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Culture

An Artist’s Journey: Georgios Miliotis Exhibition in Astoria

June 30, 2022
By Anastasia Kaliabakos

ASTORIA – Georgios Miliotis was born on the small island of Samos in Greece. This island is known for its beauty, having a unique vantage point in the Aegean so as to allow its inhabitants to look upon, as Miliotis puts it, “the endless blues of the sea.” Growing up in a place like Samos undoubtedly provided him with a different outlook on life and nature than someone born in a bustling city like New York, where he moved when he was an adult. In New York, Miliotis found a new life, getting married, having a beautiful daughter, and settling into an office job to support his family. However, the memories of his homeland remained in his mind, even after moving away, as inspiration for his art.

Miliotis has amassed an impressive portfolio of portraits, landscapes, and abstract forms over the past several years. On his website, he writes, “I never stopped painting and sketching. Many afternoons were spent walking around the city, sketch book in hand, drawing out the people and landscapes I saw, and their interactions and expressions within that space.”

Artist Georgios Miliotis with a print of his painting, Enjoying Afternoon Coffee. Photo: Courtesy of Georgios Miliotis

Although the landscapes of one of the most populous cities in the world were definitely different from what he was used to at home, Miliotis always remained intrigued by what was around him and sought to convey his outlook on this very distinct world of the city through his own art – a quintessential Greek characteristic of curiosity and wonder.

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 locked most of us, including Miliotis and his family, indoors, separating everyone from the beauty of the outside world within our very own thresholds. However, for Miliotis, creating art became a way of overcoming the obstacles the pandemic threw at him. He says: “Painting naturescapes reminded me of the beauty that surrounds us, even if we were not living that now. Mixing and layering the blues of the sea and sky brought calmness and openness. A simple painting of figures strolling on the beach brought a smile to my face. The pandemic made me rethink life. The office job melted away and art became a lifeline and it revived me during this extremely difficult and strenuous time.”

Joy by Georgios Miliotis. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

On June 11-12 at the Nick Andriotis Hall, part of the Saint Catherine & Saint George Greek Orthodox Church complex, Miliotis was able to present his art to the public. Scores of curious onlookers came to see the paintings and sketches that lined the walls of the showroom. There were paintings of Greek beaches, undoubtedly inspired by Miliotis’ home of Samos, which whisked viewers away from the city to the peaceful sunsets of the Mediterranean. He also had several portraits on display, one of which depicted an elderly man smoking a cigarette. For Greeks, this reminds us of the classic image of older men getting together to smoke at cafés in both Astoria and in Greece. My family was so moved by this piece that we ended up buying it, and we are all very excited to have it hanging in our own home.

Finally, a particularly mesmerizing painting shows a woman in a field of sunflowers, staring at the sky. Just by looking at the piece, you can feel the breeze that blows the flowers and the unnamed woman’s hair and notice the warmth of the afternoon sun on your skin. Friends of the Miliotis family and complete strangers were all equally impressed by the artistic abilities and works of Georgios Miliotis.

Man on a Donkey, painted by Georgios Miliotis. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

You may browse Miliotis’ artwork via his website, https://georgemiliotis.com/.

Be sure to follow his Instagram account, @georgios_art, to see when his next art show will take place and to inquire about purchasing his artwork to give your own home a window into Greek naturescapes.

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