Saturday, May 06, 2006
Art - 2006 Archibald Prize
Found a number of pictures to enjoy at the Archibald Prize exhibition at the NSW Art Gallery today.
* Loved the winner - The Paul Juraszek monolith by Marcus Wills. Dozens of Paul Juraszeks climbing about the stone face, with some of his sculptures dotted here and there. Unlike most modern portraits, I can imagine it still being interesting to look at in 20 or more years' time.
As usual I didn't think much of the messy pictures which lacked any kind of craftmanship. For $25,000 (the Archibald prize booty), I think a bit of effort should be required.
* Michael Zavros painted himself presumably at a time of artistic frustration - Michael lays down to listen to the latest Kate Bush on his iPod. Good picture, and good title 'Michael Zavros can't paint'.
* Great-looking dogs in Peter Smeeth's Clover Moore picture. Catherine Abel's 'Portrait of Julia Leigh' had a nifty retro sheen. And Peter Churcher managed something unsettling in 'Bruce, Linde and me on the road to Guadelupe', featuring a party of modern young Spaniards butchering stags and boars at a hunting party. The people looked a little like they'd come out of an illustrated children's book. I'm not sure if this was intentional, or if it's the artist's usual style. The style was a bit mild and shabby and didn't seem to suit the scene of bloodshed very well, but in a way it helped add to the overall oddness.
* As usual there were three other competitive exhibitions on show. A lovely photo-real cow portrait (and there's never enough of them!) by Peter Hickey (but with a bad bad title - 'Who me?'); nice pair of shops by William Breen 'Alphabet City'; and a lovely Vermeer-inspired photo of Lisa Tomasetti's daughter 'Vanilla and Misfortune'.
* I've attached 3 pictures to this story. The winning Marcus Wills picture; Michael Zavros' self-portrait (with iPod), and Vanila Netto's very swish prize-winning photographic portrait.
* After leaving, I sms'd a friend who knows Michael Zavros, mentioning that I liked his picture. I got a text back saying that he was in town and was going to the exhibition in the afternoon. I wish I had've been there at the same time he was - would have been interesting to see a painter checking out his own self-portrait.
*** Oh, one last thing. The gallery has finally removed the large piece of modern 'art' that used to resemble huge gobs of phlegm suspended from the ceiling in a collection of old stockings. It was remarkably awful and pointless, and I used to love having a chuckle over it. Now it's gone. I thought I'd be happy about it - but I kind of missed it.