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John Demos
"Shadows of Silence"

“Shadows of Silence”, covers work from the mid 1970s until the late 1990s, as Demos explores faith in the shadow of Greek culture through the tradition of its rituals and people. His approach to photography embodies mystical and surreal imagery on the transience of life. The photographs pulsate with an auratic quality associated with the sacred.

The exhibition has been presented at festivals and museums in Arles, Bratislava, Athens, Sofia, Washington D.C, Moscow, Frankfurt, Vienna, Thessaloniki, Houston Fotofest and Denmark, and the book has been published in French, Italian, English and Greek.


John Demos is considered one of the most important modern Greek photographers. He was born in Thessaloniki in 1944. He studied Art History at the University of Chicago and received a Master’s in Fine Arts in 1968. When he returned in Greece to 1969, he taught fine arts, photography and philosophy at the American Community Schools of Athens.


By the early 1970s, Demos started developing his personal work. In 1976 he published his first monograph “The Greece that is Passing”. In the early 1980s he started working on the series “Panigiria” which was exhibited in various European festivals and photographic centers such as the Rencontres Internationales d’ Arles, the Primavera Fotografica in Barcelona, the Photographers Gallery in London and the Gulbenkian Modern Art Center in Lisbon.


John Demos is an active promoter of photography in Greece. In 1979, along with four more photographers, he founded the Photographic Center of Athens. In 1988, Demos and his wife Bernadine founded the photojournalism agency Apeiron Photos representing Magnum, Sygma, Rapho and other acclaimed photographic agencies in Greece.


In 1995, Demos created the Photographic Center of Skopelos on behalf of the Ministry of Culture, where he served as Artistic Director until 1999. In 1996 he was commissioned by the European Union to photograph the gardens of Tokyo, and this body of work has been shown worldwide, as well as being purchased by the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography. More recently he has also exhibited his "Trees" series, a project he has been working on since the 1970s.


He has curated some of the most significant exhibitions in Greece in collaboration with the Benaki Museum and other institutions.


John Demos’ work is represented in major collections including the Bibliothèque Nationale, the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, the Centre George Pompidou in Paris, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Gulbenkian, the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, as well as numerous private collections.

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