Saturday, September 6, 2014

ARCHIBALD PRIZE for Portrait painting. 2014

Each year the annual Archibald Portrait Prize seems to take another step backwards and this years is simply more of the same. Each year technology takes another step to the determent artistic skill. Far to many works seem to be based on photographs producing a display of lifeless portraits. The tell tale signs of photography copies are there, the use of casual attitudes, turned heads and lighting effects produce flat lifeless results. There is no substitute for drawing, whether academic or expressionistic. A portrait should tell us something about a living person, if possible their attitude to life. Kate Blanchett's portrait above illustrates the trend in this approach.

There are however a few bright spots, that in my opinion demonstrate a more creative method of painting. 'Here' by Quiang Zhang and 'Rox' by Paul Ryan are two paintings were the artist has attempted to present a living person. At least here we know the works are by living people, not a photo, not that I have anything against photography, it is simply not in the true spirit of portrait painting. Zhang's is a very strong work, while Ryan's expressionist work has a lively feel.

'Rox' by Paul Ryan.
Torah Bright by Zoe Young
'Not a sexpat cowboy painting by David Grigg.

'Here' by Quiang Zhang.

Two other paintings also caught my eye, David Griggs' 'Not a sexpat idiot cowboy painting' and Zoe Young's portrait of Torah Bright offered a little light relief from the photo brigand. I like Grigg's inclusion of supporting material offering a view into another world. Zoe Young is more straight forward with her exploration of what is possible with colour.



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Everything is very open with a clear clarification of the
challenges. It was really informative. Your site is very useful.
Many thanks for sharing!