Straight up I’ll say that while I can absolutely acknowledge the skill and technical expertise that goes into creating these wonderfully perfect pieces of art, it’s a style that I don’t generally regard as a favourite. Mike Zavros is precise and perfect in his work and I would imagine this is an extension of his interest in beauty and vanity. The beauty he projects onto the canvas is the manufactured variety. The type you purchase at the big brand store, that’s painstakingly produced at the gym, that lacks any style and originality. All that is required is the large wallet with loads of cash and lots of time. But while I am not inspired by works of art such as these I know his message is all the more pertinent because of his flawless execution. What’s disturbing though is the video that is on constant rotation in the gallery of himself and his daughter. I would think that having acknowledged the ridiculousness (but perhaps he hasn’t and is an advertising bill board for the capitalist mantra “economy, economy, economy”) of devoting time to the empty pursuit of fashion and contrived beauty it would be discouraged as a creative outlet. But there is his daughter maybe 4 or 5 years old totally cute and totally ensconced in all that will encourage a lifetime of feeding an appetite for expensive stuff that will not be sated. All while Dad walks about the studio wonderfully buff and I doubt that is because he’s putting time in at the local community garden. Hmm…
The message I went away with was “shun consumerism:embrace imperfection, because perfection looks just so uptight”.
Anyway take a peek. I’ve selected the most vain pieces but there is so much more on display that is worthy of a visit. His compositions are unique and besides his painting prowess it was this I found intriguing.
Magic Mike: Mike Zavros . It’s on exhibit at Newcastle Art Gallery until May 28th.
Just thought I’d add that I have tried over the past 5-10 years to hold the consumer instinct at bay and it’s hard. A fashion fast for a year (not buying any item of clothing for a year and at the same time gradually discarding) helped me but I’m unashamed to say I regularly have relapses. As the song goes “I’m a weapon of massive consumption, it’s not my fault it’s how I’m programmed to function”