George Kanakis was born on the island of Crete, Greece and showed an early talent as he started to paint in primary school. He was soon able to study under the direction of Botis Thalassinos, a renowned Greek artist who himself had been taught by Salvador Dali. Thalassinos’ artistic influence and encouragement played a significant role in George’s childhood.
As a young teenager, George moved with his family to Athens, Greece where he was able to pursue his heart’s passion and enthusiasm for Art by continuing private lessons and learning varied media including watercolor, Indian ink, acrylic and sculpture.
George spent his early adulthood as a naval engineer which gave him the opportunity to travel to various parts of the world including Japan, China and Australia. After immigrating to the United States to join family, he spent twenty years working in retail and painting after work. In 1993, he was finally able to combine his love for the creation of his own art and the art of others by opening a custom picture framing shop and gallery in Berkeley. His artistic ability made him a master framer who ensured that his customers’ work was treated with care and respect. He is now retired and able to devote himself to his primary passion of oil painting in the art studio he had built adjacent to his home. This allows him to continue to work to achieve his artistic vision.
As a Pleasanton resident for over 30 years, George has had a number of exhibits in various locations in the Bay Area including San Francisco, Oakland, Hayward, Berkeley, and San Leandro. His body of work includes portraits, still lifes, and landscapes of his native Greece as well as his favorite California locations such as Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, Monterey, the Presidio, and Lake Del Valle. In addition, George’s portraits George is happy to know that his paintings are enjoyed in a number of homes throughout the United States and abroad.