Archibald Entries Media Round-up

Each year the media start to report on the arts or specifically on the merging of art and celebrity that is the Archibald Prize for a portrait of “ … some man or woman distinguished in art, letters, science or politics, painted by any artist resident in Australasia during the 12 months preceding the date fixed by the trustees for sending in the pictures”. The $75,000 prize further hypes the media’s attention.

Here is a media round-up of who has been reporting on what entries; it is more than obvious why each media choose their subject except for Athena Yenko’s report in the International Business Times on Robyn Ross’s entry of a double portrait of Christine Forster, Prime Minister Abbott’s sister and partner, Virginia Edwards in a naked embrace. Ross’s entry is is also reported in Same Same with photos.

Same Same also reports on the portrait of Shelley Argent OAM by Iain Wallace.

The Herald Sun reported on stencil artist E.L.K. or a portrait of comedian, Will Anderson in the Entertainment section.

ABC Local Golburn Murray reports on a Marijana van Zanten, plans to enter a portrait of Federal Member for Indi Cathy McGowan, who defeated Liberal incumbent Sophie Mirabella.

The North Coast’s Echo Net Daily about local artist Liesel Arden portrait of “Byron identity”, Tommy Franklin.

The Age reported on Melbourne street artist CDH portrait of anti-public advertising campaigner, Kyle Magee painted on a Streets ice-cream advertisement stolen from a bus shelter. CDH also wrote a report in Vandalog about Tame DMA entering his tag as a portrait.

Dustin Stahle entered a portrait of Film Producer/Director, Jacob Oberman and Jacob mades a two and half minute film about it.

The Guardian reports on Myuran Sukumaran’s entry self-portrait, encouraged by Ben Quilty who visited him Kerobokan jail in Bali contradicting earlier media reports that Sukumaran would not be allowed to enter. The Guardian also has a photo essay of some of the thousands of entrants.

The Archibald portrait prize about the one percent, the one percent of artist who are exhibited doing portraits of the one percent who at a stretch could be described distinguished. (Christine Forster and Myuran Sukumaran are not “distinguished in art, letters, science or politics” and even to say that about Will Anderson or Tame DMA is a bit of stretch.) There are portraits this year of John Safran, Michael Leunig, Cathy Freeman and Hugh Jackman. You don’t get to paint a portrait of Nick Cave easily, as Sydney-based artist James Powditch discovered and Katrina Lobley reports on Powditch’s entry in the Sydney Morning Herald.

The finalists will be announced on 10 July but I doubt that any of these entries, with the exception of James Powditch and E.L.K., will be finalists. The winner, to be announced at noon on the 18 July, will most likely be a self-portrait by an artist who has already won the Archibald, the judges, like the media reporting on it, generally go with what they know and is close to home.

All this media coverage is not surprising given that J.F. Archibald was a media man, the founding co-owner and editor of The Bulletin magazine. Archibald’s idea was that portraits showing the physiognomy and bearing of distinguished Australians would add to the Australian identity.


About Mark Holsworth

Writer and artist Mark Holsworth is the author of two books, The Picasso Ransom and Sculptures of Melbourne. View all posts by Mark Holsworth

One response to “Archibald Entries Media Round-up

  • CDH

    My portrait of Kyle definitely won’t be a finalist. That’s one of the things I love most about it. It’s Kyle- it’s prospects are so depressingly bleak but you persevere, because what’s the alternative?

    The Age article is the practical reason I entered. It’s vaudeville; it creates a spectacle that lets me tell my friend’s story.

    I basically hate almost all the street art I create. I don’t think it’s art. I do it for either the process of painting or hanging out with my mates or the edge work. But this portrait of Kyle is one of the few artworks I’m proud of as a final product (like the Atlas Hammer or Trojan Petition or torn cheque or the maps etc). It’s success in the Archibalds would be a crazy metric by which to measure that.

    Tame also has basically no chance. But it’s like I said in the Vandalog article; it doesn’t matter. What matters is that it was entered. Going to the loading dock at the Gallery of NSW was really informative because you see all these artworks being chucked around by dudes in jeans and t-shirts. You realize that beyond the magical space of the gallery, these things are really just shitty, empty objects. In the gallery I’m always worried I’m going to accidentally knock over some priceless statue. But there’s no illusion when you pull back the curtain and see the internal machinations. The paintings are utterly empty. The artists and their reasons for painting are the only things that are real. Tame’s artistic authenticity is a more real expression of humanity than all the combined careerist ambition of his professional contemporaries in that competition. That’s what matters- not the judgement of a few CEOs obsequiously appointed to the gallery board as a fund raising tool. The meaningful experience at the core and what it has to teach you about the nature of the world.

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