Theofylaktopoulos Makis (1939)

He was born in 1939 in Athens. He took his first drawing lessons at Panos Sarafianos' studio (1958-60) and then studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts under Y. Moralis (1961-1967). In 1964, he participated in the 3rd Panhellenic Exhibition for Young Artists and won first prize. Two years later he presented his first solo show in Athens (Astor gallery, 1966). His work was immediately identified with the sociopolitical tensions of the era and his own explosive temperament as a painter.
He lived and worked abroad since 1969, mainly in Switzerland and France, and due to a Ford Foundation grant in 1971, he also worked in the U.S.A. (New York). In 1975, he returned to Greece.
The human form and its relationship with space predominates in the largest part of his oeuvre. He embarked on exploring the diverse stages of this relationship, by using as starting point, the Motorcyclist, his older and most popular subject matter; in some cases, this figure represents an intimidating symbol of authority, while other times, it signifies a speed addict, who is a victim himself. The external depiction of the moving figure is gradually replaced by a sense of motion within painting itself. This emerging aspect of his personal idiom would become the key to his future development.
His figures are usually recognizable and they often stand alone in space, while less frequently, they coexist with few more figures. In his more abstract works, the subject matter is drawn elusively, sometimes only as an outline, yet always preserving the intensity of its presence and its role in the composition. Apart from oil or acrylic paintings, he has produced many charcoal drawings, while in recent years, he often uses crayons and mixed media.
His energetic, expressionist style, his elliptical, yet forceful drawing technique, the implied motion of the opulent chromatic texture, and the versatile processing of painting space are the key features of his oeuvre. Depending on the different expressive needs of each work period, the vigor of his brushstroke is being diffused, through these characteristics, either towards the surface of the canvas, or towards its depth.
In 1988 he was elected professor at the School of Fine Arts, in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, where he remained until 2005.
He has presented his work in approximately twenty solo exhibitions and in numerous group shows in Greece and abroad. He participated in the Alexandria Biennale (1977), in Europalia (Brussels, 1982) and in the Traveling Exhibition of Greek Art in Toulouse (1986), among others. His major retrospective exhibition Matter Vicissitutes: 1960-2010, was organized by the Benaki Museum in 2010.