Born in Athens, Greece, he studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts (1989-1993) under Dimitris Mytaras. In 1994, he received a 2-year grant from the “State Scholarships Foundation” to attend the sculpture workshop by Theodoros Papagiannis.
As a painter, his close examination of the human figure and its potential often results in nude representations which play out the affective charge of emotions, of time and situations. He has had two solo shows of oil and tempera paintings, at “Art Space 1900”, in Arhaggelos, Rhodes (1996), and at “the old school” in Kastro, Sifnos (2006).
He has also shown work in group shows at a variety of venues, including “the Famagusta Gate” in Nicosia, Cyprus, “the House of Cyprus” cultural centre in Athens, the Greek National Gallery, the School of Fine Arts (graduation show), the High school of Sifnos, the Athens municipal arts centre in Gazi, at the exhibition of the “chamber of Fine Arts of Greece” and at the former Kypseli Municipal Market.
His investigation of the interaction between space and the human form pushed to its limits is evident in his visual art interventions in the theatre, in Sarah Kane’s “Crave” and, in “To you people who listen to me” by Loula Anagnostaki, both directed by Lefteris Voyatzis; also, in Heinrich von Kleist's “Amphitryon” directed by N. Hatzopoulos, at Amore theatre, Athens.
The human form specifically in the urban environment comes into focus when he joins the Nomadic Architecture Network, a public art group that has been active in Athens since 2005. Their work revolves around issues concerning the urban territory, public space, areas in crisis, phenomena of displacement as well as gender in its relation to communities. In their public action they place special emphasis on lived experience, human relationships and interaction with the communities. The action is nomadic in the sense that such interventions take place in different localities and are always fluid and transformative. (www.nomadikiarxitektoniki.gr)
With the Nomadic Architecture Network, Stefanos Handelis has taken part in the following events: “Spatial situations. Action in Gazohori. Transforming ground.”, June 2007; “Gazohori-Eleonas (the Athens Olive Grove): procession on the tracks of Habitation”, May 2008/ also, presented at the Byzantine Museum, June 2008; “Across the Bay of Phaliron, by the mouth of the Kifissos River and the island of Psyttaleia”, in cooperation with Flux Factory, NY and Koharchitects, NY, at “Heaven: 2nd Biennial of Athens”, (http://faliron-bay-athens.blogspot.com/); “The Path. For the right to public space and the city”, at the National Museum of Contemporary Art, exhibition “Expanded Ecologies”, 2009; “Open House”, in “Unbuilt”, organized by SARCHA at the Byzantine Museum; “Madre Tierra. Migrant Tree”, with Jilly Traganou, Lydia Matthews, Eleni Tzirtzilaki and others, a collaborative project, at “El Jardin del Paraíso”, Lower East Side, NY, 22nd June 2010 (Parson’s New School of Design).
He is also looking into ways of using video and photography in order to make emotions surface, e.g. in his photographic work for “Drawing Cocktail Party”, a video by Alice Krikidis, in “Nervus System”, James Taylor Gallery, East London.
As a photographer, he is particularly interested in the urban landscape and has documented public actions by the Nomadic Architecture Network in Athens, Berlin, Barcelona and in New York.
He is currently a member of the working team for “The historical centre of Athens and its transformation. How could art contribute?”, a study funded by the Latsis Public Benefit Foundation one-year research projects, 2010, Athens (Eleni Tzirtzilaki, PhD Architect, Georgia Alexandri, Geographer, Stefanos Handelis, Visual artist).
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