Michael Zavros: Acropolis now


Over the past 25 years Michael Zavros has developed a singular vision of contemporary culture, navigating the undercurrents of desire that shape so much of our individual and shared characters. Always meticulously rendered regardless of the medium, Zavros’s depictions of stylish fashion, spectacular interiors, whimsical landscapes, purebred animals and playful still lifes are entrancing and seductive.


Michael Zavros ‘Acropolis now’

Acropolis now (illustrated) is all about Instagram. I like the light, touristy gesture of creating this selfie moment underneath the Acropolis. When you go to the Acropolis, you’re aware of the weight of it. The Greek people — my people — invented so much of the mathematics, art and philosophy my kids are learning at school now. We were overachievers, until one day we weren’t, and this famous building on the hill of Athens reminds contemporary Greeks of what we once were. Now everybody’s claiming what’s theirs, and repatriation is part of that conversation. I’m thinking, how do I contribute to that? It’s something my kids are interested in. At school, they are encouraged to investigate who they are and where they come from. A lot of our conversations are about this.’ Michael Zavros

Watch | Michael Zavros discusses the ‘Acropolis Now’ mural

Michael Zavros at the British Museum 2022 / © Michael Zavros
Site visit by Michael Zavros with the QAGOMA exhibition design team reviewing the mural mock up in preparation for ‘Michael Zavros: The Favourite’ / Photograph: J Ruckli © QAGOMA
Michael Zavros painting Acropolis now 2023 / © Michael Zavros / Photograph: J Ruckli © QAGOMA

Michael Zavros painting Acropolis now 2023 / © Michael Zavros / Photographs: C Callistemon © QAGOMA

Michael Zavros, Australia b.1974 / Acropolis now 2023 / Acrylic and oil paint / 740 x 1930cm / © Michael Zavros / Photographs: J Ruckli © QAGOMA

Watch | Michael Zavros discusses his practice 

Michael Zavros: The Favourite‘ in 1.1 (The Fairfax Gallery) and 1.2 at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) was in Brisbane from 24 June to 2 October 2023 surveys 25 years of painting, sculpture, photography and video by leading contemporary Queensland artist Michael Zavros. This exhibition offered opportunities for dialogue with ‘eX de Medici: Beautiful Wickedness’ presented in the adjacent gallery 1.2 and 1.3 (Eric and Marion Taylor Gallery).

Featured image: Michael Zavros in front of Acropolis now 2023 at ‘Michael Zavros: The Favourite’, Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane / Photograph: David Kelly / © Michael Zavros