Emil McAvoy is an artist, lecturer, art writer, and gallery and museum professional. His creative practice examines histories and concepts of the cultural roles of artists, critically engaging the artist as medium, activist, citizen and public intellectual. His art work seeks to directly address contemporary cultural and political issues circulating in the public sphere, and manifests in a range of media including photography, video, painting and text.

He is a Lecturer in Photo Media & Fine Arts at Whitecliffe College of Arts & Design, and also works in the wider arts, education and GLAM sectors. Emil graduated with a Bachelor of Visual Arts from the Auckland University of Technology in 2002, and a Master of Fine Arts (First Class Honours) from the Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland, in 2013.

He is the recipient of a number of awards and scholarships, including the Archives New Zealand 50th Anniversary Scholarship (2009), a Wallace Art Award (2011), University of Auckland Summer Research Scholarship (2010-11), and finalist in the New Zealand Painting and Printmaking Award (2016), National Contemporary Art Award (2007, 2014), Glaister Ennor Graduate Art Award (2013), and Wallace Art Awards (2007, 2010).

He has exhibited, screened and performed work across New Zealand and is represented in public and private collections. Exhibition highlights include This is New Zealand, City Gallery Wellington (2018), This Might Be The Place, Ilam Campus Gallery, University of Canterbury (2017), this is the cup of your heart, Dowse Museum (2016), Red Earth Reconnaissance, Papakura Art Gallery (2016), PRISMISM, Enjoy Public Art Gallery (2014), and Reflections on Lily Pond, Projectspace, Elam School of Fine Arts (2014).

His art writing includes texts for the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, Art New Zealand, Art News, Pantograph Punch, EyeContact, Enjoy Gallery Occasional Journal, Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery, Writing Around Sound, Two Rooms, Art + Object, Bowerbank Ninow, Tim Melville Gallery, Ocula, PhotoForum and a number of artists.