It always astounds me, when walking through private homes or galleries, how we are awed by art that looks nothing more than a 6 year old’s Sunday lunch scribble. No offense, I’m a lover of fine and delicious things, and I understand the training and natural talent needed to be an artist, yet if it’s ugly and makes no sense … I’m not buying it.
But in saying that, beauty is in the eye of the beholder right? And the beauty reflecting in my twinkley little eye is Michael Zavros, the illustrator du jour.
So how did I come across Zavros? Well, once, wandering through a gallery at the Marina Mirage on the Gold Coast, I stumbled across one of the most beautiful 10ft x 10ft paintings of a horse I’d ever seen. (No Stylemeister, not the Ol’ Spice Ad). This horse was in full flight as if jumping over an imaginary bar in a stark white landscape. I stood there for a good 5 minutes in awe of its beauty and immaculate design – step aside ‘Pegasus’ (Clash of the Titans). I then found myself walking over to the curator, wide eyed, hand in pocket ready to flip out my fantastic plastic to put a deposit on the piece. The curator smiled at me politely and gently put her hand on my wrist and lowered my almost feverish shaking hand, (symbolising ‘I need this piece of art!’) and said, “Darling, there are no deposits to be placed here. Mr Zavros has a 10 year wait list. You might need to come back”.
O…M…G. This dude (then) was only 29 years old!
There’s no doubt that Zavros is ridiculously talented that its almost like art chose him, and not the other way round. In fact he made that statement himself in a recent interview. Apparently Zavros has been drawing since he was a child – illustrating his unique vision of life on scrap pieces of paper, sketchbooks, and the back pages of books.
Today, he’s an expert in a wide range of art forms, including sculpture, plasticine, water colours, inks and oils; and he was recently commissioned by the design house of Balenciaga to create art pieces of their various accessories. Zavros has won many accolades including being a finalist in Australia’s prestigious Archibald Portrait Competition which he says encourages “the selection of more challenging winners in recent years (which) sets up an interesting tension with the traditional regulations and frameworks playing with ideas about what contemporary portraiture can be”.
Zavros employs traditional techniques in a fresh and contemporary manner to push the boundaries. He’s brave and creative, authentic and dedicated and his subject matter varies. His recent focus has on bringing to life horses as grand centaurs of the classical Greek mythology. In real life, centaurs are a complete fiction but Zavros wills them to exist on his canvasses, where they leap out at you in their impossible beauty and filled you with a mystical and powerful desire.
Michael Zavros is on the rise and rise and watch out for more from this exceptional artist who hails from Brisbane, QLD, Australia – the Stig-of-Style’s home town.