Migadis Yannis (1926 - 2017)

He was born in Heraklion, Crete in 1926. He studied painting at the Athens School of Fine Arts (1945-51) under K. Parthenis and U. Argyros. In 1961 he went to Paris on a two-year scholarship by the University of Athens, in order to study scenic and costume design at the Ecole des Arts Decoratifs (1961-63). His frequent trips around the world, particularly to the Middle East, and his friendship with Y. Tsarouchis, which he considers his teacher, played an important part in the development of his oeuvre. His first solo exhibitions were held in 1953 in Athens (Stratigopoulou gallery) and in Heraklion (Scientists Club).
He usually paints with mild colours that convey the familiar atmosphere of everyday life. His themes include portraits, still lifes, domestic interior scenes, citylife scenes and landscapes of greek beaches. From the ‘70s onwards, he often uses old family photos as sources of inspiration, which he sometimes renders emotionally, and other times, humorously and critically. Through his art, he comments, poignantly but discretely, on the current situation of the middle class.
Apart from painting, he has worked on illustrations for books, calendars and magazines and has published his writings in literary and artistic print media.
He has also been largely involved with scenic and costume design in many performances of the National Theatre of Greece, the National Theatre of Northern Greece and many more independent troupes, on plays both classic and contemporary. He has also worked on several greek and foreign film productions.
In 1999 he was honored with the Academy of Athens award for his overall contribution to art. He has also received the Panos Aravantinos award (2003) for his scenic designs and costumes and the Nikos Kazantzakis award (2007) by the Heraklion Municipality.
He has presented his paintings in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Greece and abroad. His retrospective exhibitions have been presented at the Hermoupolis festival in Syros (2003) and the Benaki Museum in Athens (2008). He has published two albums (1993, 1994) and two monographs (2005, 2008) on his oeuvre.