At Studio Nikoleris, photographers and filmmakers have been creating art for three whole generations in such a unique and exciting way that every single time the product of their work fascinates even the its own creator. Today, the third generation of the Nikoleris family is represented by the two children of Diogenes Nikoleris: Christos –a highly accomplished, most recognized and often honoured film director, including with the Best Short Film at the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival (2007) and Chryssa –a widely recognised photographer with significant exhibitions in Greece and abroad- who today directs Studio Nikoleris combining tradition with her own modern, pioneering vision.
All this begun years before, with Theodoros Nikoleris. Finishing his apprenticeship after almost fifteen years since 1906 next to the most recognized photographer in Constantinople, the famous N. Antriomenos, Theodoros Nikoleris decided to join the Greek Army as a volunteer photographer in 1920, at the beginning of the Asia Minor Campaign.
He served with the 12th Division, where he experienced at first hand the advance and later on, the destruction, the tragic evacuation, the loss. Until today, his photographs of that period constitute not only indisputable historical evidence but also a great artwork, considering the practical conditions he lived into and the technical means he worked with.
In 1925 he settled in the city of Drama, where he founded Studio Nikoleris. He worked with almost every different genre of the photographic art, but mainly with the portrait. At that same period he created the famous Nudes of the City of Drama, a collection of portraits presented in an honorary exhibition at the Arles Photography Festival of 1995.
The effects of the avant-garde movement of cubism –which was flourishing in the rest of Europe-, can be easily detected, especially during a period in which his fellow artists both in liberated Drama and the rest of Greece were still attached to more conventional forms. “Hence one can but praise Theodoros Nikoleris all the more for developing such modern art forms…” (Camera International, Automn 1985).
In 1944 he moved to Thessalonica, where he also moved his original Studio Nikoleris. In 1964 he went to Athens, where he created a second Studio: it was there where he created portraits of Greece’s political, economic and social life: starting from the royal couple Constantine and Anne, the Prime Minister Georgios Papandreou, the academic and Director of the Bank of Greece Xenophon Zolotas, the star leader of the stage Marika Kotopoulis, as well as countless wedding ceremonies. Eventually, his first-born son Thomas took in charge of the Athens Studio and his second-born Diogenes took in charge of the Thessalonica Studio.
Diogenes Nikoleris managed to evolve Studio Nikoleris and together with his wife Suzie they succeeded into elevating Studio Nikoleris in the highest-ranked photo Studio in Thessalonica and among the best photo studios in Greece. Important people of our era were captured by the lens of his camera; but not only them. As an artist with high aesthetic criteria, Diogenes Nikoleris was constantly in touch with the international scene –both in aesthetic and in technical framework.
Leading companies of his field, such as Agfa and Kodak, never stopped seeking his technical advices and to take on his counsel on a high technical level in order to optimize their products.
However, Diogenes Nikoleris did not remain attached exclusively to photography.
His unquenchable love and his intense involvement with music led him to become a founding member of the “Friends’ Society of the Thessalonica State Symphony Orchestra”, at which he still serves as an Honorary Chairman.