In a year which saw the shock split of Australia’s most glamorous art couple, it felt like for one, extremely brief, collective Facebook moment we had lost faith in the idea of true love in the fickle world of contemporary art. But like life, the art life goes on. With the blessing of our favourite exes, Daniel Mudie Cunningham and Drew Bickford, we’re counting down this year’s Top Five hottest art couples and anointing a new king and queen.
5. Todd McMillan and Chris Hanrahan
The art world hasn’t seen a bromance this hot and heavy since Jasper Johns and Roy Lichtenstein got in on while they were getting it down on canvas. While it may not involve any sexy time, Toddo and Hanro’s relationship is definitely romantic. It’s a shared romance for art, for football, for beer, for ideas, for women, for beer, that keeps these ‘bros before hos’ boys tight as a mouse’s ear.
4. Jeff Khan and Bec Dean
OK, so they aren’t officially a couple, but when we finally make art marriage legal they will be the first down the aisle. And what a big fat wedding that would be. This smart and sexy pair certainly know how to put on a show. Highlights of their double act include this year’s inspired spoken word performance of Fleetwood Mac’s Go Your Own Way to graduating COFA students.
3. Michael Zavros and Alison Kubler
This glamour couple is the Australian art scene’s equivalent of Posh and Becks, right down to their monogrammed velvet slippers. They have climbed the ladder of success side-by-side, producing Gattaca-style offspring along the way. They make you want to believe that together they could conquer the world.
2. Ms & Mr
As if conjured from the febrile imagination of David Lynch, this retro-cool art couple are so intimately connected in art and life it’s as if they occupy a different plane of existence to the rest of us. It’s from that strange place that their art comes from too. No matter where they are, however, they are always there, walking together. Even in dreams, he walks with her.
1. Jodie Whalen and Heath Franco
What says commitment more than a diamond ring? If you’re Oz’s hottest art world couple for 2012, a cream pie of course. Jodie Whalen’s autobiographical work, I love you, I really do, which explores the conflicting emotions involved in a long-term relationship, had the couple performing these feelings in front of a live audience earlier this year. Standing opposite each other, they earnestly repeated those words, then smashed a variety of desserts into one another’s faces. In addition to being more adorable than a roomful of puppies, these cutie pies are two of the stand-out artists of their generation. And they are exactly the sort of unpretentious couple who, if you moved in next door to them, would probably stick their heads over the fence and say, ‘Come in and I’ll make you a cuppa’.