Rinos Stefani (born 1958) is a multimedia Cypriot artist who introduced Praxis happenings. His best known Praxis is Human Targets. In 2011 he did the Charcoal Project in the Buffer Zone, Cyprus. He created the On Target and participated in the Eco Art – two major projects of the European Capital of Culture Pafos 2017. Both in his paintings as well as in his Praxis he investigates issues of violence. About Stefani’s Praxis happenings with Targets it has been written that he calls visual semantics into question. He brings out an oxymoron: man aiming at his own image, aiming at himself. His work are acts of exorcism and apotropaic rituals against the curse of human self-destruction. The cruciform Dancer is the most characteristic metaphor of his imagery. Rinos Stefani lives in Tala, Paphos. He studied Art at Kingsway Princeton College and Byam Shaw School of Art, London (1978–1984). He lived in Berlin and Barcelona (1985 – 1989). In 1983 he was awarded the Graham Hamilton Drawing Prize. In 1995 he received the 2nd prize at the competition for a public monument in Ledra street, Nicosia and in 1997 the 1st prize at the competition Keeping Glasgow in Stitches – Cyprus, organized by the British Council and NIMAC. His work has been shown in numerous museums and international exhibitions including Beijing Biennale China, Mediterranean Art Biennale Tunis and the Gallerie Inge Baecker, Bad Munstereifel, Germany. He uses a variety of media, including installations, painting and drawing.

Praxis happenings with Targets

In 1991 with the performance Praxis with Earth in Nicosia, Stefani introduced Praxis happenings in Cyprus. Praxis happenings is a hybrid form of action that includes installation and happening. In 1992 he did the Praxis Maa – Mannequins at Coral Bay in Paphos, where he placed 20 mannequins among the bikini – clad crowd. Most noteworthy, his best known Praxis happenings is Human Targets, which he created in 1994.

Later in 1994, during the exhibition of the Pan-Hellenic Art Symposium at Famagusta Gate in Nicosia, three of the Targets were stolen. This unprecedented incident fed the media with “polemic” material and it elicited varied reactions from the Police, the Nicosia Municipality, the Chamber of Fine Arts and the Ministry of Education and Culture. Among the most tragicomic aspects of this case were the various testimonies that Stefani had to give to the Police. Since then, the “Targets case” remains unsolved in the files of the Criminal Investigation Department, under record number Σ/744/94.

Other Praxis happenings

Subsequently Stefani went on to stage various Praxeis incorporating his Targets. In 1995, he placed 21 ‘Soldiers – Targets’ in Coral Bay, Pafos, among the bikini – clad crowd. Another praxis happenings was during a festival in Pafos in 1997 a multitude of  Stefani’s Targets intermingled with a cast of 200 students.  He also showed his Targets in Samos and Thessaloniki, Greece in 1999.

In 2011 he did a series of Praxis happenings with charcoal, beginning with the performance Charcoal Project in the Buffer Zone of Pyrgos – Limnitis area, Cyprus.

Hiding Endemic Targets

During the European Capital of Culture Pafos2017 Rinos Stefani participated in the Eco Art project in the Akamas area. He did the Praxis happenings ‘Hiding Endemic Targets‘ which dealt with violence. He produced 49 facsimiles of the original target he had found in Akamas 25 years before. Then he asked the local population  to hide the replicas in the area. Akamas is an area of a natural beauty and valuable ecological importance. In spite of that, until the year 2000, the British Army was using the area as a shooting range. Most noteworthy Akamas today is under threat by land developers. Stefani has been working in the Akamas Peninsula since 1990 doing installations and Praxis happenings with artist Susan Vargas.

Stefani’s happenings with Targets are rituals against the curse of human self-destruction

Rinos Stefani’s Praxis happenings with Targets appeared to be acts of exorcism. A desire to chase a restless spirit away from Akamas and Cyprus.  The artist believes that the shooting target contains two (contradictory) images; a target and a human (figure) It seems like Stefani not only investigates issues of violence but also calls visual semantics into question. He reveals hidden significations. Hence he brings out an oxymoron: man aiming at his own image, aiming at himself.

Does perhaps violence inescapably return to its generator? We live in turbulent times. Wars raging not so far from Cyprus have forced millions of people to flee their homelands; the terrorist attacks and the rise of far-right ideologies can render each one of us a potential target. The ‘Target’ in the perforated human form becomes a metaphor of our times. And it raises questions about the role of art towards violence on nature and towards violence in general. Is there still magic in art today, in the age of digital world and virtual reality? Is Stefani’s Human Targets an apotropaic ritual against the curse of human self-destruction? Are the ‘Targets’ a sign of warning?

Extracts from the catalogue of the exhibition On Target, Pafos 2017

Hiding Endemic Targets


2018        ST. NEOPHYTOS MEETS APSEVDIS, Chiaki Kamikawa Gallery, Paphos

2012         EXOGRAPHIES, Gloria Gallery, Nicosia, Cyprus
2008         ACROBATS, Gloria Gallery, Nicosia
2006         AMACAYACU, Gloria Gallery, Nicosia
2003         RECENT WORK, Heliotropion Gallery, Larnaka
1999         LOVERS, Heliotropion Gallery, Larnaka
1999         LOVERS, Opus Gallery, Nicosia
1998         RECENT WORK, Kypriaki Gonia Gallery, Larnaca
1996         RECENT WORK, Kyklos Gallery, Paphos

1995         SOLDIERS – TARGETS, Praxis happenings, Coral Bay, Paphos,
1993         ULTRAMARINE, Kyklos Gallery, Paphos
1992         ULTRAMARINE, Apocalypse Gallery, Nicosia
1992         MAA MANNEQUINS, Praxis happenings, Coral Bay, Paphos
1990         PRAXIS WITH EARTH, Praxis happenings, Apocalypse Gallery, Nicosia
1989         SPANISH WORK, Gloria Gallery, Nicosia
1989         SPANISH WORK, Crypt Gallery, London (with S. Erek)
1988         RECENT WORK, Municipal Gallery, Larnaca
1987         RECENT WORK, Kyklos Gallery, Paphos
1986         RECENT WORK, Gloria Gallery, Nicosia
1984         RECENT WORK, Cyprus High Commision, London


2017        THE PRESENCE OF ABSENCE, Moesgaard Museum, Aarhus, Denmark (curators Ane Bonde Rolsted and Ditte Lyngkaer Pedersen)

2017        ON TARGET, Pafos Municipal Gallery (curator Inge Baecker)

2017        ECO ART, Akamas Peninsula, Cyprus,  Praxis: Hiding Endemic Targets (curator Thouli Misirloglou)

2016        ARS MORIENDI, Spiti tis Kyprou, Athens, Greece (curator Dr Niki Loizidi)
2015        RECTO-VERSO: FROM BYZANTIUM TO MODERNISM, Evagoras Lanitis Centre, Limassol, Cyprus
2014        TRAUMA AND THERAPY – CYPRIOT ANTIQUITY AND CONTEMPORARY ART, Pafos Archaeological Museum, Cyprus (curator Dr Niki Loizidi)
2014        AZZAM, STEFANI, KIRAZ, Gallerie Inge Baecker, Bad Munstereifel, Germany
2012        MANIERA CYPRIA: FABULA, HISTORIA, MEMORIA, Evagoras Lanitis Centre, Limassol, Cyprus
2012        THE ART OF DENIAL, Haroupomylos Art Gallery, Cyprus


2010        WHITHOUT, an exhibition on immigration, Palia Elektriki Art Centre, Old Power House, Pafos 2017 European Capital of Culture, Cyprus
2010        BODY: STORIES AND REPRESENTATIONS, Evagoras Lanitis Centre, Limassol, Cyprus
2008       OLYMPIC FINE ARTS 2008, Beijing, China, Organized by the Chinese Ministry of Culture
2007        LET’S TALK ABOUT MIGRATION, Thessaloniki Municipal Gallery, Greece
2006        THE WRONG WE DIDN’ T DARE, Patra European Capital of Culture, Greece
2005        AMA – ZON  Praxis happenings, Tropical forest, Amazon River, Borders of Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Leticia – Tapatinga
2005        ACCIDENTAL MEETINGS, Municipal Arts Centre, Nicosia, Cyprus (Human targets)

Main Group Exhibitions Before 2000

2000        FROM THE CHISEL TO THE AMBER – CONTEMPORARY CYPRIOT SCULPTURE, Kasteliotissa space, Nicosia(Human targets)
2000        SEA@NET, installation, Akamas peninsula, Paphos, Cyprus
2000        BUTO PERFORMANCE with B.J. Constanzo & T. White, Monagri Foundation, Cyprus
1999        SAIL COLONY, Municipal Gallery, Thessaloniki, Greece (Target – Hearth)
1999        SAIL COLONY, Municipal Gallery Xanthi, Greece (Target – Hearth)
1999        SAIL COLONY, Stone sculpture in Marathokampos High school, Samos island, Greece,
1998        SPHERE, installation, Akamas peninsula, Paphos, Cyprus
1996        MEDITERRANEAN SEA, Municipal Gallery, Limassol, Cyprus
1995        VISUAL ITINERARY (Soldiers – Targets), European Cultural Month, Agios Andreas Market, Nicosia, Cyprus,
1995        MILITARY GUARD HOUSES (Ecotopia), Apocalypse Gallery, Nicosia, Cyprus
1994        GAIA APHRODITE (Soldiers – Targets), Pan-Hellenic Art Symposium, Famagusta Gate, Nicosia, Cyprus
1994        SOLDIERS – TARGETS, Praxis happenings, Agios Georgios Peyias, Paphos, Cyprus
1993        OSOGUAICO, Praxis happenings, San Agustin, Colombia

1993        BRUSHSTROKES ACROSS CULTURES (Traps), Famagusta Gate, Nicosia,
1991        MANNEQUINS, Praxis happenings, Tombs of the Kings, Paphos

1991        CYPRIOT ARTISTS, State Gallery, Kuwait
1990        CYPRIOT ARTISTS, The House of the Artist, Sofia, Bulgaria
1990        YOUNG CYPRIOT ARTISTS, Spiti tis Kyprou, Athens, Greece
1990        YOUNG CYPRIOT ARTISTS, Apocalypse Gallery, Nicosia, Cyprus
1990        LANDMARKS, Praxis happenings, Akamas peninsula, Cyprus (with Susan Vargas)
1989        STEFANI, VARGAS, HALL, Morphi Gallery, Limassol, Cyprus
1989        PAPHIAN ARTISTS, Popular Bank, Paphos, Cyprus
1989        CYPRIOT ARTISTS OF UK, Famagusta Gate, Nicosia, Cyprus
1989        CYPRIOT ARTISTS, Moscow, Russia
1988        MULTIRACIAL, Peoples Gallery, London, UK
1987        FOUR CYPRIOT ARTISTS, House of the Artist, Sofia, Bulgaria
1987        CYPRIOT ARTISTS, Kostis Palama’s House, Athens, Greece
1983        MULTIRACIAL, Peoples Gallery, London, UK