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RED BANK: YOUR PHOTOS, IN TILE AND GLASS

Theodoropoulus 112113 3Pete Theodoropoulus in his new Red Bank tile-art gallery, Tesserae, where works sell for $2,500 to $25,000. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508Pete Theodoropoulus is still not an artist, though one might say his skills as a businessman are quickly approaching artistry.

As detailed by redbankgreen last summer, he’s a food guy, one who owns multiple Italian-ice stands and restaurants around New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania. And he’s not yet 30 years old.

But Theodoropoulus believes he’s found a huge opening in the art world: a market for large images assembled from thousands of bits of cut and broken stone and glass. Art that weighs heavy on the walls and heavy on the wallet.

He’s seizing control of it. And his venture, in development for nearly two years, officially got a face this week with the opening of his gallery, called Tesserae – Greek for ‘mosaic’ – in a storefront on Broad Street in Red Bank.

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RED BANK: MOSAIC SHOP TAKES BALLEW SPOT

Tessarae, featuring works like the 500-pound “Penthouse Views,” below, plans to open at 36 Broad Street in early July. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

After a 99-year run as a jewelry store and two-plus years as a vacant shell, the former Ballew Jewelers storefront in Red Bank is about to become an art store.

Sort of.

Tesserae, as it’s called, will feature only mosaics, all of them the brainchild of a 27-year-old restaurateur who’s only been in the creative realm for 18 months and leaves the execution of his ideas to someone else.

A budding Jeff Koons of the shattered-stone world, Pete Theodoropoulus makes no pretense to being an artist. What he’s selling, at prices ranging from $3,000 to $20,000, is home decoration – some of it weighing in at as much as 500 pounds, he tells redbankgreen.

“I wouldn’t consider myself an artist,” he said. “I have the vision – that this company could eventually have hundreds of stores worldwide.”

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