Photo: Stefanos Samios / Courtesy of Art Athina

Rub shoulders with the crème de la crème of the Athens art crowd, as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of Art Athina, the country’s biggest contemporary art fair, and interview some of the city’s key gallery owners.

By Paul Pervanas

Art Athina 2024 takes place at Zappeion Megaron on September 19-23. Click here for more info.

A Contemporary Art Meeting

Athenians queuing up for a dose of contemporary art at Zappeion Megaron, 2022.

Photo: Stefanos Samios / Courtesy of Art Athina

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A for Art. A for Athina.

Photo: Thomas Gravanis

Meet the Athens Aesthetes

Next to big benefactors and magnate patrons, it’s the art gallery owners of Athens who shape the city’s modern cultural identity, one thought-provoking exhibition at a time. We reached out to the crème de la crème of the local contemporary art scene and asked them about Athens, art, and everything in between. Read on to discover Athens through the eyes of its key art players.

Yianna Grammatopoulou

President of the Hellenic Art Galleries Association / Ekfrasi - Yianna Grammatopoulou Art Gallery

Mrs Yianna Grammatopoulou.

Photo: Thomas Gravanis

"I believe that even a fleeting glimpse of a work of art has the power to plant a seed in the heart of the hasty commuter."

Antonis Kourkoulos

Art Athina General Coordinator

Mr Antonis Kourkoulos.

Photo: Thomas Gravanis

Rebecca Camhi

Rebecca Camhi Gallery

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Mrs Rebecca Camhi.

Photo: Thomas Gravanis

What would you say is the most inspiring thing about Athens?
The weather, its blue skies, its potential to become an exceptional city provided that we realise the vital turning point which it’s currently at. Important decisions have to be made with regards to the local housing/short term rentals/hotels ratio in the city, so that we safeguard the Athenian way of life for visitors to experience.
Any secret hangout spots you're willing to share?
Seychelles restaurant in Keramikos is a favourite. Diporto koutouki is one of the last authentic places to eat in the city. Martinos in Monastiraki is the best antique shop in town. It also hosts a contemporary space at the top floor called Melas Martinos. A definite must-see.
What is your most memorable Art Athina moment that comes to mind?
The most fun was when a lot of my old school classmates met at my booth by coincidence. It was a small reunion of sorts! There’s always a good chance that you’ll run into old friends and fellow art lovers in Art Athina—that’s what it’s all about!

"Martinos in Monastiraki is the best antique shop in town. It also hosts a contemporary space at the top floor called Melas Martinos. A definite must-see."

Arsen Kalfayan and Roupen Kalfayan

Kalfayan Galleries

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Mr Roupen Kalfayan.

Photo: Thomas Gravanis

Marina Vranopoulou

Dio Horia Gallery

"My favourite Art Athina edition was in 2022. After two years of lockdowns it felt like hope was back on track."