Apostolos Koustas was born in Misolonghi and that is where he made his
first contact with the art of painting under the tutelage of Gerasimos Kassolas. Before
moving to Athens, he had the opportunity of holding two exhibitions in his birthplace.
In Athens he immediately made contact with the engraver Tassos, who gave
him the opportunity to meet and also collaborate with engraver Yiorgos Sikeliotis.

His meeting with the great engraver Vaso Katraki probably came about by
divine intervention for it was she who urged him to devote himself exclusively to the
genre of engraving. This critical timing and choice proved how better suited he was to
engraving as means of artistic expression.

Koustas possesses, I believe, a charismatic ability, a gift from nature: that of
the master creator. And the master creator helped the artist Koustas to easily gain the
appreciation of great engravers, with whom he also collaborated at every step. Vaso
Katraki quickly taught him the secrets and potential of engraving on hard and soft
sandstone in great depth. She also liberated him and guided him towards a solid mode
of expression, which is based on the dynamic relation between classical and modern

Today he works with stone and other engraving materials that he himself has
invented. He prints his large artistic compositions on cement plaques that he has
constructed on his own. This material, in combination with his innovative techniques,
give him new opportunities to solve the basic problem of size in engraving and to add
colour to this artistic genre without disrupting its visual and aesthetic balance. This
seems utterly natural for the master creator Apostolos Koustas: to work with various
materials and try out their different expressive capabilities. In this way he was able to
avoid tactics and habits of many of his colleagues, who insist on employing colour in
engraving in the same way they would in painting with techniques that for years these
engravers/colourers have shamelessly used to ravage the art of engraving with lewd

Let’s hope that we do not have to read again in reviews by university
professors and art critics an attempt to define Koustas’s artistic compositions as
“cement etchings”, as was the case when Vaso Katraki’s were recklessly and
mindlessly described as “stone etchings” just because she employed stone in her

In an artistic genre as serious as engraving proposes to be, one can enjoy the
results of Koustas’s painstaking endeavours in his ingenuous artistic thrill, his
lyricism and the structural solidity of his compositions both when these draw upon the
wealth of Greek mythology as well as upon contemporary social mythology and the
great appeal and aesthetic vision of the technological age.

February 1991

Kostas Stavropoulos - Art Critic