Positive energy is an international matter
The first time I sat opposite him, he was listening to “Sympathy for the devil“ by Rolling Stones and he asked from me three times to change places so that the light would fall on me at a better angle.
My first impression was that he was somewhat odd, but he always provided my best interviews! And I came to hold him in esteem, because any discussion you have with him takes you on a journey and gives you energy. On days like that, Minas demonstrated that all the season are the same in Greece! He had left the country due to oppressive socio-political conditions; he went to America in response to a stranger’s “if you ever come”; he arrived in New York literally without a dime in his pocket and became who he is thanks to only two attributes... his talent and his passion for work!
His real stars
In recent years, having achieved such great success with his creations on Mykonos, he is in a position to offer the island his own personal legends!
First of all, his friendship with the Rolling Stones, particularly Keith Richards, for whom he fashioned both the pen and the watch he wears.
Minas also made the guitar slide for Keith Richards and the lap steel guitar slide for Ronnie Wood when they had holidays in the island!
And more recently, his friendship with internationally acclaimed chef Nobu Matsuhisa and Tonino Carotone.
Minas had made the keys for the suites at the Belvedere, which guests would wear around their necks as pendants, but he met Nobu when the great chef bought his first rubber bracelet from him. He returned shortly after, telling everyone that he “gets energy from nothing else, only from this”. And since then, of course, he has bought everything.
Throughout his life, Nobu has always sought out people consumed by passion for what they do and he frequently observes how few of them there are.
It was therefore no surprise that he immediately sensed the intensity and passion of the famous designer, understood his work and loved him at once. Their respect and enormous passion for their work made them close friends.
Before some years, in honor of Nobu, the Belvedere has been displaying the entire range of rubber bracelets in a glass cabinet in the hotel.
Tonino too was to become a great admirer of the designer. They met when Minas offered to interpret for the singer-songwriter at his first press conference in Greece. Since then, they have travelled together once to Delphi and four times to Delos and Rinia – a sacred trip, as Tonino says.
They usually sail there on the fishing boat of Captain Yannis, who has had the good fortune to see Toni- no singing about his “family”, as he refers to Minas, as the small vessel pushed through the waves.
His wife, Pilar, who has an amazing voice, often joins in. Minas has made a set of cufflinks for him, emblazoned with the Basque flag. He wears them everywhere!
Minas, that international Greek who returned from America to promote Greece all over the world through his work, he opened before some years a pop up design house at 11 Knightsbridge Green in London!Then he came back to Mykonos and he designed a set of outdoor benches and lampposts to replace the ones at the Mykono’s town old port promenade. Known for this organic forms and intuitive sense of human anatomy, Minas designed a bench made of Pentelic marble and wood. it’s profile inspired by the front-row thrones of Ancient Greek theatres.
« These seats were for the sponsors »,the designer explained , « the wealthy citizens who made thé production of theatre back in the day possible.
The matching lamppost is made of 316-quality stainless steel on a 250-kilo marble base And it’s lantern has an aerodynamic shape in order to cope with the strong winds Mykonos is so famous for.
I wanted the lamppost to be like a lighthouse for approaching boats “, Minas said.”That’s why all the lampposts on the promenade will be facing north, where the post entrance is.
Due to the town’s status as a traditional settlement and the aforementioned regulations, the mayor’s office had to submit the bench and lamppost designs to the Ministry of Culture and the Antiquities Department for approval. The bench’s reference to Ancient Greece and the lamppost’s discreet minimalism earned the necessary permit and Minas donated the first pair to the town by paying for the production costs himself.
The exhibition and the book
In 2018 Minas held an exhibition at the Benaki Museum.
This exhibition includes 50 black and white photographs by Costas Coutayar, portraits of unconventional characters and unique people, all dressed in Minas jewelry. Along side the large pictures there are specially designed displays housing his creations.
The co-existence of the two artists revealed the common artistic concerns and mutual appreciation they hold for each other.
Never say goodbye
Unfortunately our beloved friend , the creative Spirit and legendary artist Minas became a real star in the sky at 25th March 2020.His final journey begins with pencil and paper.
"Stars rise and fall in the same position. Minas’ "Astra" now shine bright as they find their place for which they were created: the sky. They belong there and they will never set."
Minas Mykonos: Platia Agias Kyriakis, 84600 Mýkonos, Greece, tel: +30 22890 27320
Minas Kifissia: Emanouil Benaki 8, tel: +30 210 6233577