Drawing all night from his earliest memories Yianni was and still is addicted to art. In some cases he has referred to art, as, as important to him as oxygen, without it he can’t survive.
Yianni is a self-taught artist who started exhibiting his work in public in 1985. In 1991 had his first solo exhibition in Sydney where he was involved with at the time, a very progressive art movement called loosely ‘Art in Public Spaces.’ The philosophy of this movement was to have art inhabit the business world.
They had exhibitions from the Oyster Bar near the Opera House to the Law Courts in Sydney. Eventually like all movements it dissipated as some of the artists developed their own fame.
In 1998 Yianni held his own exhibition in what was the Avoca Gallery in Kincumber - his first official exhibition on the Central Coast. In 2002 after making the front page of the Express Newspaper and the local TV as a subject of Peter Smeeth’s Archibald attempt, Yianni met Cedric Millner.
They joined forces and with the generosity of Cedric Millner, the Grand Gallery was born at the back of the Grand Hotel Wyong. The Grand Gallery, it’s charter was ‘Brining Art Back to the People’, went on to become the centre for contemporary art on the Central Coast with regular exhibitions which drew in some cases over five hundred people to opening happenings.
Out of the Grand Gallery, the Zooid Art Movement was born which went on to national significance with it’s moving art exhibitions. A full city block long would move between the three Pub Galleries Yianni curated in Sydney. This attracted much media attention nationally along with their own portrait exhibition held on the steps of the AGNSW on the closing day for Archibald entries a big media day, The twenty- five portraits of Papa Zooid, Yianni Johns.
Much of this madness and success was because of the business support of Cedric Millner. In 2008 Yianni was invited to have a solo exhibition of his art in Montreal in Gallery Gora. He decided to leave the public art world to concentrate on this very important opportunity.
Not for long because in July 2008 Supa Centa Tuggerah approached him they had a few empty shops they were looking to use in other ways. So the Supa Art Project was born. When the project launched in February 2009 there were almost a thousand people to celebrate. At its peak there were 64 artists working out of 24 studio galleries. This was probably one of the biggest ‘Bringing Art Back to The People’ events to be seen on the Central Coast. Parallel to this Yianni built what went on to being a very successful exhibition in Montreal and in May had his first exhibition in Chelsea in the famed art district of New York
Yianni has exhibited regularly being part of over 80 exhibitions since 1985, with solo exhibitions annually since 2002, his first international solo in July 2009 and his latest international exhibition New York 2010.
Corporate and private collectors all over the world collect Yianni’s art.
Yianni is also the Presenter of Smart Arts a weekly half hour of live radio focussing on all the arts Every Friday on 92.5 ABC Central Coast.
Yianni is presently completing…believe it or not a degree in fine art…
Yianni has also won an Australia Day Award from Wyong Council for his services to Arts and Culture in 2010 and was also an Australia Day Ambassador for the first time in 2010.
Yianni has been on many cultural and art committees sharing his passion for the arts his latest being the design committee for the newly proposed Wyong Arts and Cultural Centre.
To pay the bills and get inspiration for his unusual art, Yianni works as an Aircraft Engineer with Qantas Airways. His other passion is aircraft and in 2010 was selected to feature as one of the faces of Qantas in their annual report.