Statements of Others
I was born in Washington DC, but my father was from a small northern Greek mountain village and my mother’s family was from Volissos, a village on the island of Chios. My mother was an English teacher and my father became a research scientist and electron microscopy inventor. His free thinking was respected enough that within fifteen years of his arrival into the United States he was selected to be on the Apollo mission scientific committee.
My upbringing was in 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 that some how benefit our fellow man and the world around us. Making art in an attempt to connect with the community and bring a special element of engagement and joy.
I always had the urge to be using my hands and in school that meant gravitating towards the art room and oil painting. With painting, I became focused in and seemed to ignore all other assignments. Luckily I had teachers that encouraged and did not penalize.
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 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 began to speak its own language.
Shipping the rolled up paintings back to the states, it was time for my first show.
The show did well enough that 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.
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 engage the viewer. 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 and to log in the 10,000 hours. Acknowledgments came in the form an increased following and the first art grant for that region of the state.
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 helped to create sculptures with compositional completeness and flow. I was designing towards a beauty aesthetic aligned with a truth of form. I learned to use large automotive equipment and try 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 surrounding scenery to play off the sculpture surface threw out the day and seasons.
I have been maintaining a studio along the river by Washington DC and with a belief that artist need to be leading the way with sustainable practices - my studio derives its electrical power from wind power generation and I use materials (304 Stainless) and finishing techniques that allows for minimal maintenance and a multi-generational life of the piece.
Positive evolution has always been part of my work and will continue to be. I believe this evolution allows my work to maintain a vital energy. I work to create art that allows for the viewer to experience a positive internal reaction upon the encountering it.
"..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