He was born in Pyrgos (Ilia) in 1952. He studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts (1973-78), under D. Mytaras, Y. Mavroidis and P. Tetsis. He went to Paris for independent studies (1978-81), where he was familiarized with the trends of contemporary art and the great classical works of the past.
Since his first solo exhibition in Athens (Nees Morfes gallery, 1978), and especially after 1980, his work is showcased in successive thematic sections, focused on man and nature. The solitary figure of male or female bodies is constantly transformed into Centaurs, evolve into Trees and affirm their incorporation into the space/landscape through a violent expressionistic style, with recurring drawing and colour interventions on the works' surface. Each choice of the artist (small or large sizes, dark or bright tones, colour or monochrome, mixed media, uniform or fragmentary compositions, etc.), highlight each section as a different phase of the evolving relationship between figure and landscape, seeking to achieve balance. It is all about a constant artistic search with existential connotations, where painting sometimes meets the intellectual process of poetry (1454 Emily Dickinson, 2005).
He has taught drawing and painting in the Chalkis Art Workshop and the Vakalo College of Art & Design. Over the past few years, he has acquired a studio in Tinos (Cyclades).
His work has been presented in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Greece and other european countries, as well as in New York (Hellenic Foundation for Culture, 2002). In 2008, his album Yiannis Adamakos: Painting 1977-2007 was published by Agra, including 180 works, classified in decades. Also, he participated in the 1st Athens Biennale (Destroy Athens, 2007) and in thematic exhibitions (1994: The loss of form in space, The art ephemera, etc.). His latest works were presented at the Benaki Museum in 2013.