The creator of Mrs Tependris takes the world of USA
Konstantin Kakanias is a multi-talented, anxious artist where his art is multidimensional.
He draws, composes performances, creates comics, draws, while his CV includes important collaborations such as Christian Dior, Christian Louboutin and others. The newspaper “The New York Times” has long held space for its creations, Mrs. Tependri, her heroine, beyond her great success, is the mouth and the eyes of the artist.
He was born on September 18th of 1961 in Athens. When he was a child he did not find any interest in school, the books used them as canvas to paint. He studied textile design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, and in 1979 he moved to Paris, where he studied fashion and art at Studio Bercot, under the guidance of well-known artist and set designer Lila de Nobili.
Kakanias began his career at age 22, as an illustrator in several newspapers as well as in the French and Italian Vogue. He created textile designs for Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Lacroix.
In 1984, his love for Egyptian civilization made him to move to Luxor, where he stayed there for a year. His art has been influenced by this experience, “Echoes of Pharaohs and hieroglyphs reverberate in many of Kakanias drawings today”.
A few years later, he moved back to New York City, where he started to illustrate the New York Times and Vanity Fair. His collaborations were not limited to the press, he co-operated with Tiffany and Barneys New York giving them drawings.
In 1991 he dedicated himself completely to making art and in 1995 he made an innovative exhibition in New York at Gallery Postmasters, with sculptures combined with a performance. In 1997, he moved to Los Angeles – he still leaves there – and continued with Ms Tependri’s adventures in sketches as well as comic books, while making several exhibitions presenting many of his visual talents.
Significant collaboration for Konstantin Kakanas was with T-Magazine, he created over 400 drawings during his five year period with the magazine. All works were created there over a five-year period. All works are gouache on paper, and each drawing was always physically sent to the publisher from wherever Kakanias happened to be in the world. None of the drawings were ever created digitally, or was anything ever photoshopped from its original physical form.
The name of Konstantin Kakanias is connected with his heroine “ Mrs. Tependri”, a lady of the high society, a cosmopolitan, a supporter of the return of the Parthenon Sculptures and the homosexual marriage.
The artist introduced it to his audience for the first time in 1996, in an illustrated article in The New York Times, and since then she is the most recognizable alter ego.
“As I grow older, I feel that I miss more and more the immediacy of the Greeks. For example: I go to the supermarket and i can chat with the cashier and tell her the story of my life and listen hers too. If I dare this here in America, the marketeer will sue me for violating a personal data law and jailed me, “he said in an interview with the newspaper “Kathimerini “.
A few months ago the famous artist, on the occasion of the 100-year anniversary of the newspaper “Kathimerini”, made and dedicated a front page with his beloved heroine. This action was charitable, as at the end of the year, the project will be auctioned and revenue will be given to strengthen to the Food Bank.
The artist has exhibited his works all over the world in museums and galleries such as “Time Goes So Slowly” at the Goulandris Cycladic Art Museum in 2006 and the Benaki Museum in “Tribute to Antonis Benaki” in 2004-2005.
His mind it’s an inquiring mind, he has stated that when he is working on a project, his mind is already to the next. “To create, I have to be alone and that’s a little difficult because I’m a social person.”
His relationship with social media is virtually non-existent, the artist says: “Anyone who wants to communicate with me, communicates. If he does not want to, there are so many others he can communicate with.”
In 2004, he painted a church in Spain for Carolina Herrera Jr., and he also created a book for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. In 2008, she collaborated with Diane von Fürstenberg to create the comedy “Be the Wonder Woman You Can Be” (DC Comics 2008).
His job does not belong to a specific category and that is what makes him so special, since he deals with all kinds of material. The journey of exploration to the artist does not stop anywhere, the light and the “childrenhood” of comics passes into the dark with a special mastery, he discovers worlds from his “inspirational bank and ideas” as he has stated.
The place and everyday images are important for an artist to be able to find the balance and harmony of his art through them. So Konstantinos Kakanias divides his time between Los Angeles and a farm in Vilia, Attica.