The Adult Easter Art Of Greek Painter Yiannis Nomikos
This artist’s story literally begins ab ovo. It's hard to recall any other product (except for bread, of course) that affected both human cooking and culture as much. Though Yiannis Nomikos is not Gustav Fabergé because he prefers real eggs to golden ones, his work still would make some collectors scream "Eggs! Eggs! Eggs!" like the character of Pink Flamingos did.
Fig. 1. Yiannis Nomikos (instagram.com)
Fig. 2. Traffic cone in style of ancient pottery (instagram.com)
Fig. 3. Orchid (instagram.com)
Fig. 4. “The beautiful people on the New York Subway. Ink on paper and thin oil color'' (the artist's quote from his instagram).
Fig. 5. Work in progress (instagram.com)
Fig. 6. A Lapith woman and a Centaur (instagram.com)
Fig. 7. Hypnos acrylic on canvas 110 x 170 cm Painted 1989 in Chelsea New York (instagram.com)
Fig. 8. Nude sketches (instagram.com)
Fig. 9. Nude sketches (instagram.com)
Fig. 10. Seated men with genitals exposed (instagram.com)
Following the Footsteps of Forefathers
Yiannis Nomikos was born in Athens in 1949. As it's stated on his website, from the age of 13 to 23, Nomikos received his initial art training, working on Greek vases for which he applied ancient techniques. In 1974, he relocated to New York and, two years later, started attending the Art Students League in Manhattan. With the help of his mentor Jack Fragasso, Nomikos studied perspective drawing and traditional oil techniques, this way, remaining faithful to classical art. Yet a passion for antiquity was complemented by the artist's genuine interest in modern life. Since 1979, Nomikos, captivated by the life of a metropolis, has been drawing urban settings. In his Instagram account, you can find many sketches of people in the subway, besides nude studies and mythological scenes.
Fig. 11. “Two sides of the same ostrich egg, dancers in ecstasy. Painted 40 years ago'' (Yiannis in 2017, instagram.com)
Fig. 12. An ostrich egg with mythological theme, with gold leaf and enamel. (Hefestos returning to Olympus) Lemnos is Hefestos favorite Island.
Fig. 13. Greek and Egyptian gods, tempera on ostrich eggshell (leslielohman.pastperfectonline.com)
Fig. 14. Greek orgy, tempera on duck egg, 1976 (mutualart.com)
Fig. 15. Greek orgy, tempera on duck egg, 1976 (mutualart.com)
Fig. 16. Greek orgy, tempera on duck egg, 1976 (mutualart.com)
Fig. 17. Greek orgy, tempera on duck egg, 1976 (mutualart.com)
Fig. 18. Greek orgy, tempera on duck egg, 1976 (mutualart.com)
Happy Pagan Easter
According to the advertising article Shop Talk: Gifts In a Holiday Mood published in The New York Times in March 1975, the idea of painting the eggs came to the mind of the artist's colleague Vladimir Chronis soon after they both relocated. Apparently, Chronis decided to adjust his experience of working with vases to market needs, and Nomikos also embraced the opportunity to monetize his talent. Though we don't know the Easter season total revenue, it says that the eggs cost $25 each, regardless of size (the artists worked with hen, duck, turkey, and goose eggs). One egg took seven hours to complete. Sometimes they painted mythological scenes with orange figures and black backgrounds like on ancient pottery, and it's a curious question whether they sold eggs with pagan pictures on Easter. As known, the tradition of decorating eggshells was established long before Christ in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia.
Fig. 19. Two eggs, gesso and tempera on egg, 1976 (mutualart.com)
Fig. 20. Greek warriors engaged in an anal intercourse, 1976 (mutualart.com)
Fig. 21. Greek warriors engaged in an anal intercourse, 1976 (mutualart.com)
Fig. 22. Winged male creatures performing fellatio, 1976 (mutualart.com)
Fig. 23. The artist’s signature (mutualart.com)
The Eggs for Private Collections
When the advertisement in NY Times was printed, geese had already laid eggs that would be decorated with far more risky images than some customers could imagine: an orgy involving three Greek or Roman warriors engaged in anal penetration with a pair of warriors doing the same on the other side, if the egg has any sides at all...(fig. 19-21) and three winged males performing fellatio (fig. 22-23).
Sources: yiannisnomikos.com; nytimes.com; leslielohman.pastperfectonline.com