Archibald Finalists Announced

Tim McMonagle, 'Michael Buxton', 2012

The finalists for this year’s Archibald Prize for portraiture, held annually at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, are now listed¬†online. ¬†Amongst the mixed bag of contenders are a couple of standouts – ¬†Martin Bell and Vernon Ah Kee deserve a mention here – but the most striking work is a portrait of collector Michael Buxton by Melbourne painter Tim McMonagle (above).

Buxton is a property developer, passionate art collector and friend of the artist. ¬†He’s the type of guy art dealers treat with kid gloves;¬†so depicting him covered in raised, textured sores is a bold move indeed. ¬†It’s also an approach that folds into McMonagle’s interest in the painterly elements of his craft. ¬†The surfaces of his paintings are often scraped back then built up into densely layered patches – Buxton’s glaring liver spots being a case in point. ¬†Formalism aside, there’s no escaping the confronting, somewhat unflattering nature of the work. ¬†And what did Buxton think of it? ¬†He allegedly loved the painting so much he bought it on the spot.

Archibald Finalists Announced