Apostolos Fanakidis was born on 15 May 1945 at Vrysika of Evros prefecture, northern Greece. The Civil War prompted the family to move to Budapest. In 1957, after the Hungarian Uprising of 1956, he left Hungary and settled in Sofia, Bulgaria. He studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts – ASFA in the Department of Monumental Sculpture from 1967 to 1972. In 1979 he took part in the first group exhibition with the Association of Sculptors at the Athens Conservatory. In 1981 he represented Greece at the Budapest Biennale, where he won one of the 1st prizes. In 1982 he received the 1st prize of the Panhellenic Competition in Kalamaria, Thessaloniki. In 1984 he received the 2nd prize of the Panhellenic Competition in Gorgopotamos of Phthiotis prefecture. In 1988 he took part in the AD Gallery Foire Saga at the Grand Palais in Paris. In 1988 the Hellenic Ministry of Culture launched a competition to create a memorial to the 200 executed patriots of May Day 1944 at Shooting Site in Kessariani where he won the 1st prize. The monument was unveiled in 2005. In 1998 he placed his group sculpture Maternity on permanent outdoor view at the International Sculpture Exhibition in Chicago. In 1999 he participated in a meeting of European sculptors in the Netherlands on the theme “Sea out of Steel”, where he created and completed a lightweight and at the same time kinetic work. In 2001 he created Forms for the Symposium of Sculpture at the Cultural Center of Yannis Ritsos at Egaleo. He also created the following public sculptures: Monument of National Resistance, Peristeri (1987), Monument of National Resistance, Kaisarianni (1990), Head of Archbishop Makarios III, Paphos (1995), Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Smyrna, Nikea (1981), Waves, Metro Station, Faliro (2004),May Day Memorial, Shooting Site, Kessariani (2005), Statue of Archbishop Makarios III, Nicosia (2008). In 2010 Takis Mavrotas curated a personal exhibition of Apostolos Fanakidis at the B. & M. Theocharakis Foundation in Athens.
Fanakidis’ works are characterized by expressionistic intensity, as they face with concern the destruction of the human dimension by technology (reference to the work Man and City) and the betrayal of the man’s dreams by his historical destiny (reference to the work Figure). The prevailing mood in his work is the penetration into the stone or metal so that the element of irritation and excitement may emerge on its surface. “Throughout his artistic journey, Fanakidis brings drama to his sculptural creations,” notes in the catalog of his exhibition the curator Takis Mavrotas, and continues “The sculptor focuses his interest directly in the unprecedented beauty of the form and color in the changes of the narrative and in the expressive emotions through the distortions he introduces in his work. Several of his creations tend to be hyperrealistic in order to meet with the elusive and the dream. His materials vary: charcoal, plaster, bronze, thin reeds, etc., to create relief constructions or sculptural forms. The neon light of his recent work has a dominant role. In several wall pieces, a straight line, horizontal or vertical, with a clear red light of explodes the dark surface of coal, resulting in multiple interpretations. However, the dilemma remains. If reality is not only the light of day, then darkness must be left in the dark.”
Works of Apostolos Fanakidis are kept in the following collections: The American College of Greece, Athens; Blagoevgrad Gallery, Bulgaria; Hellenic Ministry of Culture, Athens; Vorres Museum, Peania.