Born 1925
Hometown Athens, Greece
Lives and Works Athens, Greece and Paris, France

Takis (Vassilakis Takis) is a pioneer and leader of the Kinetic Art movement as well as a precursor of Street Art Performance. Takis's first motivation was the use of magnets and electromagnetism to create both visual effects and movement in kinetic sculptures such as the Télésculptures series in the late 1950s. The Signals or Signaux) series that was transformed into Feux d'Artifice, initiated performative happenings on the streets and squares of Paris thus anticipating future "Street Art". In 1960, he performed at the Iris Clert Gallery in Paris entitled The impossible: man within space, and at the event the South African poet Sinclair Beiles read his magnetic manifesto: "I am a sculpture...I would like to see all nuclear bombs on Earth turned into sculptures" and throws himself into the air momentarily suspended by the magnetic field of a magnet attached to his belt. The French Ministry of Industry awarded him a patent for a Télésculpture and a Télésculpture électromagnetique.

During the 1960s, Takis befriended the "beat" writers and experimented with the Ballets Magnétiques. And in 1961, Juilliard publishes his autobiography Estafilades and his Sculptures Télémagnétiques was on exhibition at Alexandros Iolas in New York (who remained his dealer until 1976). In New York, Takis also met Marcel Duchamp and his Murs Magnétiques, Télépeintures were created with magnets hidden behind the flat fabric surface that attracts objects hung from nylon strings, while in Télélumières, Takins reverses the usual function of cathode tubes so that blue light was emitted. All in all, over the many years of his career, Takis continues to explore the boundaries and crossroads of the visual and scientific, perception as well as musical, sound and in particular images in motion. Takis’ artwork has been prominently featured worldwide and, in 1988, he was awarded the Grand Prix National de la Sculpture in Paris. Most recently, he was the subject of a retrospective at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.

Courtesy of White Box.

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