At an exclusive launch at the Gallery of Modern Art this evening, the striking self-portrait Bad dad 2013 by Michael Zavros was announced as the focus of the 2016 Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) Foundation Appeal.

Foundation President Tim Fairfax AC said this was the first time a work by a contemporary Queensland artist had been the sole focus of the Foundation’s annual appeal.

‘With the help of supporters, the Gallery is aiming to acquire the critically acclaimed autobiographical painting, a work shortlisted for the 2013 Archibald Prize and included in the Gallery’s 2015 exhibition ‘GOMA Q: Contemporary Queensland Art’,’ Mr Fairfax said.

‘The 2016 Appeal will help us to represent one of Australia’s leading artists with this accomplished and compelling work.’

QAGOMA Director Chris Saines said Bad dad brilliantly captured a contemplative and complicated moment in which Zavros has cast himself as a contemporary version of the protagonist from Caravaggio’s Baroque work Narcissus c.1597–1599.

‘Viewers are easily enticed by the languid world of this impressive self-portrait. To strengthen our holdings of work by Zavros, we are appealing to our supporters to help us bring this vivid moment in Australian art into the Collection,’ said Mr Saines.

Peter McKay, Curator of Contemporary Australian Art, QAGOMA said Zavros was inspired to create the work having spent time at the Palazzo Barberini in Rome, home of Caravaggio’s Narcissus.

‘Bad dad is an outstanding example of Zavros’ talents as a figurative painter and astute observer of social conditions. In this reflexive gesture Zavros describes himself in oils as someone who looks deeply into the range of emotional experiences associated with materialism,’ said Mr McKay.

QAGOMA Foundation members and their guests joined Mr Fairfax at GOMA this evening to hear Zavros speak with Mr Saines about the creation of Bad dad.


Michael Zavros (b. 1974) studied at the Queensland College of Art. He has exhibited in Australia and internationally and his work has been collected by most major Australian museums. He has won numerous art prizes including the 2010 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize and the inaugural 2012 Bulgari Art Award.

Michael has a long-standing relationship with QAGOMA and worked with Gallery staff to curate an exhibition of works from the collection titled ‘A Private Collection: Artist’s Choice’ in 2013.

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