Joe Tsambiras is an artist living in Decatur, Georgia. After receiving a BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design, he traveled throughout the southeastern United States until relocating to Glyfatha, Greece in 1996. It was there that he developed his first important body of work. Two years later, he moved to Atlanta, where he received an MFA in drawing/printmaking from Georgia State University in 2007. In 2010, Creative Loafing awarded him Best Opening (reader’s pick) and Best Gallery Show (reader’s pick) for the four-person show Here We Hide, and runner-up for Best Emerging Artist (reader’s pick). Twice nominated for the prestigious Forward Arts Foundation Emerging Artist Award in 2009 and 2010, he regularly exhibits his prints and drawings.
My recent work grew out of my discovery of a book of 15th century Illuminated Manuscripts by “The Rohan Master.” Figuration, combined with flat patterns of color--their rhythm and movement--made a tremendous impression on me. I chose to incorporate these elements in my work through a variety of configurations with compositional rigor. These contrasting elements are intended to evoke the dynamism and differences between our inner and physical lives. I am interested in exploring the inner landscape of the individual in relation to their environment in order to make a deeply personal vision, which aims to trigger an emotional response in the viewer.
The patchworks of colored ink and graphite capture the way we are influenced by seemingly disparate forces in the creation of our individual lived realities. As I sit writing this, I am confronted by memories, thoughts, sensations, emotions and external circumstances that all come together to create my present state. The work is simultaneously open and participative: encountering the sequence of physical, emotional, and mental experiences that make up the reality of the viewer, these interactions are multiplied.
My interest in developing a relationship between my own multi-layered and continually transforming reality and the multivalent realities of the viewers is also represented thru my use of electric cables. I have a deep desire for humans to connect with each other, themselves, and the world around them both physically and emotionally. In reality, cables are used to connect one device to another to create a new action. For example, a synthesizer connects to an amplifier through a cable, and sound is produced. These cables are metaphors for our ability or inability to connect with one another. Like certain devices, we need to connect to something outside of ourselves to create a reality that would not exist without those elements interacting.