The Australian art scene is one that beams with a magnitude of colourful difference. This is evident through the ‘2015 Power Trip’, a list which states the 50 most powerful people in the contemporary Australian art scene. Comprised of curators, gallery owners, artists and those with public profiles in the art scene, two places were given to Greeks in this year’s list: Michael Zavros at number 41, and Barry Keldoulis, placed at number 7. Both men have a prominent existence in the Australian contemporary art scene and their involvement invaluable for the sustenance of contemporary Australian art, with Zavros contributing to the scene with his multitude of different works and Keldoulis a prominent gallerist and director of the Sydney and Melbourne Contemporary Art Fair.

Michael Zavros is a leading Greek Australian artist whose works are a charming display of his multidimensional artistic talent. Graduating from one of the longest-running and modern art schools in Australia, the Queensland College of Art, Zavros has had his works displayed in prominent museums throughout Australia, Asia, Europe and New Zealand. Alongside these achievements, Zavros has attained a plethora of awards, the most recent and prestigious being that of the inaugural Bulgari Art Award, presented to Zavros by the Art Gallery of New South Wales, in 2012. Zavros’ talent varies from paintings and drawings to sculptures as well, and his works are consistent in presenting to the audience a skilful double entrendre through holding both a modern and classic aesthetic. One of the most prominent of Zavros’ talents is the skill he possesses in photorealism; ultimately a very strong capability to couple the human eye with artistic precision and detail, in order to generate a painting that has audiences baffled at just how the painting is not a real photo.

Barry Keldoulis is another Greek Australian placed in this year’s Power Trip, whose presence over the past thirty years as a gallery owner, curator and director of the Sydney and Melbourne Contemporary Art fair has made a powerful impact on the Australian art scene. Keldoulis began his interest in art as a viewer in high school and upon leaving school, did not start work in the field of art until 10 years later in the booming city of New York. Keldoulis began his career in the art world as the private secretary and chief of staff for the honourable Henry Geldazhler, Commissioner of Cultural Affairs for the City of New York, and also held relations with Andy Warhol at the time. While in New York, Keldoulis derived an immense amount of artistic knowledge and brought this back with him to Australia in the mid-’90s. The Australian art scene has had the pleasure of Keldoulis returning home with this knowledge, allowing him to open up his own gallery in Sydney and to become director at the contemporary Sydney and Melbourne Art Fair.

Art has always been one of the most charming ways for a society to reflect its internal identity. From ancient Hellinistic art in 4BC Greece, whose existence was reflective of ancient society through both subject matter and material, to the modern street art of Athens whose variegated existence stands as a form of political activism, art has always in many different ways reflected the reality of a society at its present time. In Australia, the multi-layered nature of the art scene and the diverse array of artists that vary from street art to fine art particularly stand as a charming ode to the multidimensional nature of this contemporary land.

The strong presence of both Zavros and Keldoulis in this multidimensional scene is something the Greek community should hold with great pride. Michael Zavros and Barry Keldoulis are indeed two major players leading Greek presence into the future of Australian art. Congratulations to both Zavros and Keldoulis on their placements in this year’s Power Trip.