Foundation Diploma in Art & Design - Camberwell College of Art, 2023
Nikolaos Giannakakis has always been fascinated with personal identity and drawing creativity from his own life. He was born in South Africa to Greek parents, and has spent time living in Athens, New York and now London. Giannakakis’s early paintings consisted predominantly of self-portraits, as a result of dealing with issues of self-love, acceptance and family relationships.
During his time studying the Meisner acting technique in New York, he was able to dig deeper and break through the defensive and self-protective barriers built up during his upbringing. This was a cathartic experience for him, which allowed him to connect further with his inner creative and aid in self-expression. After some time in London, Giannakakis decided to further his creative studies on a foundation course at Camberwell, using his discoveries and release from acting and pushing further.
His recent themes have been voyeurism and sexuality and, more importantly, he started to look at the self in the homoerotic, and the desire to be desired. Even though they have been areas of interest from an early age, he is only now exploring them as subjects for his work.
Giannakakis’s painting style can be described as fluid and intuitive, with big, energetic and colourful brushstrokes that are both descriptive and expressionistic. He aims to create new depth of texture with mediums and materials that add a new dimension to his approach. During his former training, Giannakakis used to create in a linear fashion, his final pieces being what he came to feel were restricted and overly concerned with traditional methods. At Camberwell this changed, as he pushed himself to explore and experiment through screen printing, block printing and mixed media, which have been a part of his research and final works. This new approach and process of making has allowed him to break down his preconceptions around his views on contemporary art, as well as allowing him to have more fun with the deconstruction in his process and vision.
“Art is a cathartic experience for me, which allows me to further connect with my inner creative, and aid in self expression.”