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Konstantin Kakanias (born September 18, 1961 in Athens) is a contemporary Greek painter and multimedia artist. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles and Greece. Throughout his career Kakanias has created drawings, paintings, sculptures, performances, ceramics and books.
Kakanias' work does not belong to any single style. He is known to explore a range of themes in his work from the light and comic to the dark and psychological
Kakanias attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, majoring in Textile Design, from 1977-1979. Kakanias moved to Paris in 1979. He attended the Studio Berçot where he studied Fashion and Art. He was also taught by the Italian artist and stage designer Lila de Nobili. Kakanias started his career at 22, working as an illustrator for newspapers and magazines such as French Vogue and Vogue Italia. He created textile designs for Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Lacroix.
1984, Kakanias moved to Luxor, Egypt to study Ancient Egyptian art and remained there for a year. His art has been influenced by this experience. "Echoes of pharaohs and hieroglyphs reverberate in many of Kakanias' drawings today."
In 1988, Kakanias moved back to New York City where he collaborated with Tiffany and Barneys New York. His drawings were published by The New York Times and Vanity Fair. In 1991 he dedicated himself completely to making art. In 1995 he had a breakthrough exhibition "No More Stains" at the Postmasters Gallery in New York with sculptures and a performance.
In 1996 Kakanias introduced his fictional heroine Mrs.Tependris for an illustrated New York Times Magazine article. Mrs. Tependris, Kakanias' "alter-ego," is a caricature of an art collector and a high society doyenne who Kakanias uses as "a metaphor for the state of contemporary art and its superficial reception by the public". Mrs. Tependris has become a cult figure in the art community. In 1997 he created his first book Freedom or Death based on the adventures of Mrs. Tependris.
Kakanias moved to Los Angeles in 1997. For several years he continued working on the adventures of Mrs. Tependris and in 2002 published Mrs. Tependris: the Contemporary Years. In 2004 Kakanias was commissioned by the Greek Ministry of Culture to create a book for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.
Kakanias has exhibited around the world in museums and galleries, notably "Time Goes By So Slowly" at the Goulandris Museum of Cycladic Art in 2006 and "A Tribute to Antonis Benakis" at the Benaki Museum in 2004-5. In 2008 he collaborated with Diane von Fürstenberg to create the comic book Be The Wonder Woman You Can Be. (DC Comics 2008). He has done numerous private commissions. In 2004 Kakanias frescoed a church in Spain for Carolina Herrera Jr.
- Freedom or Death. Jane Stubbs. 1997.
- Mrs. Tependris: the Contemporary Years. Rizzoli International. 2002.
- Mrs. Tependris…just before the Olympic games in Athens 2004. Published by the Greek Ministry of Culture. 2004.
- Untitled III (Parade) limited edition. Kalfayan galleries. 2008.
- Francois Jonquet " La foret ou nous pleurons" 2008
- Nathan Cooper "Konstantin's empire" C magazine , April 2006
- David Rimanelli, “Ars Immaculata.” Going On About Town. The New Yorker, May 22, 1995
- Gavin Lambert, Introduction for the book Mrs. Tependris … just before the Olympics , published by the Greek Ministry of Culture , 2004
- Hamish Bowles, Introduction for the book Her Contemporary Years Rizzoli International 2002
- Alexandra Koroxenidis, “Putting oneself in the picture: The life of a fictional art collector“ Kathimerini-International Herald Tribune English edition, May 20, 2002
- Alexandra Koroxenidis, “A cult figure's latest adventures“ Kathimerini-International Herald Tribune English edition, April 5, 2004
- Rebecca Camhi Gallery
- Hunter Drohojowska-Philp, “Meet the Artist’s Very Good . . Er, Friend.” , September 3 2000 , Calendar , Los Angeles Times
- Alexandra Koroxenidis, “Putting oneself in the picture: The life of a fictional art collector“ Monday May 20 2002 , Kathimerini-Herald Tribune English edition
- Alexandra Koroxenidis, “ A cult figure’s latest adventures “ Monday April 5 2004 , Kathimerini-Herald Tribune English edition
- Volandes Stellene "Olympic Talent" Departures Magazine Jul/Aug-2004
- Alexandra Koroxenidis, “ Cutout figures and motifs create a sculptural ensemble “ Monday January 3 2006 , Kathimerini-Herald Tribune English edition
- YouTube: Konstantin Kakanias show "Pearl's Dreams", Lightbox Gallery, Los Angeles, 2006
- Irina Aleksander, “Diane von Furstenberg Channels Her Inner Wonder Woman, But Do Superheroes 'Work' In Fashion?“ October 7, 2008 , The Observer
- Christos Paridis, “Religion Should Be Like Sex“ 2009 , 10percent.gr