Today I went to visit a local showing of the Archibald Portrait Prize Finalists. [The Archibald is probably the most publicised art prize in Australia.] It was wonderful to see the artworks up close.
I was really impressed by the scale of them – just how large the artworks were. Interestingly this year’s winner, a portrait of comedian Tim Minchin by Sam Leach, was the smallest work (in terms of size) among the finalists and it seemed completely dwarfed by the other artworks.
I got to vote for my favourite painting of the exhibition and after much soul searching I picked Khue Nguyen’s ‘Unleashed’ (a self-portrait).
I was stirred by the intricate combination of watercolour and pencil, the personal mythology (apparently inspired by the artist’s meditation practice where multiple animals seemed to blur into one) and themes relating to expressing one self as an artist and sexual being.
You can see all the finalists’ work at the Archibald website. Though if you have a chance to see them exhibited I highly recommend it.