Greek visual designer Charis Tsevis is well known for his intricate digital mosaics. Usually in the form of portraits, his mosaic artworks feature a wide range of subjects spanning from popular TV characters and musicians to U.S. presidents and international athletes. Tsevis finds inspiration for his pieces in almost everything, taking striking elements from a vast array of visual imagery and combining them into thematic portraits. One of his latest series, titled African Bricks, was inspired by his visits to the African continent and his study of its many cultures.
He has just recently introduced the second installment of this stunning collection of artworks. These newest pieces come several years after the first African Bricks mosaics that he created back in 2016. They follow the concept of the African matchbox house, which Tsevis was struck by during his time in several African townships. Like the bricks and diverse materials used to construct the walls of those houses, he constructs his pieces using various patterns, textures, fabrics, papers, embroidery, and any other material that he can find to “[reflect] the passion and the beauty of Africa.”
“Africa was love at first sight,” Tsevis tells My Modern Met. “I have learned so much about its cultures, but most of all I have felt that there was something so important in this land. The open spaces, the nature, the animals, the people, the history, the dramas, and the victories…And then there were the houses in the townships and the informal settlements of Soweto. People used bricks and any kind of material they could find to build a home, a nest, a shelter. I have seen so much courage and so much creativity in all these houses. For me, these are the celebration of life. An incredible puzzle, an amazing mosaic of symbols, messages, and feelings. It was a no-brainer to use this idea for my personal art.”
Among the portrait subjects in Tsevis’s latest installment of African Bricks are award-winning writer and poet Amanda Gorman and the Jamaican American reggae artist Keznamdi. Gorman’s portrait is titled And still I rise, after a famous poem by Maya Angelou, and the powerful piece expertly captures her arresting gaze and quiet confidence. Star-power aside, the series in its entirety is visually stunning with its use of vibrant colors and its complex patchwork of designs. Each individual component is combined to make a composite and unified whole.