Aug 26, 2009

The Michael Issue: Installation One - Michael Z

Art-crush-the-first is Australian artist Michael Zavros. Zarvos' work from the first half of the 2000s is based on the shiny, yet shallow, world of male fashion. There is a sense of the insincerity, and transient, hollowness of the people and things which populate this world, yet also at a deeper level, Zavros makes us think about the extent to which we idealise male beuty, and furthermore about the historical tradition of male beauty. This lineage becomes especially clear in works from 2005 which fuse male runway models sporting the latest designer ranges, fused with horses to form twentyfirst century centaurs, powerful and beautiful. In Zavros' world, beauty is power, and surface is everything. The importance of the 'surface' of things functions at a more literal level in Zavros' more recent work, in which the luxe world of male fashion is replaced by the opulence of the palace. Works from 2006 onwards combine princely architecture with dreamy, otherworldly - often subversive- accents, all of which is depicted in photorealist detail. The familiar bulk of the palace of Versailles is lightened by the image of a heart formed from birds flying overhead. The title, "I ♥ Versailles" further hints at pop culture's appropriation of cultural heritage, and draws attention to the otherwise subtle heart device.

Michael Zavros' works are lush, detailed, and in as good a way as possible, given that the word is used derisively as often as it is used as a compliment, incredibly beautiful. I could stare at them for hours. If only I had a trust fund and a very large wall to hang them on. Anyway, enough of me, time for some of the man himself. Stay tuned my for Michael-crush number two - Michael P, otherwise known as New Zealand artist Michael Paraekowhai. Coming soon.

L.V. Ennui, 2007

The Stone Pavilion, 2008

Iloveversailles, 2007

Le Fontaine de la Sang, 2007

Love's Temple, 2007

Yves Saint Laurent Le Smoking/Bay, 2006

Potsdam interior/ San Souci/ Sometimes I just want to be by myself, 2003

The Salone del Poussino, 2002

Paul Smith, 2001

[All images from Zavros' website,]

Aug 16, 2009

The internet is a dangerous place...

...full of things I want to buy. First on the list is this letterpress print. I am vaguely planning a montage of photos and prints of various sizes to hang on the wall above my bed, and I think these little chairs are pretty damn cute. Found at the Bespoke Letterpress Boutique's online store. From the site: "Bespoke is a beautifully old word which means to custom make, beautifully suited to the old world artform that is letterpress. [Bespoke is] ... based in Brisbane Australia designing and hand printing couture letterpress wedding invitations, stationery and paperie for the the most beautiful occasions in life." All I can say to that is "yes please!"

Siena - food, a view, and a campo too

Italian update yet again - popping in to Pienza

As I keep saying, apologies, these are severely out of date. Photos from a day spent in Pienza, en route from Rome to Siena. It is hard to explain without sounding overly sentimental and clich├ęd, but there really is something otherworldly and special about the quality of the light in Tuscany, even in wintery January. Not to mention that Pienza offered a complete and welcome contrast with the cacophony and whirling busy-ness of Rome. Other than a cat and some builders in the local cafe, we had the place to ourselves. A very refreshing stop-off indeed.

Aug 12, 2009

Prime cuts

Not being too clued up on the different cuts of meat, I can't really decipher the details of this, but I sure appreciate the sentiment. By GG, via Wooster Collective.

Aug 11, 2009

From the road

Shot from the window of a moving van on the way from Auckland to Wellington, June 25 2009. Weather alternated from impenetrable fog, to clear blue skies and back again. Oh and there were roadworks all over State Highway four. Ahhh New Zealand, will you ever win? I particularly like the "drive to the conditions" sign, which we struggled to see in the first place.


I have liked these guys for a while now, but only recently did I get around to watching their music videos, and HELLO, do I ever love them more. A human kaleidoscope? What more could you want?


At long last I have gotten around to scanning the prints from my first three rolls of film shot with the little red Holga 120 CFN. Being the first rolls, there were more than a few stuff ups, but, I'm pleased to report, plenty of highlights too. Huzzah. Now to shoot more. Practice makes perfect, after all. And if not, at least it makes for a whole lot of pretty.

Apologies for the scan quality, until I cough up and buy a super swish scanner of my own, this is the best I can hope for. My clear favourites are the first three, taken on Fuji Velvia slide film. AKA the most expensive, and most lustworthy film around. I sense this is going to be a very expensive habit indeed...
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