Cyprus is well known for its historical art, some featured in the Heritage Sites of the Painted Churches of Troodos and across the island. Mythology tells us that Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty was born in Cyprus and in honour of this privilege, Cyprus has produced aesthetic art throughout history. Today, Cyprus has emerged as a noteworthy contemporary art scene which is it can be proud of. There are many talented artists, too many to mention by name. Below is a selection of some of the best known artists in Cyprus and examples of their work. Many of the artwork can be seen in museums and galleries in the big cities on the island and abroad.
Andreas Charalambides is a figurative painter that celebrates females by portraying women in many of his paintings. The woman’s accessories, such as garments and flowers enrich his paintings both spiritually and symbolically. His figures are regal and elegant and his paintings are rich in colour and originality.
Andrea Christodoulides - Curtain Call
Andreas Christodoulides was born in Paphos and currently teaches art and design at the Frederick University. In his work, items lose their identity, as commodities and the objects come to life with his personal interpretation and concepts.
Stass Paraskos is an internationally acclaimed Cypriot artist who has shown his work in galleries in Britain. Stass founded the Cyprus College of Art in 1969 and is the only Cypriot artist to have worked in London’s prestigious Tate Gallery. Paraskos, probably the most controversial Cyprus-born artist achieved notoriety in the UK due to some nude paintings of women in 1966. He became somewhat of celebrity after he lost a court case and had to remove his painting from public viewing. His style is eclectic fusion with sensual exoticism and the essential subject of his work is Cyprus with its folklore and rituals.
Leonidas Papasavvas – Rural Scene
Leonidas Papasavvas was born in Pano Amiantos, Cyprus in 1947. He is a member of the Cyprus Chamber of Fine Arts and has had many solo exhibitions in Nicosia, Athens and London. The Artist's work is inspired by the beautiful landscapes of Cyprus and Greece, as well as by other subjects or scenes of beauty taken from everyday life. For the Artist , it is important that beauty be seized and appreciated from all of its dimensions and in all its magic ,as seen from the eyes of the soul and of the heart rather than of the logical part of the mind.
Stelios Votsis (1929 – 9 November 2012) was a Cypriot and British artist, one of the leading figures of modern art on the island, a co-founder of the Cyprus Chamber of Fine Arts and its one-time president. Stelios Votsis, like many other Cypriot artists, studied in the UK and in the spirit of untimely works, his art is only appreciated now, while previously the Cypriot public, were probably speechless in front of Votsis’ structural abstracts, and didn’t recognize its value. His paintings can be found in a number of collections including the National Gallery of Greece, the Greek Ministry of Culture, the Vorres Museum, the Presidential Palace of Cyprus and other public and private collections in Cyprus, Greece and beyond. Notable among the work completed prior to his death is his collaboration with the artist Stass Paraskos.
With such a diverse cultural scene, Cyprus has a lot to offer in both modern and traditional art. There are many art galleries worth visiting, below are 6 of the best places to visit in Nicosia to view original Cypriot art.
The Point Center is located in Nicosia and is a non-profit organization that supports local artists.
Point Center for Contemporary Art, Megaro Hadjisavva, 2, Evagorou, Avenue 1097, Nicosia, Cyprus, +357 22 662053
This gallery was founded in 1977 and the oldest venue for contemporary art in Cyprus. It exhibits Cypriot artists who live in Cyprus and abroad. The art in this gallery offers an intimate interaction with the artists and showcases diverse art in origin and subject matter.
Gallery Gloria, Zenon Sozou,3, Nicosia, Cyprus, +357 22 762605
Nicosia Municipal Art Center
This space was donated by Cyprus Electric Authority and this Art Center was built to the principles of the Bauhaus movement. This is home to an array of contemporary art pieces from well-known artists and has been open since 1994. The center also hosts exhibitions of international artists.
Nicosia Municipal Art Center, Nicosia, Cyprus, +357 22 797400
Alpha C.K. Gallery
This art gallery was especially designed for showcasing art. They focus on Greek and Cypriot art and show the best of what the island has to offer in cultural significance and artistic relevance. The also exhibit art from international artists from time to time.
Alpha C.K. Gallery, Makarios Ave. & Papanikoli 3, Nicosia Cyprus, +357 22 751325
Open since the 1970s, Argo hosts Cypriot, Greek and international artists whose work is exhibited for around three weeks, thus making sure that there is always something fresh and exciting on view for regular attendees or just the casual viewer.
Argo Gallery,64E, Digeni Akrita Avenue, 1061 Nicosia, Cyprus, +357 22 754009
One of the leading contemporary art galleries in Cyprus, Omikron Gallery opened in 2005 and has a program of regularly changing monthly exhibitions. Omikron represents ten Cypriot and Greek artists of international stature.
Omikron Gallery, 2, Vasileos Pavlou street, Nicosia, Cyprus, +357 22 678240