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Akis Giousmis speak through his large-sized works and their vivid colors.

Akis Giousmis

Trying to control ιnfinity

Τext: Dimitra Kehagia
Akis Giousmis

Painting is a vital need for visual artist Akis Giousmis. “I wake up with the need to express myself, to create,” he says. His favorite movement is Abstract Expressionism, from which he draws many techniques, citing the works of Peter Doig, Adam Lee and Aleksandra Waliszewska as his main influences.

He takes joy in seeing his work transform in the course of time and constantly changing things. He can recall that from a really early age, long before getting acquainted with any particular form of art, the need to create images within the haven of his imagination.

As he emphatically points out, he is not at all interested in realism. “It is pointless, as it is all over around us,” he explains, while clarifying that he is more focused on the subconscious. He places emphasis on abstract elements, both in landscapes and human figures, often stripping them off of their identity.

“I feel as if I’m trying to control infinity. That’s why many of my works come in large sizes. My aim is not necessarily to exhibit them; it’s not my priority. My true need is to challenge my potential and possibilities. To discover how they start and where they end,” he stresses, while noting that the more time we devote to something the more we’ll see it grow and evolve.

Ever since a child he enjoyed this standoff between his inner and the external world. He recalls vivid memories from a period of his life, when he lived surrounded by nature at a really early age, next to a vast forest in the village of Protoklisi, Evros. He took joy in exploring rivers, trees, animals, which still today take center stage in several forms as part of his work.

Imagination, innocence and romance are what he treasures the most from his childhood. Through skating he got to know street culture, roaming for years in well-known and lesser-known neighborhoods and squares. Skating was his passport for different worlds and people, new odors and images. That’s where he got in touch with many artists and made lifelong friends, like Apset and Theofilos Papadopoulos, along with whom he co-founded an art space in the center of Thessaloniki.

His memories are his driving force. These memories were endowed with meaning when he started taking classes in the Thessaloniki-based photo group Stereosis, founded in October 2004 by photographers Kosmas Pavlidis, Emmanouil Papadopoulos, Angelos Zymaras and Paschalis Tseines.

“That’s where the entire world of art unraveled before my eyes, that’s where I felt liberated,” he mentions. As a student of Stereosis he traveled and photographed a lot, having attended several workshops delivered by many famous photographers, such as Stratos Kalafatis and Lia Nalbantidou.


I feel as if I’m trying to control infinity. That’s why many of my works come in large sizes. My aim is not necessarily to exhibit them; it’s not my priority. My true need is to challenge my potential and possibilities, to discover how they start and where they end.

Akis Giousmis

However, he always craved to create something that would transcend and exceed these images, both inner and external. Wishing to delve more into the subject, he decided to sit exams for AUth’s Fine Arts Faculty. He joined the Faculty at the age of 27, fully conscious of what he wanted to accomplish: “I wanted to live it to the fullest. I don’t regret not having found my way earlier in life. On the contrary, I believe that all things come in good time, and I am lucky to have discovered my calling,” he points out, adding that his wish for everyone is to find their path in life. “To seize the chance to live,” he argues.

During his studies, as an Erasmus student in Poland’s Poznań, he experimented for the first time, intertwining photography and painting, almost instantly falling in love with the latter. According to Akis Giousmis, the artistic process walks in parallel with reality. “The more I delve into each work the more everything begins to take shape. It is an ongoing process.” He is influenced by dreams, music, and the people around him. From the unknown and the surprise hidden within the process of creation.

Dreams are his main source of inspiration; no surprise, therefore, they took center stage at his recent exhibition titled Lucid dreams hosted in Ypsilon bar, Thessaloniki. Nevertheless, in no way does this mean that his art depicts what he sees in his dreams. “I remain attached to the emotion that subconsciously guides the dream.” The chance of showcasing his debut individual exhibition at Ypsilon was a precious gift for him, as the venue was not only suitable for his large-sized works, but also highly compatible with his personal aesthetic.

Introverted by nature, he finds it easy to cocoon in his shell while engaging in creative activity. “From time to time I sneak out of my shell and interact so as to obtain the balance I need in my personal life,” he explains, while pointing out the important role played by the venue the three friends co-founded, the painting atelier-studio Off the Grid (33, Platonos str.), open to a wide gamut of visual art language, as the three artists go on an art-hopping spree, moving from graffiti and tattoo all the way to painting and illustration.

The first spark that led to this endeavor was ignited during the Covid period, in a time of dire need for contact and sociability. “In addition to its mission as a hub of creation, the studio offers us the chance and the possibility to pave the ground for fruitful discussion and extroversion. After all, a certain need is the topic of every talk…,” points out Akis, while underlining the importance of real contact amidst the reign of social networks and endless

From April 5 to April 7, 2024 he took part in his debut collective exhibition held in Athens, at the I Am Art Gallery, in Koukaki. At the same time, the trio of friends is gearing up for the opening of their atelier.

Kind and modest, Akis Giousmis prefers to speak through his large-sized works and their vivid colors, considering a success to remain an artist despite the difficult times we’re living in.


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