Monday, June 24, 2013

The Archies

Del Kathryn Barton 2013 Winner: 'Hugo Weaving'
Official Site

Melbourne may have The Cup, but Sydney has the Archibald Prize. Around May each year the city's art-erati get terribly excited about this portraiture prize. Crowds flock to see the finalists on display, much champagne is imbibed, and everyone becomes an art critic.

In addition to the official winners, there's the Packing Room Prize, awarded by the workers who hang the portraits, and the People's Choice -- both are always different from the official winners. Then there's the Salon de Refusé

Anyone can enter the Archibald, which has been a fixture since 1921. Strictly speaking, the entries are required to be portraits -- though whether a piece adequately fits this criteria is one of the hotly debated topics around the canapés. It is also supposed to be a portrait of a public figure of some kind, though the artist's children often get a look-in, as do self-portraits.

2013 also saw an excellent innovation -- the mini-Archies, or 'Young Archies' for little kids, some of whose entries rivalled the grown-ups'.

Check out the Official Website for all the winners.
The Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes is an annual exhibition eagerly anticipated by artists and audiences alike.
The Archibald Prize, first awarded in 1921, is Australia’s favourite art award, and one of its most prestigious. Awarded to the best portrait painting, the Archibald Prize is a who’s who of Australian culture – from politicians to celebrities, sporting heroes to artists.
The Wynne Prize is awarded to the best landscape painting of Australian scenery, or figure sculpture, while the Sulman Prize is given to the best subject painting, genre painting or mural project in oil, acrylic, watercolour or mixed media.
Each year, the trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW judge the Archibald and Wynne Prizes, and invite an artist to judge the Sulman Prize. 
Check out finalists past and present here.

13 yo Max Fontaine channels Edvard Munch
in his winning portrait of his little sister Lila.

Winner - Young Archies - Max Fontaine - Age 13 - Coogee NSW
"I picked my sister Lila, who is three. She is fun and I have lots of photos of her. Here she is actually laughing more in the photo but when I drew her it looks like she is more surprised. I liked most of all drawing her nut brown hair."

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