The 52 finalists of the Archibald Prize 2022 have been revealed by the Art Gallery of NSW and among the names are Australian Cypriot Michael Zavros.
The Archibald Prize is an Australian portraiture art prize for painting, generally seen as the most prestigious portrait prize in Australia. It was first awarded in 1921 after the receipt of a bequest from J. F. Archibald, the editor of The Bulletin who died in 1919.
In the meantime, there’s Michael Zavros’ work to admire this year and it is titled ‘At the British Museum.’The artwork is oil on board, 13 by 20.4cm, and features Zavros staring despondently at the Parthenon Marbles.
Zavros stressed that his Archibald entry “is not a political statement” about the return of the Marbles to Greece, “but you cannot avoid seeing it through the lens of current discussions about cultural theft.” ‘At the British Museum’ by Michael Zavros.
“How does my provenance, as a second-generation Greek Cypriot boy, whose father’s homeland was stolen by Turkey, inform what I make?” Zavros, a six-time Archibald finalist, lamented.
“People often photograph themselves in front of grand monuments, staking a claim on history and their moment with it.
“But this tiny painting represents a fleeting, humble and troubled moment before the great marbles of the Parthenon. I was away from home and so were they.”Michael Zavros was born in Brisbane , Australia, His Grandparents frpm Agros in Cyprus. He attended Queensland college of Art and Griffith University.
The winning painting of the Archibald Prize 2022 was Blak Douglas for his portrait of Wiradjuri artist Karla Dickens, The $100,000 prize is awarded to the best portrait of a person ‘distinguished in art, letters, science or politics’ painted by an Australian resident.