Dean Tavoularis - Biography

Dean Tavoularis: The artist who merges painting and cinema

Dean Tavoularis

Born in 1932 in the United States, Dean Tavoularis is a versatile artist who left his mark on the film industry with his talent as an artistic director. But behind this impressive career, there is also a passionate painter.

Tavoularis began by pursuing studies in architecture and art, an education that proved to be the perfect foundation for his future career in the film industry. After trying his luck at Walt Disney Studios, he was hired, which marked the start of an exceptional adventure. For seven years while working for Disney, Tavoularis had the freedom to paint, which allowed him to express his creativity without constraints.

However, when he left Disney to become a film production designer, making his paintings became increasingly difficult. Tavoularis was constantly torn between his two conflicting passions: painting and his exciting work in the film industry. Despite these challenges, he managed to find balance and continue his impressive film career.

His first film as art director was the legendary "Bonnie and Clyde", directed in Texas by Arthur Penn. This life-changing experience was followed by a collaboration with director Michelangelo Antonioni on the film “Zabriskie Point”. Tavoularis then met Francis Ford Coppola, the beginning of a long and successful collaboration that included all three films of "The Godfather", "The Conversation", "Apocalypse Now", "One From The Heart", and many others .

Tavoularis also worked with other great directors such as Roman Polanski, Philippe Kaufman, Nancy Meyers, Charles Shyer, Phil Joanou, William Friedkin, Dick Richards, Wim Wenders and Warren Beatty.

For Tavoularis, painting and cinema are two different but comparable means of creating an illusory world. His mastery of decoration and design shines through in his paintings, where he manages to fuse dramaturgy with abstraction, characters with objects, tragic collage with joyful caricature. These two facets of his artistic talent complement each other, making him a complete and accomplished artist.

Dominique Païni wrote about Tavoularis: "I like to think that painting is for him only a continuation of his decorative virtuosity, the extension which would ennoble the efficiency of the decorator. They are in fact the two opposite sides and united by the same enterprise, founding opposition, as if this plastic temperament was only realized by fighting: 'dramaturgy against abstraction, characters against objects, tragic collage against joyful caricature, painting against cinema . Against, therefore... with'".

Dean Tavoularis' universe is a kaleidoscope of colors, emotions and boundless creativity. Whether on the big screen or on the web, it transports us into imaginary worlds where every detail is carefully thought out.

As an artistic director, Tavoularis made cinema history with his striking sets, daring visual compositions and keen sense of aesthetics. His collaborations with legendary directors such as Francis Ford Coppola and Roman Polanski resulted in iconic works that remain engraved in our memories.

But it is also through his painting that Tavoularis reveals his inner universe to us. The artist plays with contrasts, juxtaposing darkness and light, chaos and order, creating a captivating visual tension. His compositions are dynamic, sometimes swirling, reflecting the energy and movement of life.

The universe of Dean Tavoularis is an incessant exploration of the duality between reality and illusion, between the tangible and the imaginary. His artistic talent transcends boundaries between disciplines, and his ability to fuse painting and cinema gives him a unique and innovative vision.


Louis Gendre Gallery, Chamalières
Luxembourg Art Week, Galerie Louis Gendre

Topsy Turvy, Galerie Olivier Castaing / Team School Gallery, Paris
Art Paris Art Fair, Grand Palais Éphémère, Galerie Olivier Castaing / Team School Gallery, Paris

Painting in Cinema, Galerie Catherine Houard, Paris
Art Paris Art fair, Grand Palais, Galerie Catherine Houard, Paris

Radio France Festival
Pavilion of the Fabre Museum, Montpellier

Museum of Contemporary Art of Thessaloniki, Greece

God of Carnage, Roman Polanski
Angel Eyes, Luis Mandoki
CQ, Roman Coppola
The Ninth Gate, Roman Polanski
Tucker: The Man and His Dream, FF Coppola
Bullworth, Warren Beatty
The Parent Trap, Nancy Meyers
Jack, F. F. Coppola
I Love Trouble, Charles Shyer
Rising Sun, Philip Kaufman
Final Analysis, Phil Joanou
The Godfather Part III, FF Coppola
New York Stories (Life without Zoé), FF Coppola
Tucker, F. F. Coppola
Gardens of Stone, FF Coppola
A Man in Love, Diane Kurys
Peggy Sue Got Married, FF Coppola
The Outsiders, FF Coppola
Bulworth, Warren Beatty
The Escape Artist, Caleb Deschanel
One From The Heart, FF Coppola
Hammett, Wim Wenders
Apocalyspe Now, FF Coppola
The Brink's Job, William Friedkin
Farewell my Lovely, Dick Richards
The Godfather II
The Godfather Part II, FF Coppola
The Conversation, FF Coppola
The Godfather, FF Coppola
Little Big Man, Arthur Penn
Zabriskie Point, Michelangelo Antonioni
Candy, Christian Marquand
Bonnie and Clyde, Arthur Penn