Every year around this time the Archibald Prize and its preliminaries remind the tax-paying public of the gulf between state-sponsored ‘art’ and the real thing. This year’s lesson is particularly sharp.
Above, a detail of Johannes Leak’s portrait of Jacinta Price, which can be viewed in its entirety here. It failed to make the finalists’ list, which is hardly surprising. Being the son of Bill Leak and the The Australian‘s resident cartoonist is enough to get Luvviedom offside before the first brush stroke contacts canvas.
Below, Victoria Atkinson‘s effort, which vaulted into the final round — an achievement expressing the judges’ view that it is one of the 50 best portraits painted in Australia over the past 12 months. The image, by the way, is of federal Liberal MP Trent Zimmerman, who could sue were he so inclined.
Tom Wolfe understood: