I'm Lefteris Yakoumakis, a painter and
illustrator from Athens, Greece.
I'd like to be able to draw like Jean-Marc Reiser, paint like Barnet Newman
and fight like Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio someday. Until then...
This is my portfolio.
This work is inspired by the Art of the early middle ages -manuscript illustrations, wood prints- and the Flemish Pritives' paintings. Christian myths -which were so brilliantly illustrated by medieval Artists- are often in the core of even the most radical ideas of Europian thought, not on logical but rather on a psychological level. With this concept as starting point I combined imagery from today's mass culture with Christian iconography to present contemporary psychological states and neuroses in a frame of Christian mysticism from which they stem. At the same time I started experimenting with digital media. Starting with traditional media -ink on paper- I moved to digital colouring for both practical and conceptual purposes. Practical because the fruits of Artistic practice are nowadays communicated through social media. Thus by creating digital images I ensure that they are reproduced at their best on a screen. Conceptual because the repetitious reproduction and consumption of my images by an online audience brings me closer to the medieval Artist who, though his Art is being spread, he himself remains an anonymous craftsman among craftsmen.
There's no God west of Salina
In the Autumn of 2015 I spent a month at the KCAC artist residency in Kansas City and joined a friend for a 1001 km to Boulder Colorado. We drove westwards through the entire state of Kansas passing from his hometown of Salina. There's no God west of Salina was created the next summer and exhibited at Kompan exhibition space in Siglufjordur, Iceland. It consists of 8 drawings and a large mural in which I tried to capture different aspects of the American society and culture as well as the mesmerising monotony of the Kansan landscape. The mural was painted over after the show ended.
55 ways to pronounce the word Siglufjordur
These 55 drawings were created between September and December of 2013 at the town of Siglufjordur in northern Iceland where I was working as a labourer at the fishing industry. They were exhibited there the same winter. They are inspired by everyday life in the small fishing town, the landscape surrounding the town as well as local myths. They were later collected, along with short stories and essays, in a small book titled "55 ways to pronounce the word Siglufjordur" which I was able to publish after running a crowd-funding campaign in the summer of 2014.
This body of work was inspired by the financial and social crisis in Greece. I believe middle class mentality is one of the main reasons people don't rise to fight for their rights. It sums up to minding your own business, supporting leaders and waiting for them to change the world for you. This way of thinking is methodically cultivated by public schools, the media and the state. People are trained through fear to discipline and leaving initiative to others. I chose to paint objects I find symbolic of middle class aesthetics and culture and elevate them to the level of Art subjects the same way middle class mentality has been elevated to the state of ideologies.
Mistakes on Canvas
This body of work spans from 2009 to 2011. It includes works created in my new then studio, being fresh out of the Art School, as well works done in two different artist residencies in Amsterdam and Siglufjordur. In this body of work I tried to reconstruct personal experiences perceived as a result of my interaction with the social and political environment as well as the stimuli that came from my travels.
This my Art School thesis. It includes large scale painting and drawings in which I experimented with various materials. Having a personal narrative as a starting point I used animal faces as symbols of emotional states and tried to approach the mundane predicaments of everyday life with a sense of humor and bitterness.
Illustrations for various personal and commercial projects.
Lefteris Yakoumakis was born in Athens, Greece in 1984. He studied Art at the Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts of the School of Fine Arts of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (2003-2008)
where he specialized in painting.He divides his time between Greece and Iceland.
- 2006 ANATHENA, DESTE foundation, Athens, Greece.
- 2007 The Day After Tomorrow -The Next Tortured Genius, Monkdogz gallery, New York, USA.
- 2008 Vitruvius' Herritage, Aggelon Vima gallery, Athens, Greece.
- 2009 5th Biennale of the Students of the Greek Schools of Fine Arts, Attiko Metro's exhibition space, Athens, Greece.
- 2010 Fine Arts Awards 2010 of the University of Ioannina, Municipal Gallery, Ioannina. Greece.
- 2011 Art4more 2011, The Hub events, Athens, Greece.
- 2013 Meet the Artist, Myro gallery, Thessaloniki, Greece.
- 2014 Blek, Bláa húsið, Siglufjörður, Iceland.
- 2016 Stingur í augun nr2, Verksmiðjan á Hjalteyri, Hjalteyri,Iceland.
- 2011 Mistakes on Canvas, Vryssaki Art space, Athens, Greece.
- 2014 Notes. Before and After the journey, Fotagogos, Athens, Greece.
- 2015 Íbúðar málverk og hugsanir um ferðina í kjölfarið, Mjólkurbúðin Gallery, Akureyri, Iceland.
- 2017 There's no God west of Salina, Kompan Alþýðuhúsinu, Siglufjörður, Iceland.
- 2017 Totus Floreo, Fotagogos, Athens, Greece.
- December 2010, Herhúsið, Siglufjörður, Iceland.
- March-April 2011 Kanaal10, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
- October 2015, Kansas City International Residency at the Artists Coalition, Kansas City. U.S.A.