Anestis Ioannou (b.1992) is a visual artist who lives and works in Athens. He holds a Master’s Degree (MFA) from LUCA School of Arts, Brussels (2018). He studied painting at the Department of Fine Arts and of the Sciences of Art, University of Ioannina (2015), and at the Fine Arts School of the University of Castilla la Mancha, Spain (2014). He was awarded the ARTWORKS fellowship (2020), supported by Stavros Niarchos Foundation. Until today he’s work has been presented in exhibitions in Greece, Belgium, Netherlands, Croatia, Serbia, France and Germany.
Exhibitions in museums and public spaces include: Eidyllia Odos, Contemporary Art Museum of Crete, (2022); Rebetiko, Athens Municipal Center of Arts, (2022); Acropolis at the bottom, Nikos Kessanlis Hall, ASFA, (2018); Monuments, but not heavy, Temporary Art Center (TAC), Eindhoven; Inspire/ Effective spaces, MoMus Museum of Contemporary Art Thessaloniki. He participated in the Biennale ‘Mulhouse 017’ (2017), France. His work is in many private collections in Europe.
“In my work, I explore the intersections between painting and sculpture. I challenge the traditional boundaries of painting, by incorporating different materials and techniques such as collage, concrete, marble pieces, neon lights, and denim, while referencing youth culture, and urban life.
Born and raised in the center of Athens, Greece, I have been inspired by the city’s shifting landscape. From a young age, I have been engaging with the rich and diverse street culture, which later directly entered my praxis. My starting point is often the city object, which although soulless, carries engraved traces of something very humane. I am interested in the way an object can become a “transplant” that defines the identity of a pre-existing space.
In my painting, I focus on the mechanisms by which we tell stories through these cultural relics, remnants, and spaces, resulting in a construction of narratives that reflect the city’s physical and intangible landscape. Spatial stories and urban memories, highlight the fluidity of human relationships and how they shape the identity of our urban localities. Often, I incorporate partial depictions of statues with only an outline, giving the sense of empty bodies, frozen in time, as fragments of ancient Greek sculpture. These protagonists compose hollow monuments: working in a circle from a place to a body, and from a body to a memory.
My work is an ongoing conversation with my environment. Drawing from personal experiences and observations, I create fragments that are deeply connected to the world around me. By connecting mythology, or remnants of myths, with the urban experience, I merge the past and the present to create a contemporary discourse about a time that has passed. My goal is to describe my individual experiences, and explore the broader themes of identity, memory, and our connection to our cultural heritage.”
New Greek painting in the Municipal Gallery of Athens with artworks by 33 painters
The skateboards made of marble by Anestis Ioannou
Connecting rebetiko with contemporary art
“Eidyllia Οdos” in Technopolis: A “journey” in the city of Athens in memory, history and today through 33 artists
Alexandra Koroxenidi writes about the exhibition “After Sunset” where denim fabric processing and neon lights dominate.
Anestis Ioannou was the classmate we envied, because he was the only one allowed to paint his desk
At the backyard of an apartment building, where his grandfather planted a banana tree, Anestis Ioannou found a hybrid space to create his own urban “implants”
Anestis Ioannou solo exhibition After Sunset at Crux Galerie
A short interview of Anestis Ioannou. Recomposing Fragments
Anestis Ioannou was awarded the ARTWORKS fellowship (2020-2021) by SNF (Stavros Niarchos Foundation).
Hydroexpress Project: a hybrid presentation of a work of art
NOTUS Studio interview
Deliverart: Contemporary art at home
“No Man’s Land” reflects on the notion of the gesture of marking a part of the urban landscape and the boundaries of an unoccupied property. It’s part of a series of works with the same name and was presented at Acropolis at the Bottom exhibition (2018) at ASFA, Athens and as part of the environment-installation “On The First Day” at the Mulhouse Biennale (2017), in France.