Santorini, Greece ~ About 120 miles southeast of Greece’s mainland, in the southern Aegean Sea there is an island that endured one of the largest volcanic eruptions in history. Left is a remnant of a volcanic caldera that draws over one million visitors to its shores each year, eager to witness her breathtaking sunset as it lights up its iconic whitewashed, cubed, cliffside houses overlooking the sapphire blue waters of the Aegean. How many natives reside on this island which forms the southernmost member of the Cyclades group of islands, with an area of approximately 73 km2 or 28 sq miles? At last count, the native population is only at 15,500!
Here is our Question of the Day: Why does this tiny Greek island seem to have such a disproportionate number of gifted artists? My personal theory–well, let’s call it “Hand me down genes” — yes, I believe it has to do with GENETICS!
The dictionary defines genetics “as the study of heredity and how the characteristics of living things are transmitted from one generation to the next.” Every living thing contains the genetic material that makes up DNA molecules. This material is passed on when organisms reproduce. The basic unit of heredity is the gene, thus my invented phrase, “Hand me down genes!”
To prove my theory, please permit me to introduce you to the ASIMIS FAMILY.
- “It’s evident… It’s all in the Family.” ~ ESCAPESEEKER
About the Father…The highly regarded and beloved Patriarch of the Asimis Family, CHRISTOFOROS ASIMIS
Christoforos Asimis has the power to inspire. Not just writers like me, but many other Santorini visitors from all disciplines. Some of his fellow artists have called him, “A modern-day equivalent of Michalengo” as Mr. Asimis spent seven years meticulously creating religious paintings at Santorini Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral.
Viewing his work may even induce the same feelings on par with the Sistine Chapel…yes, that feeling that this Santorini artist is truly endowed. Christoforos also specializes in the light and landscape of Santorini. To own one of his orginal landscape masterpieces would be the ultimate, highly coveted souvenir of my memories of Santorini indeed. I know a few others on my ESCAPESEEKER team who would totally agree.
- One begs to ask another question, is it NATURE OR NURTURE that explains how so much talent can be possessed by one family? Scientists have proven that Genetic processes work in combination with an organism’s environment and experiences to influence development and behavior, often referred to as “Nature versus Nurture.” Is it the “Santorini Effect” that contributes to the immense creative, artistic nature in its residents? Well, I recommend you tune in to our ESCAPESEEKER program to learn the answer. We’ll be interviewing the Asimis Family along with a host of other Santorinian artists in residence, as we get up close and personal in our feature episode entitled, SPLENDID SANTORINI: An Artists’ Enclave.
About the Mother, The talented Sculptor, and distinctive Jewelry Designer, ELENI KOLAITOU
“I speak to the world through my art.” ~ Eleni Kolaitou
With the sculpture of Eleni Kolaitou we see the expression of the plasticity and symbolism of the human figure in a unique way. Sculptures of a grand scale can be seen also in the exterior space of ΑΚ Asimis Kolaitou Art Foundation. In the same exhibition her worldwide known jewellery collection in 22K gold and silver is presented. Every piece of this collection is considered a piece of art exclusively designed and hand made by the artist. Gentlemen, if you’re looking for that perfect one-of-a-kind expression of love, it might be worth your time to connect with Eleni, as I know she’ll be happy to design one exclusively for you, a genuine labor of love, to convey your everlasting love. Ok, I’m getting a little too sentimental here, but Santorini artists have that effect on everyone!
About the Son, KATONAS ASIMIS…Continuing the Family’s Artistic Legacy…
Perhaps when both of your parents are artists, it is a given that you’ll likely choose that same path. Katonas Asimis did not rely on just his genetic gift to gain his entry into the very competitive arena of world class artists. Katonas Asimis studied Fine Arts in London and Architecture in Bath, England. He has participated in various international art exhibition including the prestigious Biennale di Venezia and Thessaloniki. “In his paintings, he incorporates the human figure as well as “the rhythmology of the Santorinian landscape.” Today, there’s one grand piece of art that illustrates the combined artistic and architectural talents of Katonas Asimis–it is the very edifice that houses the family’s prolific expressions of life through their varied art mediums.
Don’t take my word for it. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, well, then moving pictures are worth a thousand stories. Please permit me to allow this film clip of the A.K. Asimis Kolaitou Art Galleries Santorini-Athens to tell the Asimis Family story…that is at least for now. Here’s a sneak peak of their Grand Opening that took place in 2013: http://youtu.be/Sro1cw0ZGH8
Our entire ESCAPESEEKER film team will be returning to Santorini this October, 2014 to bring to life my own script wherein I took great care to capture the true essence of this amazing family whom I believe epitomizes all that we love about the Greek culture. Their passion for life…for their art…for their stunning island, and equally visible, their signature welcoming Greek hospitality which they kindly share with every guests who walk through their doors. Make sure you stop by when you’re in Santorini, You’ll be greeted by a brilliant and beautiful young lady by the name of Marianna Asimis, the manager of A. K. Asimis Kolaitou Art Galleries Santorini-Athens. Yes, Marianna is the youngest member of the Asimis family! As the adage goes, “the apple does not fall far from the tree.” It’s definitely true with Marianna. Please tell the entire family ESCAPESEEKER says “Hello!”
I feel extremely blessed to be given the opportunity to see, feel, and embrace the remarkable island of Santorini through their artistic eyes. I can’t wait to share my findings with the rest of the world. This is but a start…Oh, how I savor the ESCAPESEEKER life!
The architectural jewel of the island especially designed to accommodate unique works of art and various indoor and outdoor cultural events, just one kilometer from the center of Fire on the road to Pyrgos.
And, remember, no matter where you travel, be the kindest person you know.
See you in Glorious Greece,
Mel Gee Henderson aka The ESCAPESEEKER