I went to the Blue Mountains Creative Arts Centre website this morning and found this photo of Richard Cutler and myself standing in front of my portrait of him that was delivered to the AGNSW this week as an entry int the Archibald Prize.
The Archibald Prize, since 1921 the most prestigious portrait prize in Australia... and probably the most controversial! As one eminent portrait artist said to me... "Why would you spend months on a painting to enter it into a competition where it is dismissed in a matter of seconds... I wouldn't mind until you see what is actually selected!"
Although some of the selections are obviously controversial, it still attracts 8-900 entries of exceptional merit and is always a very fine display enjoyed by a very large public attendance, and a pick of the display goes on to Regional Galleries. There are also the follow up exhibitions the Salon des Refuses and other spin offs as wells as the other associated Wynne and Sulman Prizes,
In my portrait of Richard, instantly recognizable to all who know him well... standing in front of a couple of his own paintings, haloed hair like a prophet of old, lip pouting, eagle eyed with hands vigorously gesturing as he describes the symbolism of his paintings and how you have to get down to the bones and connect to the inner person not just paint the outer facade.