From Carrie Miller…
The Archibald Prize may be Australia’s oldest and most prestigious portrait prize, but who cares about that when the Doug Moran offers $150,000 cold hard cash to the winner. The paintings selected often reflect its nouveau-riche status and this year is no exception, with the inclusion of subjects you would see at the Art Gallery of NSW like Geoffrey Rush mixed with others that would never get in the doors such as the bold and the beautiful Brynne and Geoffrey Edelsten. The winning entry by Leslie Rice, Self Portrait (with the Muses of Painting and Poetry), is an ironic self-portrait of the artist as hero, flanked by the muses of painting and poetry, painted on black velvet, which fuses Rice’s interests in high art with his early life growing up in a tattoo shop.
While the standard of the Archibald is sometimes mediocre at best, the Moran can make you wonder why people continued painting once photography was invented. Which is a particularly interesting question for audiences now that the Moran prize has a photographic section. Whether captured by an artist’s hand or a camera’s lens, however, we remain endlessly fascinating to ourselves, which is enough reason to go and have a look at this exhibition.
Moran Healthcare Group, Sydney
Pic: Dane Lovett, Daniel, 2012. Courtesy the artist.