Hailed as the Face That Stops The Nation, The Archibald Prize is Australia’s most loved and respected National Art prize. The winner receives a whopping $75,000 as prize money and unprecedented prestige and honor.
Powerful and often confronting could be drawn upon in describing the works of Melbourne based Street Artist Heesco and his Archibald Prize subject contemporary Australian Artist Daniel Boyd.
Indigenous-Australian Boyd and Mongolian-Australian Heesco are akin in producing potent works of art. Works which challenge viewers through exploration of incisive cultural identity themes.
Now Melbourne based, Heesco was first inspired by Boyd when they met in Sydney in 2007. Listed as Australian Art Collector’s Top 50 Most collectable Artists in 2008, Boyd is certainly no stranger to the contemporary Australian art scene.
Heesco deftly captures Boyd’s remarkable acumen in the large scale portrait titled
“Daniel Boyd in Primary Colours”, acrylics and aerosol paint on canvas, 200x200cm
There is an intensity, an almost questioning stare which captivates the viewer, draws them in as if they themselves are in the hot seat.
Inspired by attributes of humility, Heesco says of his work “ I wanted to portray the intensity and focus behind his calm nature”.
A pared back palette of black, white and the three primary colours, red, blue and yellow were employed as a direct link to Boyd’s Indigenous heritage, the shadows creating an Aboriginal flag motif.
Mixing these hues in varying amounts is the essence of a Painter’s palette, whilst also reflecting the essence of Daniel Boyd – The Artist.
Invurt’s Fletcher Andersen says it best in a 2011 interview “Couple all of that talent and imaginative artwork with a genuine, friendly and enthusiastic personality, Heesco embodies some of the best virtues of the new wave of multicultural, experimental and genre defying artists that are emerging within Australia today. “
The hypnotic gaze in the portrait of Daniel Boyd by Heesco is set to captivate.
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
23 Mar – 2 Jun 2013 – Archibald Prize opens in Sydney at the Art Gallery of New South Wales