, Georgetown-Washington DC.
"Chris Tousimis’ work captures the potential of the materials he uses and is sensitive to the environment it inhabits. His knowledge of iconic forms is synthesized into the work he shapes. His art, both elegant and refined, reflects his extraordinary ability to see in many ways. Chris Tousimis is a gifted and creative artist. “
Mr. Joseph Krakora, Ex Executive Officer, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC