HomeCultureArt & DesignMichael Zavros creates hyper-realistic Parthenon mural for Queensland exhibition

Michael Zavros creates hyper-realistic Parthenon mural for Queensland exhibition




This month, Michael Zavros’ career is the focus of an exhibition at the Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) on Stanley Place in South Brisbane.

While Zavros has had many solo exhibitions in Australia and abroad, the one opening next Saturday, June 24 is a special one for him and for the Greek community too.

According to The Courier Mail, the exhibition, titled The Favourite, features paintings, sculptures and photographs by Zavros, as well as two new installations.

The first of these is The Acropolis – a hyper-realistic mural that shows the heights of Greek civilisation and harks back to Zavros’ Greek-Cypriot roots. This mural, completed with the help of assistants, covers the entry wall of QAGOMA’s Turbine Hall and gives visitors an Instagram-worthy photo opportunity.

Screenshot: news QAGOMA
Screenshot: news QAGOMA

Another work is Drowned Mercedes (2023), a luxury car filled with water, fabricated by others to his specifications.

Elsewhere, in V12/Narcissus (2009), Zavros looks into the bonnet of a blue Mercedes, unable to take his eyes from his own reflection. There are of course similarities to Greek mythologies’ Narcissus.

Michael Zavros, Australia b.1974 / V12/Narcissus 2009 / Oil on board / 20 x 29.5cm / Collection: Art Gallery of New South Wales – Gift of the artist 2013. Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program / © Michael Zavros

Luxury and wealth are obvious in his work, a characteristic that sometimes leads to him being criticised.

“[The exhibition] exists as this incredibly beautiful folly – like so much of what I paint and what will be in the show. It is a folly, a ruin and, I would say, made so much more beautiful in this ruined state,” Zavros commented to The Courier Mail on his exhibition.

Zavros said the exhibition has been the biggest shift in his artistic practice in recent years.

Screenshot: news QAGOMA.

“I first put down the brushes to start making bronze sculptures and that worked… you have these successes and demonstrate that you’re not just a painter,” he said.

“It’s a growing, incremental confidence about working in a very different way.”

Zavros, whose Instagram has more than 86,000 followers, graduated from the Queensland College of Art in 1996 and has had a successful career as an artist since his early years. His collectors and representative galleries are among the most influential in Australia and New Zealand.

His Greek Cypriot heritage and mythology play an important role his work and the upcoming exhibition is about to showcase that once again.

‘Michael Zavros: The Favourite’ opens at GOMA next Sat 24 Jun: https://fal.cn/3z0mx

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