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Two Australian artists of Greek and Cypriot heritage named finalists in the Archibald Prize 2022

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The 52 finalists of the Archibald Prize 2022 have been revealed by the Art Gallery of NSW and among the names are two Australian artists of Greek and Cypriot heritage – Nick Stathopoulos and Michael Zavros.

Stathopoulos has been an Archibald finalist on seven previous occasions and this year he’s in with a real chance of winning with his work ‘The man in the red scarf: Wayne Tunnicliffe.’ The piece of art is painted on polycotton in acrylic and oil, and is 91.6 by 111.8cm.

Stathopoulos said he wanted to paint Tunnicliffe after meeting him at the Gallery’s ‘Arthur Streeton’ exhibition in 2020, which Tunnicliffe curated.

‘The red scarf by Nick Stathopoulos’ Photograph: Jenni Carter/AGNSW.

“I wanted to know more about the person behind the exhibition, as it was so impressive. What better way to get to know someone than to have them sit for you?” Stathopoulos explained about the inspiration for his artwork.

READ MORE: Greek Australian artist, Nick Stathopoulos, named finalist for the Archibald Prize 2021.

In the meantime, there’s also Michael Zavros’ work to admire this year and it is titled ‘At the British Museum.’ The artwork is oil on board, 13 by 20.4cm, and features Zavros staring despondently at the Parthenon Marbles.

Zavros stressed that his Archibald entry “is not a political statement” about the return of the Marbles to Greece, “but you cannot avoid seeing it through the lens of current discussions about cultural theft.”

‘At the British Museum’ by Michael Zavros. Photograph: Mim Stirling/AGNSW.

“How does my provenance, as a second-generation Greek Cypriot boy, whose father’s homeland was stolen by Turkey, inform what I make?” Zavros, a six-time Archibald finalist, lamented.

“People often photograph themselves in front of grand monuments, staking a claim on history and their moment with it.

“But this tiny painting represents a fleeting, humble and troubled moment before the great marbles of the Parthenon. I was away from home and so were they.”

READ MORE: Artist Michael Zavros creates dummy dad for new Sydney exhibition.

Elsewhere, there are also a number of young Australians of Greek heritage recognised as finalists in the Young Archie Awards this year.

This includes Marlowe Emmanuel Haskas with ‘My Brother’ in the 5-8 year old category; Vinnie Macris with ‘Self-portrait of Vinnie’ in the 9-12 year old category; and Ciara Ennis with ‘Modern mum’ in the 13-15 year old group.

READ MORE: Greek Australian artists selected as YoungArchie finalists.

Honourable mentions went to Hugo Psomadelis with ‘Dad and his guitar’ in the 5-8 year old category; and Jasmine Li Economou with ‘First Day’ for the 13-15 year old group.

The winning painting of the Archibald Prize 2022 will be announced on May 13. The $100,000 prize is awarded to the best portrait of a person ‘distinguished in art, letters, science or politics’ painted by an Australian resident.

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