Archibald Prize Winner 2006
The winner of the Archibald Prize for 2006 was announced today at the Art Gallery of NSW, Australia. Marcus Wills has won it with his unusual "The Paul Juraszek monolith (after Marcus Gheeraerts)" painting.
The portrait is of the Melbourne sculptor Paul Juraszek and the style is inspired by a Flemish painter and illustrator, Marcus Gheeraerts the elder.
The Archibald prize is probably Australia's most famous art contest. It has been going for 85 years and usually attracts a lot of visitors and media attention. It has also created the odd controversy or two over the years, which I'm sure also helps with media attention and visitors.
(see more details about the prize at the Archibald website)
2006 Archibald Prize winner
Juraszek appears in the painting 29 times and in most cases the sculptures featured are his. The original etching is an allegory about the reformation. At the bottom of the painting there are iconoclasts smashing up relics, bones and bibles and tossing them into a pit. Behind are clerics and, one assumes, their congregation collecting the relics and taking them away. All over the head, little religious ceremonies are taking place with monkeys involved in several of them - Gheeraerts' dig at Catholicism one imagines. In Wills' version it is Juraszek's sculptures that are being smashed and then rescued by others. "In most of the little scenes the people are doing similar things to those in the original painting though I don't see my version as a religious comment," says Wills. Instead he sees it as "a kind of an allegory about the artist."
The Archibald Prize
See a list of the finalists this year too. My three picks would be Jun Chen, Geoffrey Dyer, and Craig Ruddy. The 2005 Archibald Prize winner
was John Olsen.
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