Born Brisbane 1974.

Michael Zavros is a leading Australian artist. His work has been exhibited in major museums and galleries throughout Australia, New Zealand, Asia and Europe. He graduated from Queensland College of Art, Griffith University with a Bachelor of Visual Arts in 1996.

In 2012 Zavros was awarded the inaugural Bulgari Art Award through the Art Gallery of New South Wales. In 2016 he won the Mosman Art Prize and in 2010 he was awarded the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, the world’s richest prize for portraiture. He has won three major Australian drawing prizes: the 2002 Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award, the 2005 Robert Jacks Drawing Prize and the 2007 Kedumba Drawing Award. He has been a multiple Archibald Prize finalist and was the recipient of the 2004 MCA Primavera Collex Art Award.

Major exhibitions include: Beyond Surface Affect (with Fiona Pardington), Art Basel Hong Kong, 2018; Surface Affect at Govett Brewster Gallery, New Zealand, 2017; Selectively Revealed, an Asialink and Experimenta Media Arts touring exhibition 2012; and Uncanny (the unnaturally strange), Artspace, Auckland, New Zealand 2007; the Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art 2016,  Art Gallery of South Australia, GOMA Q at Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, 2015; Wilderness at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2010; Scott Redford Vs Michael Zavros at the Institute of Modern Art, 2010; Contemporary Australia: Optimism at the Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, 2008; and Primavera at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney 2000.

Zavros was the subject of a major survey exhibition, Magic Mike in 2017 at Newcastle Art Gallery. Other solo exhibitions include: The Silver Fox at Starkwhite, Auckland, 2017; Bad Dad at Starkwhite, Auckland, 2014; A Private Collection: Artist Choice, Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art; The Prince, Rockhampton Art Gallery and Griffith University Art Gallery; The Good Son: Works on Paper, a survey exhibition at Gold Coast City Art Gallery; 2009, Everything I wanted at the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane 2003; and solo exhibitions at Art Los Angeles Contemporary 2016 and Art Basel Hong Kong 2015 with Starkwhite, New Zealand.

In association with Phillip Bacon Galleries (Brisbane, Australia) and Starkwhite (Auckland, New Zealand), Manuscript published a book on Zavros in 2017 with contributions from Rhana Devenport (director, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki), Robert Leonard (chief curator, City Gallery Wellington), Beatrice Page (independent writer), Chris Saines (director, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art) and Laurence Simmons (University of Auckland).

Zavros has been the recipient of several international residencies including a 2017 residency at PACC in Shanghai, the Australia Council Greene Street Studio, New York in 2015, and the Australia Council Barcelona studio in both 2005 and 2010, and the Australia Council Milan studio residency in 2001. In 2003 he was awarded a Cite International des Arts Residency in Paris through the Power Institute, University of Sydney. In 2004 he was awarded a studio residency at the Gunnery Studios, Sydney, from the NSW Ministry for the Arts.

In 2016 he was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery of Australia to paint Dame Quentin Bryce, and in 2013 by the Australian War Memorial to paint a portrait of Victoria Cross recipient Ben Roberts-Smith. 

Michael Zavros served on the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council for the Arts between 2007 and 2011 and currently serves on the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) board, and the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University Advisory Committee.

His work is held in numerous private and public collections, including The National Gallery of Australia, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of South Australia, Queensland Art Gallery, University of Queensland Art Museum, Artbank, National Portrait Gallery, Griffith University Art Collection, Newcastle Region Art Gallery and Tasmanian Museum and Gallery.