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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 21 February 2015
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 21 FEBRUARY 2015 19 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Maria Mercedes for Eurovision goes viral Greek Australians have banded around singer Maria Mercedes, pushing to get the star on the list of potential Australian Eurovision acts HELEN VELISSARIS Well, it started off as a bit of a pipe dream, but Maria Mercedes is currently one of the most popular acts to be considered by the Australian Eurovision selection committee. While many have been tipping Kylie Minogue or Delta Goodrem as the most likely acts, the internet has other ideas. The organisers of the Australian act selection, SBS and Blink.tv, were so inundated with requests to pick Maria Mercedes as the Australian representative that it crashed their servers. Hundreds of comments flooded in, especially on the Popsugar site that had posted a news article entitled ‘Who Do You Think Will Perform at Eurovision?’. The poll had 10 artists listed, considering Australia’s location. “Being Australian by birth, unless I went over to Greece and tried to represent Greece, it was going to be difficult,” she says. If she does make it and gets selected, she says she’s already well prepared. “I’ve got a song already up my sleeve,” she admits. “It’s a song called Kouraio Maria Mercedes with the option of picking none and nominating an act in the comments section. In just a couple of hours, more than 50 comments appeared, all nominating Maria Mercedes. The popularity spread even further, with someone creating a special Facebook page entitled ‘Maria Mercedes to sing for Australia at Eurovision’. It has more than 350 likes. The whole experience has been overwhelming, Maria Mercedes admits. “I just posted it on Facebook, and it went haywire, people just went ballistic,” she tells Neos Kosmos. An avid Eurovision fan herself, Mercedes dreamed of one day representing her country in the song competition, but knew her chances were slim (Courage), which is basically my take on the whole migration thing and how it feels to embody two identities.” She hopes the song will be a truly multicultural representation of Australia. “It’s not just representing myself, I’m representing the journey of all our parents and I’m representing what can be achieved by sacrifice,” she says. The final date for artists to submit their application expired on Friday. SBS and Blink.tv will announce the Australian act shortly. In the meantime, Maria Mercedes is working on reprising her role as Maria Callas in the play Masterclass, touring NSW and Melbourne soon. Thiasos Parikia on stage. Gynaikes Etoimes Gia Ola is on Showing at the Renaissance Theatre till 20 March Thiasos Parikia is a group of artists that can deliver a lovely blend of woggy jokes, political satire (not gentle) and emotionally vast performances. On Valentine’s Day, Saturday 14 February, their new play ' ! premiered at the Renaissance Theatre in Kew and it was sold out. Modern Greek Theatre and Thiasos Parikia is an organisation dedicated to producing high quality Greek theatre that is current and full of many laughs. Stavros Arberoris, Christos Koutes, Marina Lezou, Fenia Chatzimichail, Yiorgos Gazetis, Suzanna Papadopoulou and director Thanasis Makrygiorgos proved themselves to be a winning combination. The audience left the theatre happy, thrilled even with the brilliantly funny take on Greece’s political situation. We won’t give any spoilers regarding the plot, but a play written by the late Yiorgos Lazaridis, one of Greece’s most acclaimed writers, is always niftily pointed. Thiasos Parikia’s effort hangs together very well delivering a succinct satire which takes over the audience. For bookings call 0419 543 163 or email aus_hellenic_ firstname.lastname@example.org Photorealism, prominence and Greek presence in contemporary Australian art scene 2015 official art rankings indicate an important Greek presence in the modern Australian art scene ALEXANDRA MANATAKIS 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, Greek Australian artist Michael Zavros. 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 Greek Australian gallery owner and director of the Sydney and Melbourne Contemporary Art Fair - Barry Keldoulis. PHOTO: THE SYDNEY CONTEMPORARY ART FAIR 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. Michael Zavros The Savage - 2010, Oil on Canvas. Michael Zavros Prince/Zavros 5 - 2012, Oil on Board. Michael Zavros Lover’s Temple - 2006, Oil on Canvas. Michael Zavros The New Round Room - 2012, Oil on Canvas. Michael Zavros Bad Dad - 2013, Oil on Canvas. Michael Zavros The Greek - 2014, Oil on Canvas.
14 February 2015
28 February 2015