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‘Face off: Portraits’: Photo exhibit by Effy Alexakis and Yannis Dramitinos in Sydney




Notable photographers, Effy Alexakis and Yanni Dramitinos, are pushing the frontiers of contemporary portraiture with their latest exhibition ‘Face off: Portraits’ at the Greek Festival of Sydney from March 6 to March 19.

Two contemporary Australian photographers of Greek heritage, Alexakis and Dramitinos aim to expose not only their subjects in the exhibition, but also themselves, and the preconceived ideas of viewers in stunning portraits of the celebrated, the familiar and the previously unknown – the psychological interplay between photographer, subject and viewer is inescapable.

My grandfather, 1978.
My grandfather, 1978. Photo: Effy Alexakis.
Zoe Carides, actor, 1997.
Zoe Carides, actor, 1997. Photo by Effy Alexakis.

Australians from various walks of life – artists, writers, actors, labourers, business people, retirees – from a mix of cultural and cross-cultural backgrounds, including of course Greek Australians, are observed and exposed with insightful sensitivity, respect, understanding and humility.

Capturing the humour, determination, sadness, tragedy, success, the lived experiences of their subjects, Alexakis and Dramitinos bring their personal interpretive eye into play and in so doing, confront both their subjects and those viewing the portraits to contemplate their sense of ‘self.’

Salvatore Zofrea, artist, 2021.
Salvatore Zofrea, artist, 2021. Photo by Effy Alexakis.
Sisters, from the ‘Binding Threads’ Series, 2023.
Sisters, from the ‘Binding Threads’ Series, 2023. Photo by Effy Alexakis.

Well known in their chosen visual field, the respective reputations of both photographers have been developed amongst, through, and with the Greek Australian community on multiple levels.

This exhibition showcases their portraits of Australians, identifying both photographers as skillful exponents of the portrait as narrative. Greek Australians are presented as significant contributors within the mosaic of the diverse faces of the nation’s peoples.

Poet Kit Kelen, 2023
Poet Kit Kelen, 2023. Photo by Yanni Dramitinos.
Poet Les Murray, May 2014. YANNI DRAMITIONS.
Poet Les Murray, May 2014. Photo by Yanni Dramitinos.

“Portraiture stands apart from other genres of art as it marks the intersection between portrait, biography and history. They are more than artworks; when people look at portraits, they think they are encountering that person” – Alison Smith, chief curator, National Portrait Gallery, London.

Smith’s description of portraiture on initial reading may imply a tight traditionalist perspective, but upon closer consideration, her implication is much deeper, broader. The psychological interplay between artist, subject and viewer is interwoven within her statement. The evolving relationships that develop between all three are arguably at the essence of contemporary portraiture. Indeed, such interplay is particularly obvious in the photographic portrait, where what may be hidden through other mediums is not as easily cloaked.


  • Dates: Wednesday 6 March 2024 – Tuesday 19 March 2024.
  • Location: Luna Studio, 465 King Street, Newtown, NSW.
  • Hours: Mon – Thu 12pm-6pm; Fri – Sat 12pm -10pm; Sun 12pm-6pm.
  • Entry Fee: Free.
  • Exhibition Official Opening Event: Sat 9 March @ 6pm; the exhibition will be formally opened by Rhonda Davis, Senior Curator, Macquarie University Art Gallery.
  • Contact: info@lunastudiosydney.com OR leonard.janiszewski@mq.edu.au or to find out more: www.facebook.com/lunastudiosydney

For more information on the Greek Festival of Sydney programme and to book tickets to selected events, please visit www.greekfestivalofsydney.com.au

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