Gold Logie and multi-award winning Australian actress Asher Keddie is well-beloved. This hit home today as Vincent Fantauzzo’s portrait of her won the 2013 Archibald People’s Choice award. Known for her roles in such television shows as Offspring and Paper giants: the birth of Cleo which had her playing the role of another great Australian woman, Ita Buttrose, it perhaps comes as no surprise. “I had so many ideas about how to paint it that I didn’t quite know which way to go”, says Fantauzzo but “in the end I decided it needed to be honest and simple. A face can display so much emotion and Asher’s eyes tell you so much of the story”.
It’s the luminous image of her face, one full of pathos and emotion that is the key to its success, which was explained by Fantauzzo. He observed that it was a look that his sweetheart gave him after arriving home after a hard day’s work.
This was Fantauzzo’s fifth time as a finalist in this most popular of portrait prizes. He won the 2011 Packing Room Prize with a painting of Matt Moran and the People’s Choice Award in 2008 and 2009 for paintings of actor Heath Ledger and child actor Brandon Walters from the film Australia. His portrait of Heath Ledger was highly commended by the judges. 21,141 people voted in this year’s People’s Choice, a great cross section of society who enjoys the opportunity to have their say.
Today the Art Gallery of NSW also announced the four winners of the very new and exciting 2013 Young Archie art prize. There were 467 entries between the ages of five and eighteen, of a portrait of someone special in their lives. The prize was awarded on the basis of merit and originality to: 5-8 year category Liam Williamson (7); 9-12 year category Archibald Hyles (10); 13-15 year category Max Fontaine (13); 16-18 year category Angela Yang pictured (17) Find out more on the Art Gallery of NSW website.