Michel Devanakis

Painter | Greece

Michel Devanakis is a self-taught visual artist primarily working in painting. He was born and raised in Douala, Cameroon, in 1962 to Greek parents. He studied Graphic Design and Advertising in France. After his studies, he lived and worked in several countries (France, Bermuda, Mexico, Canada) before settling in Greece in 1997, where he started his own graphic design and illustration company. In 2001, he created “filaki.gr,” the largest humorous website in Greece, focusing on illustrated greeting cards designed by him and other artists. He created paintings alongside his various activities from his youth. His first participation in a group exhibition was in Bermuda in 1987 when he was 25 years old. In 2013, he decided to gradually abandon his other activities and dedicate his time to painting on a more permanent basis. His multicultural background is the main driving force behind his creative approach. He has exhibited his work in Greece and abroad, and his works are in private collections in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Italy. Today, he exclusively earns a living from his artistic activity. Mr. Devanakis is a member of the Chamber of Fine Arts of Greece (EEET) and collaborates with the collective of visual artists ARC – Art Revisited Collective since March 2024.

STATEMENT

Restless, self-taught, often unpredictable, I create art to express myself, to convey my own vision of the world, and to share my moments of surprise, euphoria, happiness, and occasionally the relentless sense that there is always something new to discover. While contemporary realism characterizes me, I frequently experiment with new techniques or more abstract approaches. Beyond mere depiction, I strive for my works to tell a story or provoke contemplation. Sketches and studies are first made on the computer and then transferred onto the canvas. My works are human-centric, as I am primarily drawn to the emotional. Although I have created landscapes in the past, they are not my preference. I admire and love the works of many artists with very different styles, tendencies, and cultures. I couldn’t say I have a specific influence other than being mainly attracted to realism. Being “labeled” makes me feel uncomfortable because, by doing so, the world would expect me to create again and again in a specific way. I leave the door open to whatever inspires me. Curious by nature, I nurture my creativity by exploring various paths. Realism, impressionism, surrealism, collages, or abstract realism – I go with my flow without being attached to following “the” flow. For me, art is not fixed in time or trends. I cherish and protect this freedom and spontaneity that allow me to evolve while having fun and perhaps, at the same time, surprising.

AT A GLANCE

Genre: Painting

Medium: Oil on canvas, Acrylics on canvas, Painting on wood

Style: Realism and subgenres (including Magical Realism, Surrealism, Neorealism)

Themes: Human-centric

Workshop: Marathon, Attica, Greece

Associations: EETE (Chamber of Fine Arts of Greece)

Price Range: €800 – 8000

International Scale:
EMERGING | HIGH-POTENTIAL | MID-CAREER | ESTABLISHED

RECENT ARTWORKS

CAREER LANDMARKS

GROUP EXHIBITIONS
(selection)

ARC – Art Revisited Collective: New Symbols 3, conceived & curated by Paris Kapralos & Jason Kairofilas, Luminous Eye Gallery, Athens 2024

Behind the Masks of Utopian Joy, conceived & curated by Paris Kapralos, Chili Art Gallery, Athens 2024

Summertime, curated by Paris Kapralos and Vera Katranidou, Luminous Eye Gallery, Athens 2023

State & Utopia, curated by Paris Kapralos, Luminous Eye Gallery, Athens 2023

Athens Open Art, organized by Art Number 23, Athens 2022

Light and Color in History, organized by Marathon Art Festival, International Marathon Centre of Visual Arts, Archaeological Museum of Marathon, Marathon Attica 2021

INTERNATIONAL EVENTS
(selection)

Chianciano Biennale 2022, organized by the International Confederation of Art Critics, Museo d’Arte di Chianciano Terme, Clancianum Galleries, Tuscany, Italy, 2022

London Art Biennale 2021, organized by the International Confederation of Art Critics, London, 2021

Bermuda Artists Week, organized by the Bermuda Society of Arts, Hamilton-Bermuda 1987

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ARTWORKS