01 April, 2006

bald archy

The work sends up the Archibald Prize winning painting by John Olsen, Self-Portrait Janus Faced.

The winner of a satirical portrait competition says he wanted to bring toilet humour to the masses through his portrait of 2005 Archibald winner John Olsen.

Matt Adams's picture Brown stain-Janus faced has won the $5,000 Bald Archy, which is billed as a satire of the Archibald portrait prize.The work features Olsen holding a stained pair of Y-front underpants. The 29-year-old artist says the portrait is really a joke.

"When I was blocking it in and painting, I stood back and started laughing to myself," he said. "I think that is the point of the Bald Archy."Adams says he hopes the work will "rouse the general air of acceptance that pervaded last year's [Archibald] decision". "I couldn't shake the feeling that John Olsen had won for no tangible reason, other than he was John Olsen," he said. "Although I listened intently to both him and Edmund Capon expound the virtues of the painting to the great uneducated, I couldn't but feel sorry for the hundreds of artists who had submitted paintings thinking that was the requirement for contesting the prize.

Light years … John Olsen says his Self-Portrait Janus-Faced depicts him looking back on life with the sun at his head.

"When really, you had needed to have not won the prize on a previous occasion, after being led to believe that you had." The Bald Archy is the only art competition in the world judged by a sulphur-crested cockatoo, named Maude.

A statement put out by award organisers says Maude liked Adams's work "not only because of its succinct comment on last year's Archibald winner, but also because it was an actual portrait rather than a horde of midgets crawling across an ancient skull, as in the recent Archibald Prize winner".

This year's Archibald Prize has been won by Marcus Wills with his portrait Paul Jurasek Monolith.
from the abc

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