Aris Mertilis

Mertilis Aris
© Konstantinos Zogas

Born in Athens in 1966. He studied Painting at the Athens School of Fine Arts under Dimitris Mytaras, History of Art under Marina Lambraki-Plaka, Engraving under Thanassis Exarhopoulos and Haghiography under Kostantinos Xinopoulos. He graduated in 1990 with “Distinction”. With grants by the Greek State Scholarships Foundation and the Alexander Onassis Public Benefit Foundation he completed postgraduate studies in the De Vrije Academie of Hague, Netherlands (1995-1997). Works by him are displayed in the Piraeus University of Economics and the Vonitsa Museum, while others are included in the private collections of Vlassis Frissiras and Kostas Kirkilitsis. He lives and works in Athens.


Solo Exhibitions


Landscapes of the Peloponnese Athanassios Matalas Foundation Athens


Art Space 24 Athens


In his first solo exhibition, Aris Mertilis (b. 1966) shows exclusively portraits. Skilfully descriptive, his paintings are detailed depictions of the face (with the background remaining insignificant or awkward), that he artistically analyses in cylindrical or spindlelike shapes, reminding of Lucian Freud, of the mouldings of Byzantine haghiography, of how the light was treated by the early Flemish painters, and of the clinically detailed illustration of comics. A weird painting approach, that raises questions through the hyper analytical iconography and evokes surrealism and imagination, with an unforeseeable evolution.


Nikos Xydakis
* From the “Kathimerini” newspaper, 29/05/1996.