Born in Athens in 1966. He studied painting at the Athens School of Fine Artsunder Dimitris Mytaras, Dimitris Koukos, Rena Papaspyrou, Zacharias Arvanitis and Marina Lambraki – Plaka, engraving under Thanassis Exarhopoulos and hagiography under Kostas Xynopoulos. He graduated in 1990 with “Distinction”. In 1993 he was awarded a scholarship by the National Scholarship Foundation and followed post graduate studies in the De Vrije Akademie of The Hague, the Netherlands. Some of his paintings are displayed in the Piraeus University of Economics and the Vonitsa Museum, while others are included in the private collections of Vlassis Frysiras, Sotiris Felios and Kostas Kirkilitsis.


Solo Exhibition

  • 1996 Gallery 24

Group Exhibitions

  • 1996 De Vrije Akademie exhibition hall, Hague
  • 1995 De Vrije Akademie exhibition hall, Hague
  • 1994 Exhibition of the Moraitis School graduates, Athens
  • 1992 “Maria Papadopoulou” Art Gallery, Athens
  • 1991 Exhibition of the V. Frysiras collection, at the Pieridis Art Gallery and the Cultural Centre of the City of Athens
  • 1990 Exhibition of the Students of D. Mytaras, at the “Costis Palamas” Exhibition centre, Athens
  • 1990 Graduates of the Athens School of Fine Arts, National Gallery, 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,  sometimes reminding of Lucian Freud, some others of the mouldings of Byzantine hagiography, some others of how the light was treated by the early Flemish painters, some others of the clinically detailed illustration of the comics. A weird painting approach, that raises questions through the hyper analytical iconography and evokes surrealism and imagination, with an uncertain outcome.

Nikos Xydakis
* Kathimerini  newspaper, 29.05.1996