International artist Joni Zavitsanos’ Jan. 23 – Feb. 5 show “My Father’s Daughter: Byzantine Art in the Modern World” is featured in a Houstonia magazine story by Holly Beretto called “New MATCH Exhibition Showcases a Modern Twist on Byzantine Iconography.”
Ms. Zavitsanos’ exhibit at MATCH Gallery in Midtown chronicles more than 30 years of her father’s work side by side with her own. Her late father was the artist and iconographer Diamantis John Cassis.
“While he taught and worked, I sat on the floor and drew on the blank sheets of paper he would give me. I was not allowed to have a coloring book,” Ms. Zavitsanos told the magazine of her father, who died in 2015. “Over time, as I watched him paint these Byzantine images, I became enamored with the elongated haloed figures, the reversed perspective, the gold leaf, and the emotionless expressions, and they naturally became part of the images I would later begin to create.”
“In this exhibit, my ‘Mystical Supper’ piece will be shown side-by-side with the one done by my father. My baptism piece will be alongside one by Dad’s in a more traditional form,” she told reporter Ms. Beretto. “Viewers should look for the familiar elements infused in both our styles, and how these elements trace back to this ancient art form.”
Ms. Zavitsanos says that when she first started her work of mixing Byzantine iconography with modern images, she didn’t see her work as being like her father’s. But over time she saw something different. She hopes gallery visitors will see how her father influenced not only her art and her life. “Education of faith through the talent that God has given me is my passion,” she told the reporter, “just as it was my father’s.”
The opening reception is Thursday, January 23 at 6pm. The MATCH Gallery is at 3400 Main Street. Parking information for the gallery can be found here. MATCH is a performance venue for the Houston region’s small and mid-sized arts organizations that showcases an art in many forms.