Winning the Archibald Prize is hands down the most brag-worthy thing an Aussie portrait artist can achieve their own country. The competition has been running in Australia longer than Dawn Fraser has been swimming in it, and she’s, you know, quite old.
Since 1921, the coveted prize has been awarded by the Art Gallery of NSW to “the best portrait, preferentially of some man or woman distinguished in Art, Letters, Science or Politics”, so naturally the expertly etched mugs of some Aussie musicians have cropped up in the competition from time to time.
Back in 2011, for instance, a painting of The Drones frontman Gareth Liddiard was a hot contender to take out the Archie. This year, artistic renderings of no less than four homegrown musicians have been shortlisted as finalists for the $75K yahtzee.
Check them out below.
1. Daniel Johns
The Silverchair frontman-turned-solo artist is rendered shirtless in this softly-hued still life by Sydney artist, Julian Meagher, entitled simply Daniel Johns.
2. Abbe May
The singer-songwriter has been immortalised in this work by Angus McDonald dubbed Romanticide — portrait of Abbe May, which depicts her in a striking pose with her blouse unbuttoned.
3. Paul Kelly
Entitled I sat by the river. I waited by the road., this close-up portrait of national icon Paul Kelly has been pained by Jason Benjamin.
4. Noah Taylor
As themusic.com.au points out, actor and part-time singer Noah Taylor has been portrayed in a unique piece entitled THIRTEEN Noahs by Paul Ryan, which depicts him in 13 framed pictures that make up the whole work.