Nikos Hondos was born in Karditsa, Greece and
he currently lives in Victoria, Canada.
As a child he was awed by the
Byzantine Birds Of Paradise,
the austere face of
Joy Of Angels
of the frescoes at Sunday mass.
He was moved by the grace of the Minoan
Prince Of The Lilies
and the beautiful curves of the
He was inspired and influenced by his father, who, in his spare time,
loved to make woodcarvings. What beautiful vases,
picture frames, even furniture came out of his hands!
His mother had a great gift for design. With the most simple of materials,
a piece of cloth, some strings and a pair of scissors, she would make curtains,
tablecloths, bed sheets full of sailors and boats, mermaids and shepherd girls.
It was magic in the eyes of young Nikos.
All this artistic activity manifested itself in young Nikos' love for the
female form, a love that caused him to experience his first rejection as an artist.
Here is what happened:
One spring day, when he was fourteen years old, he was sitting by the window
in his room. The window was open, the sun was as bright as the first day it came out
from the palms of God and the trees in the garden blossoming.
Overwhelmed by the beauty of nature, he started drawing on a piece of paper
a bare breasted mermaid. But his paradeisiac moment was ruined when his younger sister
saw the drawing as she was passing by.
"Mum!" she yelled in shock as she ran towards mother. Then, all hell broke loose.
He could hear them running towards his bedroom when in total panic he decided to
chew the drawing. There were only a few bits and pieces left on the floor when the
"He swallowed it!" said mother as she forcefully examined his mouth.
This put an end to
his artistic aspirations for many years to come.
As a student at the university of Athens from 1971 to 1974, he was molded by the music of
Manos Hadjidakis, Mikis Theodorakis and the New Wave and the poetry of
George Seferis and
Was this music and poetry more visual than all the paintings in the world?
Are paintings poems? What would a philosopher say?
A philosopher! What an honnor! What does a philosopher look like?
From 1975 to 1979 while studying at the university Pièrre et Marie Curie in Paris, he was fascinated
by the artistic experience the city of lights has to offer.
He studied the lives and work of the Impressionists, spent innumerable hours
in museums and galleries and virtually lived on the painters square in Monmartre
to watch and learn from them as they painted in the open air. But it was not until
he saw the work of the Greek painters
that the defining moment of his artistic calling came to be.
They are still his greatest influence.
His paintings are not for sale. "I used to paint our beautiful, proud and virile
roosters at home when I was a child. Colorful roosters with their heads up high
towards the sky crowing 'Kokoriko... Kokoriko...' to announce the coming of each day
and the hope it brings, to reassure us that God still believes in people.
Where are my rooster paintings now? Lost... What wouldn't I give to see them again!
No, my paintings are not for sale."
In 1979 he moved to Canada. He lives in Victoria, the beautiful city of gardens
on Vancouver island where he took drawing lessons at the Victoria College of Art.