Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Inside ‘museum’ home of Greek artist Fassianos

Inside ‘museum’ home of Greek artist Fassianos

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Greek contemporary artist Alekos Fassianos poses with his artworks at his house in Athens in 2018. Fassianos, the ‘Matisse of modern times’ is known throughout the world by characters of Greek mythology and folklore. AFP

Inside ‘museum’ home of Greek artist Fassianos

On a quiet street lined with orange trees, sheltered from the hustle and bustle of Greece’s capital Athens, lies the house of renowned contemporary artist Alekos Fassianos.

Paintings, lithographs, ceramics and tapestries line the walls, but the secrets of the three-storey building’s eye-catching interior are rarely unveiled to the outside world.

A museum named after Fassianos – a man known worldwide for his works inspired by Greek mythology and folklore – will open in autumn 2022 and display some of the works adorning his home.

Iron suns decorate the windows, mosaics cover the floor and sculpted bamboo leaves grace the banisters, while gently curving walls were created without a corner to avoid a harsh coming-together.

“Welcome to the universe of Fassianos. It’s an artist’s house, a museum,” his daughter Viktoria Fassianou told AFP.

“Everything was designed and created by him, by hand, little by little, like a small paradise,” she added, pointing to the curtain rods, door handles, lights, sofa and ochre-coloured plasterwork.

Greek inspiration

Fassianos, who put down his paintbrush in 2019, rests in an adjoining room. Viktoria told AFP the 86-year-old’s fragile health prevented an interview with him.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

Despite his works appearing in Paris, Munich, Tokyo and Sao Paulo, Fassianos wanted to stay faithful to his origins and memories.

“Greekness has always been his inspiration, from mythology to contemporary Greece,” said his wife Mariza Fassianou.

“He has always believed that an artist should create with what they know.”

Symbols of his attachment to his roots include depictions of fish from his favourite Greek island of Kea, round waves evoking Homer’s Odyssey and other scenes drawn from mythology.

Fassianos – who used to invent his own colours – has painted in blue to convey Greece’s blue sky, in red to give an impression of heat and in ochre to reflect the inspiration of traditional Greek handcrafts.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

The veteran artist would work on the floor or even scratch the corner of a table.

“He destroyed what he didn’t like. I cried, but he knew better than me what we needed to keep,” his wife recalled.

Fassianos and architect friend Kyriakos Krokos entirely redesigned the central Athens museum that will showcase his work.

“My father planned everything but let future historians carry it out – he never wanted to take on responsibilities,” said Viktoria.

Fassianos has split his life between Greece and France, studying lithography at the National School of Fine Arts in Paris and rubbing shoulders with writers and painters as greats Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso did before him.

Although he admires the two painters, he denied being inspired by one artist over another, insisting he had drawn on 77 different influences.

“Alekos has always wanted to remain free and did what he wanted,” his wife said, citing his creations taken from the worlds of mythology or Byzantine art.


  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the

  • Soaring global fuel prices: an opportunity for Cambodia?

    Cambodia is feeling the squeeze from the soaring global coal and oil prices. Electricity du Cambodge (EDC)would certainly be hurting from this reality, and most likely re-assessing its plans to add more coal power stations. EDC buys half of Cambodia’s electricity from plants

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when