Jannis Maillis was born on 12 October 1914 on Aegina Island, Greece, and went to school there until the family moved to Athens in 1925. Upon his father's sudden death in 1926, his mother gave Jannis a camera as a means to defeat transience and to keep a record of life. During his lifetime, photography became Jannis Maillis' favorite pastime. Having studied at the Athens School of Law Maillis became a Lawyer. In 1936 he married Anna Beinoglou, and had two children together; Michael who is a well-known businessman and Eleni who directs the Skoufa Gallery in Athens. Following the Second World War Maillis worked as a Lawyer, without however neglecting his passion for photography. He travelled throughout Greece in his effort to create an excellent and rare archive of places and people. From the 1970s onwards Maillis began exploring color photography.
Jannis Maillis organized himself his first personal exhibition entitled Memories from 1928 at his country house on Aegina Island in the summer of 1981. This exhibition received great attention and was written about by many notable people of the time, including Minos Argyrakis; Odysseus Elytis; Yannis Moralis; and Spyros Vassiliou. In 1987 Prestel, the well-known German Publishing House, published Maillis' recent series of color photographs in a book entitled Reflections on the Waves of the Sea. This book served as catalog for the exhibition of these photographs at the Munich Glyptothek. All the exhibited photographs were subsequently donated to the Bavarian State Insititute for Photography in Munich.
Jannis Maillis died in Athens on 18 July 1999.
[Megakles Rogakos 10/2006]
J. MAILLIS; O. ELYTIS; M. ARGYRAKIS; A. TASSOS; S. VASSILIOU; e.a. Augenblicke im Spiel der Wellen 1987 Prestel-Verlag, München
EVI ANTONATOU & MARIE MAUZY The Photographic Journeys of Ioannis Maillis 2005 Adam Editions, Athens
GALANI-KRITIKOU, MARY Jannis Maillis: The Lawyer-Artist-Photographer, His Life, His Work 2006 The Aiginaia, Aegina, #11, p. 27-41