Mantzavinos Tassos (1958)

He was born in Athens in 1958. He took his first painting lessons from Manos Sofianos and Mimis Kontos. He studied painting at the Athens School of Fine Arts (1979-1984) and graduated with distinction. His first solo exhibition was held in Athens (Gallery 7, 1984).
The key elements of his painting, already visible since his early period, are the anti-naturalistic, expressionistic intensity in the drawing style of his forms and an existential exploration through particular themes, but also through the act of painting itself. The largest part of his work features narrative elements, especially after the mid 90's, usually referring to personal or collective memories, experiences and dreams, clearly autobiographical, or strongly symbolic folk tales and traditions. His themes sometimes acquire a surrealistic dimension, as they are presented in unexpected combinations. The frequent presence of the figure of the artist in the paintings, and his fascination with certain thematic motifs (trees, seas and ships, heroes, riders, couples) reveal a deep, empathetic link between the artist and his work. His three-dimensional wooden constructions, one of his latest artistic endeavours, function as an extension of his painting, enhancing its communicative immediacy.
Alongside his artistic career, he taught drawing at the Vakalo Art & Design College (1986-2000) and worked on book illustrations.
He has presented numerous solo exhibitions, mainly in Greece (Athens, Thessaloniki, Chania, etc.) and participated in group exhibitions in Greece and abroad. He took part in the 2nd and 3rd Biennale of Young Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean (Thessaloniki 1986 and Barcelona 1987) and the 16th Biennale of Alexandria (1987).
In 2005 he published an album-notebook with his drawings. In 2012, the Benaki Museum presented his retrospective exhibition and a monograph was published on his oeuvre, entitled For my strength is made perfect in weakness (by Patakis Publications, edited by Philippos Begleris).