The finalists of the 2021 Archibald Prize have been announced by the Art Gallery of New South Wales and among them is renowned Greek Australian artist, Nick Stathopoulos.
This is the seventh time Nick has been a finalist in the Prize, having won People’s choice in 2016 with his painting of Sudanese refugee lawyer, Deng Adult, and being nominated last year with his painting of singer, Ngaiire Joseph.
“It’s always an angst-ridden wait for the email from the AGNSW, so when it comes and you definitely know you’re a finalist, it’s a massive relief. It’s exciting to be part of the exhibition, particularly since this is the centennial year of the prize,” Nick tells The Greek Herald exclusively.
This year, Nick’s potentially prize-winning painting, ‘The White Shirt – portrait of Tané Andrews,’ is a little bit out of the box. His subject is artist, Tané Andrews, who uses his art to explore the transience and transformations in the natural world. The composition itself is acrylic and oil on poly-cotton, measuring 153 x 80.1 cm.
Nick says he wanted to try something different, even though he knew it would be a challenge.
“I always try and do something different with each Archibald entry. It’s insanely difficult to come up with a totally original portrait… it’s a challenge,” Nick explains.
“This time I wanted to paint a subject that wasn’t a celebrity, but someone who had their own highly distinctive look.”
What about the deeper message behind the painting? Nick says his painting is all about “mood and disquiet” this time around.
“There’s no intended message, other than perhaps there are many fascinating faces that would make wonderful portraits out there,” he concludes.
The winning paintings will be announced on June 4, with the $100,000 Archibald Prize finalists and winner chosen by the AGNSW trustees, including artists Tony Albert and Quilty.