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General News

A Greek-American Makes Astoria Colorful (Photos)

Loukas Soumbasakis was born and raised in Yonkers, New York. Growing up, he was watching graffiti `masters’ in the Bronx neighborhoods, learning many secrets about the art of graffiti – but he is self-made.

“I learned to draw and paint on my own. I liked it very much. I started with graffiti, on bridges. The more experienced showed me how to do it, in the neighborhoods of Bronx. In 2008 when I moved to Astoria I started various projects. I was asked to paint in Greek stores, associations, houses, buildings, public walls, so I started working professionally. The designs are mostly mine but people also ask me for specific things. I paint whatever everyone wants.”

Some of the most characteristic works of Soumbasakis can be seen outside Stathakion Center in Astoria, in various parts of Astoria, at the football club NY Greek American, as well as in the offices of Panathinaikos on 23rd Avenue in Astoria.


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Artist Loukas Soumbasakis at the Cretan Association Minos in Astoria. (Photo: TNH/ Zafeiris Haitidis)


The most characteristic, however, is located in the yard of the Cretan Association “Minos” at 33rd Street. A wall with the map of Crete, which he painted all by himself.

“I made this in 2010. It took me one or two weeks to paint it. It is impressive that after so many years the color is not gone. All I did was to apply a protective transparent paint at some point to preserve it from the weather,” said Soumpasakis.

He also has more draws inside the “Minos” Association.

Another one of his paintings is located outside the Stathakion Center in Astoria – A Parthenon, and behind it is New York with the Empire State Building.


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Artwork by Loukas Soumbasakis at the Stathakion Cultural Center in Astoria. (Photo: TNH/ Zafeiris Haitidis)


“It’s not easy. It takes time and patience. But I really like it. The money I earn is not enough, but I do it from my heart. The smaller projects I do them by myself. If I have a huge one, I take a friend to help me.”

One more draw of the Parthenon was set up in a Brooklyn neighborhood. “I made this on a garage door at a friend’s house. Nor does it look like a garage entrance – you think it is painted on a wall. That was quite difficult to make. It took me a month to finish it.”


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Artwork by Loukas Soumbasakis at the Cretan Association Minos in Astoria. (Photo: TNH/ Zafeiris Haitidis)


Soumbasakis is from Rethymno, Crete. “My father is from the village Patsos in Amari, and my mother from the village Potamoi. I haven’t been there for a few years and I miss it but I come to “Minos” and I feel that I am in the yard of my house in Crete. Here, they have known me since I was a baby, here now with those I grew up with, we raise our children together.”


ATHENS - A total of 25,610 Greek nationals have registered to vote from abroad at the runoff on June 25, the Interior Ministry said on Thursday.

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