He was born in 1920 in Thessaloniki. He lived abroad until 1938, as his father was a diplomat. After the war, he left Greece again and travelled in Europe. He studied in Basel, Switzerland (Gewerbeschule, 1949-1951), and in London (Slade School of Fine Arts and Central School of Arts and Crafts, 1951-1953), where he also studied under Austrian artist, Oskar Kokoschka. During his studies he met important intellectuals, artists and collectors, he entered into scenography for a while and in 1954 he presented his first solo exhibition in G. Britain (Heffer Gallery, Cambridge). That same year he settled in Paris, where he was particularly active exhibition-wise. Since 1964, he often exhibits in Greece and spends time at his studio in Oxylithos (Evia).
The initial phases of his oeuvre clearly assimilate influences from German expressionism and Kandinsky’s watercolours, along with elements from the lyrical abstraction of the '50s. In time, he developed a personal idiom which combines an emotive use of colour with a disciplined drawing structure. The thematic roots of his painting reflect stimuli and experiences from both central Europe and the Mediterranean. Landscapes, buildings, human figures are transformed into elliptical images of emotional intensity, being on the verge of figurative and abstract painting. The same applies to his famous black-and-white drawings of Indian ink.
During his long and extremely productive career, he participated dynamically in the artistic ferment of the era, always staying true to the principles of modern European painting. He was a founding member of the group La Ligne et le Signe (The Line and the Sign, Paris, 1972). APOAP (Association pour la promotion de l 'oeuvre d' A. Pierrakos / Society for promoting Alkis Pierrakos’ work) was established in Paris in 1995.
He has organized many solo exhibitions, mainly in France and Greece. He participated in Europalia (Belgium, 1982) and in group exhibitions in Europe and America. He has presented three retrospective exhibitions in Greece so far: Patras Municipal Art Gallery and Gallery of Cyclades, Syros: 1997; State Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki: 2003; Benaki Museum, Athens: 2007.