Dealing with a bit of plastic fantastic on parade during summer on Sydney’s best beaches has always been a hazard. Unless you head well off the beaten track, of course. But sometimes when you can’t beat ‘em, you should just join them.
That’s the thinking behind the uncanny valley, 'Ken Doll’s been garrotted' look of Michael Zavros, A Guy Like Me. The multi-award-winning artist’s first Sydney show in over a decade, it will bring a fake plastic me look to Redfern gallery Sullivan and Strumpf.
In a shift away from the lush painting his fans are used to, Zavros has created a vaguely lifelike mannequin, Kim Cattral-style: a self-portrait of sorts, only younger, and possibly weirdly hotter depending on what floats your boat. As Zavros puts it, “he’s a better version of me – 6 foot 3, broader, more cut, a bit younger and a lot smoother”.
The mannequin is a combination of traditional sculptural work that has then been run through a 3D printer. Zavros then took the new and ‘improved’ him out and about around town to take in the sand and surf, a Sunday drive and a spot of tally-ho horse riding. he captured the whole thing on camera, and the final portraits have been blown up for your viewing pleasure, presented in a seriously airbrushed, lifestyle mag-ready photoshoot style.
The way Zavros sees it, this new abnormal is not at all unlike the heightened reality he (and we all) post to his/our Instagram. “There is a representation of who I am, even though that representation often tips into a kind of fiction,” he says of his (and our) plucked and pristine social media presence. The finished works are an absolute trip, well worth detouring from the beach to check out when the show opens on Thursday, October 15.
Check out more art around town. Here are the best exhibitions open this month.