Michael Zavros (b.1974) is a leading Australian artist whose work has been exhibited in major museums throughout Australia, New Zealand, Asia and Europe. Predominantly a hyper-realist painter of ‘beautiful things’, Zavros’ practice extends to drawing, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. The artists’ meticulously constructed images with their inclination towards themes of luxury, beauty and decadence are both highly aestheticised and deeply contemplative.
Raised on the Gold Coast, Zavros graduated from Queensland College of Art with a Bachelor of Visual Arts in 1996. In 2012 Zavros was awarded the inaugural Bulgari Art Award through the Art Gallery of New South Wales. In 2010 he was awarded the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, the world’s richest prize for portraiture. He has won three major Australian drawing prizes: the 2002 Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award, the 2005 Robert Jacks Drawing Prize and the 2007 Kedumba Drawing Award, and has been a multiple Archibald Prize finalist. He was the recipient of the 2004 MCA Primavera Collex Art Award.
In 2016 Zavros showed a solo exhibition at Art Los Angeles Contemporary and in 2015 a solo at Art Basel Hong Kong. Other exhibitions include Selectively Revealed, an Asialink and Experimenta Media Arts exhibition that toured to Korea, Indonesia and Thailand in 2012; New Nature at Govett Brewster Gallery, New Zealand in 2007 and Uncanny (the unnaturally strange), Artspace, Auckland, New Zealand.
Zavros’ selected Australian group exhibitions include the Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art 2016 at Art Gallery of South Australia; GOMAQ at QAGOMA, Brisbane, 2015; Wilderness at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 2010; Scott Redford Vs Michael Zavros at the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, 2010; Contemporary Australia: Optimism, QAGOMA, Brisbane, 2008; and Primavera at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 2000.
Zavros has been the recipient of several international residencies including the Australia Council Greene Street Studio, New York, 2014; Milan studio residency in 2001; and the Barcelona studio in both 2005 and 2010. In 2003 he was awarded a Cite International des Arts Residency in Paris through the Power Institute, University of Sydney. In 2004 he was awarded a studio residency at the Gunnery Studios, Sydney, from the NSW Ministry for the Arts.
In 2013 he was commissioned by the Australian War Memorial to paint a portrait of Victoria Cross winner Ben Roberts-Smith and in 2016 painted Dame Quentin Bryce for the National Portrait Gallery. He served on the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council for the Arts between 2007 and 2011 and currently serves on the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) board.
His work is held in numerous private and public collections, including the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; QAGOMA, Brisbane; National Portrait Gallery, Canberra; Australian War Memorial, Canberra; and the Tasmanian Museum and Gallery, Hobart.