Archibald darling Vincent Fantauzzo receives $150,000 for his painting of the film director.

The world’s richest portraiture prize has selected a wall-sized painting of Australian filmmaker Baz Luhrmann as this year’s winner, the Moran Arts Foundation announced yesterday at the State Library of New South Wales where the finalists are now on show.

Melbourne artist Vincent Fantauzzo is fast becoming a favourite on the competition circuit, honoured last month with the Archibald’s high-profile Packing Room Prizeselected by the storeman and staff of the Art Gallery of New South Wales. His Archibald submission depicts Australian chef and restauranteur Matt Moran in a meat-locker posing with knives and a carcass.

His large-scale winning work for the Doug Moran Portrait Prize, entitled Baz Luhrmann “Off Screen”, is somewhat more palatable. As with the Packing Room prizewinner, this painting captures a celebrity figure behind the scenes. Luhrmann, a larger-than-life personality and director of opera ( A Midsummer Night’s Dream) and film ( Australia, Moulin Rouge), is portrayed in a spontaneous, angled snapshot style, head in his hands with a bandaid on his forehead. The sheer size of the painting and the extreme close-up on the subject’s partially hidden face gives a...

Access our paywalled content and archive of magazines, regular news and features for the limited offer of $3 per month. Support independent journalism.

Subscribe now or log in to continue reading.