Well of course as always the Archibald Prize is controversial. Quite often we see year after year the same old names popping up and every now and then there’s a new one pops onto the scene. A rising star, a new young blood. And of course there’s always ghastly art and brilliant art.

This year’s winner is a stunning, massive work of barrister Charles Waterstreet. The photo doesn’t do it justice as there is quite a bit of colour in the face. This might look like an easy work to paint, however as any artist will tell you, to get all that black to look smooth and non reflective is no easy feat. I understand it cost him $600 just to get it professionally varnished  so as to combat that very problem.

Nigel Milsom,Archibald Prize,winner,Charles Waterstret

The debate surrounding winner is often Lively and argumentative. The winner of this years Archibald Prize, Nigel Milsom, was born in 1975 and lives and works in Newcastle. He has had nine solo exhibitions since 2002. Milsom is no stranger to competitive success. He won the 2013 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize and the 2012 Sulman Prize. This is his third time in the Archibald.

The other much awaited prize is the packing room prize, awarded by the people behind the scenes who unpack all the entries. This year it was awarded  to Bruno Jean Grasswill for his portrait of actor Michael Caton.

archibald prize,packing room prize grasswill


As you can see – two very different kinds of work.

The exhibition is on till September 27th at the NSW Art Gallery – so if you are nearby it’s worth taking a look at.

This Week’s Question: What Exhibitions are on in your area this week and which ones will you go and see?

Next Weeks Post: Exhibition Review – Peter Smeeth

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