ALL IN THE DETAIL: ZAVROS
Meet the Australian artist turning heads in high-society with his phot-realistic paintings including the decadent rooms of versailles and his eight year old daughter adorned in Tom Ford and Alexander Mcqueen.
WORDS BY JACK FREEMAN & IMAGES BY MICHAEL ZAVROS
Where to next?
I spent three months in New York last Christmas on an Australia Council for the Arts studio residency. I absolutely loved it and am very keen to live and work more in the US. This coming January I will have a solo exhibition at Art Los Angeles Contemporary.
You often take part in collaborations what made you decide to do this?
Collaborating on projects is new territory for me and full of challenges. For many years I was a solo practitioner and very much a control freak but collaboration is all about compromise without compromising the project. I love to draw, paint or sculpt something and i'm comfortable doing this but where I don't have the expertise, in say film making or photography I'll work with another talent to realise my vision. I then become more a director of a project but with the same exacting attention to detail I bring to my drawing or painting.
Whether I'm collaborating or not my work has two modes -the creative moment which can be immediate or last weeks or months in development in deciding what I want to make and why. The second mode is the physical creation of the work, whether it's time spent painting or drawing and this is technical hard work but not a creative process. It's in this mode that I can direct a project rather than do it myself.
What is the usual timeframe for your intensely detailed works?
Usually a few weeks to a few months.
To paraphrase Andy Warhol, if everything is luxury then nothing is. The term luxury has a strange currency now. Probably the greatest luxury i can imagine is time. And that is very much a first world concept.
Celebrated artist Michael Zavros, winner of awards such as the Bulgari Art Award and the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, proves to be a leading Australian contemporary artist, with an eye for detail producing intensely photo-real paintings and drawings. His staged life paintings bring life to the still object. Inspired by European realism and a finalist of the revered Archibald prize, Zavros' art proves to make a great addition to both contemporary and traditional fine art collections.
What is your all time favourite destination and why?
Alison was born in South Africa and we've visited several times. I love everything about the place, the colours, the sounds, the smells of Africa and of course I can indulge my childhood love of African animals and spend days in national parks looking for them. It is always so exciting.