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,]

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