GREEK ARTISTS IN NEW YORK
Born in Nashua, New
Hampshire, in 1952 of Greek parents, Tsiaras graduated in comparative literature
from Amherst College in 1975. After studying with Lucas Samaras and winning
an important poetry prize, he traveled to Greece in 1976 to translate contemporary
Greek poetry into English. On his return to America he began to take a methodical
interest in photography resulting in his Family Album series (1980-90),
a group of dramatically staged images taken with family members in the family
home, juxtaposing the sensuality of his own youthful body with the cluttered
bric-a-brac of a typical middle-class Greek dwelling, complete with reproductions
of the Discus Thrower and other Greek images. In the mid-1980s, Tsiaras turned
toward ceramics, creating wildly imaginative "baroque" vases.
Tsiaras also loves the
art of words; he invariably embodies a search for the hidden relations between
writing and visual representation, and he believes that each word conceals a
profound inner wealth. He works in a wide range of materials: canvas, glass,
clay, bronze and photography. His sculpture Social Climber received
critical acclaim at the 2001 Venice Biennale.
Characterized by deliberate excess and a fascination with the relationship of sensual fantasy to the banality of socialized behavior, Tsiarass work overlaps mythical notions of sexuality with the prosaic realities of contemporary life.