Sunday, March 09, 2008

Let's face it, the Archibald Portrait Prize rocks

One of my uber-favourite art competitions each year is Australia's Archibald Portrait Prize. the prize was established in 1921 using a bequest left especially for such purpose by by J.F. Archibald, founding editor of The Bulletin. The contest aims at promoting art within Australia, and the preferred subject for portraits submitted to the competition are "some man or woman distinguished in Art, Letters, Science or Politics." This has certainly made for compelling portraits of people important in Australia's history, whether it be some well-recognised figure, or someone important on a more deeply personal scale.

The competition has also proved to be controversial, and continues to challenge in exciting ways what counts as portraiture within the fine arts. This year's winner (pictured) is Del Kathryn Barton and her painting "You are what is most beautiful about me, a self portrait with Kell and Arella."

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