One of just a handful of artists who create Byzantine mosaics in the US
Yiannis Frazis is a mosaic iconographer. He crafts Byzantine art piece-by-piece and he is one of just a handful of artists who create Byzantine mosaics in the United States. Many of his works belong to private collections in New York, Greece and Australia.
He was born on the island of Kalymnos and has 4 siblings. His father was a mathematician, who loved Greek culture.
The passion for his art was triggered during an excavation of a Byzantine church on the island, when he came face to face with a damaged mosaic icon. His passion was further motivated by his parents.
He actually worked with the preservationists of the Archaeological Agency of Kalymnos to bring the mosaic back to life.
He continued working with the agency’s excavation teams and began preserving other unearthed relics. He eventually engulfed himself in the art of Byzantine mosaics. He pieced together his first mosaic, a mural of Alexander the Great, with no formal training in the art to guide him.
He decided to relocate to the United States and settled down in Brooklyn.
“Byzantine iconography requires a tremendous amount of patience,” says Frazis.
Frazis was commissioned by St. Eleftherios Greek Orthodox Church in New York City to create two mosaics that now hang on the exterior walls of the church as the main feature. Other works by Frazis decorate several churches in the United States.
Moreover, he fashioned a Byzantine-style engolpion, which was presented to His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in 2009.