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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Christos Tsiolkas, 1998 (printed 2009)

John Tsiavis

type C photograph on paper (sheet: 54.6 cm x 50.8 cm, image: 40.5 cm x 33 cm)

Christos Tsiolkas (b. 1965) is a Melbourne-born writer of Greek descent. His work deals uncompromisingly with sexuality, identity and politics. His first novel Loaded (1995) was made into the award-winning film Head On (1997), directed by Anna Kokkinos and starring Alex Dimitriadis. His third novel Dead Europe (2005) won The Age Fiction Book of the Year. Tsiolkas's non-fiction includes a study of Fred Shepisi's 1976 film The Devil's Playground, and the philosophical dialogue Jump Cuts (1996) co-written with Sasha Soldatow (1947-2006). Since 1998, Tsiolkas has also worked as a playwright, solo and in collaboration, on plays that have been performed in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Canberra. His recent novel The Slap (2008) is a taut drama reflecting the changing cultural face of suburban Australia. Tsiolkas has mentored emerging writers, a role he sees as reflecting his own experience; 'I was very fortunate that I had a couple of mentors in my life', he says.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2009
© John Tsiavis

Accession number: 2009.8

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

John Tsiavis (age 21 in 1998)

Christos Tsiolkas (age 33 in 1998)

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Tan Le video: 10 minutes 27 seconds
Tan Le video: 10 minutes 27 seconds
Tan Le video: 10 minutes 27 seconds
Tan Le video: 10 minutes 27 seconds

Tan Le

'So many stars'

Portrait story

Tech entrepreneur Tan Le and photographer John Tsiavis.

Christos Tsiolkas video: 4 minutes 35 seconds
Christos Tsiolkas video: 4 minutes 35 seconds
Christos Tsiolkas video: 4 minutes 35 seconds
Christos Tsiolkas video: 4 minutes 35 seconds

Christos Tsiolkas

'Learning to write saved my life'

Portrait story

Acclaimed Australian author, Christos Tsiolkas describes his childhood and how he came to write.

Christos Tsiolkas, 1998 (printed 2009) John Tsiavis
Christos Tsiolkas, 1998 (printed 2009) John Tsiavis
Christos Tsiolkas, 1998 (printed 2009) John Tsiavis
Christos Tsiolkas, 1998 (printed 2009) John Tsiavis

Intense identity

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2009

Dr Chistopher Chapman discusses the portrait of Australian author Christos Tsiolkas taken by John Tsiavis.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.