Papayannis Yannis (1962)

Born in Athens in 1962, he studied painting at the Bath Academy of Art (1981-1982) and the Byam Shaw School of Art (1983-1986) in England. Between 1998-2011 he taught at the Vakalo School in Athens.
His first solo exhibition was presented in 1990 in Athens (Ora Centre for Art & Culture). His early works start from visible reality, the human figure and the rendering of interiors with plants or other objects but go beyond description to propose a personal interpretation with the emphasis on the poetic dimension of space. His full-body portraits in interior spaces stand out for their cryptic expression and their gracious colours.
His subject range changes after the mid-1990s. Initially he chooses to depict his dreams and nightmares, trying to convey the images intact, unprocessed or unmediated by new ones (Nees Morfes, 1998). He presents them free of interpretations and fears, hastily and lucidly scribed like unexpected and often absurd events that mark our memory and our soul. The series Diving into events (Nees Morfes, 2002) is inspired by the biographies of historic figures. Painting serves as the background behind self-contained stories with a strong human presence, which has the main role. In 2005 he attempts to illustrate the works of three English-language poets David Byrne, Ezra Pound and William Blake; TinT Gallery), while in 2008 (Accounts of heroic acts; Nees Morfes) he presents large-scale oil paintings inspired by poetry and history.
He has presented his work in six solo exhibitions in Greece and has participated in several group shows: 3rd Mediterranean Biennale of Printmaking (Rome, 1992), Ichthys: Spiritual and Artistic Symbol in Greek Tradition, (Averoff Gallery, Nicosia Municipal Art Centre, Pierides Gallery, 1995-1996), Greek Painting from the 19th and 20th Century (Zappion Hall, 2008), The Artists for the Vorres Museum (2011), etc. His works can be found in the Museum of the City of Athens, the Vorres Museum, the Cycladic Gallery and in private collections.