Aristides Varrias was born in Chios in 1949; until the age of 18 he was immersed in the splendor of the Byzantine art of his homeland and in the great tradition of the island’s folk art period
He studied Theology in Thessalonica (1972), Pastoral Psychology at Princeton University, (Th.M., 1975), and he attended C.P.E. at Bellevue Hospital Center, and other institutions (1977). Furthermore, he studied music and visual arts. Studying marginality and the relation between marginal people and the Church, he received a doctorate degree from the University of Thessalonica (2004).
Since 1979 he lives and works on Paros as a professor and as a sculptor, searching the truth of human “prosopon”, through the paths of philosophy and science, as well as the apocalyptic ways of the Art. He is married to Maria Arkouli and has got two sons, Simos and Demetris. For many years he was representing Greece in the European Community of Stone. He has been vice president of the “International Paros Art Cycle” and he has taught sculpture at the Hellenic International School of Arts (H.I.S.A.) as a visiting lecturer.
He has sculpted more than hundred faces. All of them are sculpted on remnants of the expired 13th century Parian marble, famous for its whiteness, smoothness and transparency “Parian Lithos” of the ancient world. They are also worked on with the same simple instruments which the ancient Greek sculptors were using. The rest of his sculpture is worked on opal this shining and hard semiprecious stone.
Dr. Dora Eliopoulou- Rogan, (Dr. of History of Arts and Critic), wrote about Varrias: “Aristides Varrias, being an inspired creator, “feels” and molds the Parian marble, the famous lychnitis, in a charismatic way. He molds “prosopa” which radiate besides the perfectness of the “métier”, a very advanced, above all, poetic mood….. They are faces expressing reverie, expectation, prosopa which palpitate from emotions, anticipate conditions, pry memories, challenge experiences and indelible through time impressions. Prosopa, which are invincible and, at the same time, so human.” She also writes about his abstract sculptures: “These sculptures, gifted with an “organic” substance, indicate everlasting beings. Beings, which circulate, swing, transportate and wind between us, but we do not perceive them with our common senses. That’s why the sculptures of Varrias reveal to us charismatically their very beings, proving at the same time the talent of their creator.”
In 1997, painter and sculptor Alkis Ginis, prefacing the album “Alphabet of the stone”, wrote about Varrias: “…His artistic interest focuses on the human form, while the minimalistic character of the forms he chooses to sculpt contain the simplicity of form and abstraction reminiscent of the folk art and the Cycladic idols. Uninterested in overindulging his sculptures with unnecessary details and finishing touches, he is content with just fragmental expression. …Nature’s own self-sufficiency, reflected in Aristides Varrias’ sculptures, is what makes up their special character. It is with this criteria that the artist selects the part of the piece of the marble where each form will be sculpted, taking advantage of the random shape of the model as well as the natural coloring on its surface, which are intentionally left in their natural state wherever this serves the artistic purpose, contributing in this way, to the personal trademark of the creator to be recognized by the viewer”.