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Guy Maestri Announced Winner of the 2009 Archibald Prize
2009 Archibald Prize winner - Guy Maestri, Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, oil on linen – 200cm x 168cm.
SYDNEY.- Guy Maestri won the 2009 Archibald Prize with his portrait of Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu. With his extraordinary voice and hauntingly beautiful album, Gurrumul, Indigenous singer Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu has become something of a cultural phenomenon over the last year. Born blind, the gifted musician leads a traditional lifestyle on Elcho Island in Arnhem Land and sings in his native Yolngu language, but his fame is spreading the world. He recently won two coveted ARIA Awards among others and was named NT Australian of the Year for 2008.

Guy Maestri saw Gurrumul live on New Year’s Eve last year and says it was truly, an unforgettable experience. ‘Word had been going around all day and the rumours were true – people really were moved to tears.’ Believing that this ‘inspiring, amazing man’ would be an ideal subject for a portrait, Maestri managed to track Gurrumul down in Darwin with the help of a friend in the music industry only to discover that he was flying to New York the following weekend.

Offered a 40-minute window of opportunity to meet him early one Saturday morning at Sydney airport, Maestri seized it. ‘I was introduced to Gurrumul by Michael Hohnen, his bass player, record producer and close friend, who explained to him about the Archibald and why I wanted to paint him.’ Maestri did lots of sketches and studied Gurrumul’s face intently. ‘More importantly, I got a sense of his presence and this determined the nature of the portrait: quiet and strong. I usually work in a very liberal, gestural way but this time I built up the image quietly and slowly with many glazes in an attempt to capture the beautiful quality of his skin. I worked on it for over a month, mostly while listening to his music. I made sure to read the lyrics and understand the meaning of each song. The whole process became quite an emotional experience.’

Born in Mudgee, NSW in 1974, Maestri completed a Bachelor of Fine Art (Hons) in painting at the National Art School, Darlinghurst in 2003. He has had solo exhibitions at the Tim Olsen Gallery and was a finalist in the 2007 and 2008 Dobell Drawing Prize.





Today's News

March 6, 2009

Neues Museum Restored By Architect David Chipperfield After World War II Bombings

Hamburger Kunsthalle Presents Nicolai Abildgaard. The Artist Who Taught Friedrich and Runge

Nauman, U.S. Representative at Venice Biennale, Presented at Three Venues

The Museum of Modern Art Launches Redesigned Website on March 6

Art Gallery of South Australia Presents Today the Golden Journey

Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center Acquires Three 19th Century Paintings

Highlights and Special Projects at the Armory Show in New York

Guy Maestri Announced Winner of the 2009 Archibald Prize

SFMOMA Appoints Marnie Burke de Guzman as Director of Marketing and Audience Strategy

Sotheby's to Sell What May be One of the Earliest Photographic Views of New York City

Michael Hoppen Gallery Presents Russian Criminal Tattoo- Bodies as Text Sergei Vasiliev

Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum To Present Today "Fashioning Felt"

VOLTA NY Showcases 78 Solo Artist Presentations, Inspired by this Year's Curatorial Theme, "Age of Anxiety"

Christie's Director to Move to Middle East to Further Strengthen Team in Region

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The Sheldon Museum of Art Presents Art by Women

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Mingei International Launches Discover Mingei! Treasure Hunt

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MoMA Monday Nights - March 9

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1.- Image of a Christ without a beard, short hair and wearing a toga unearthed in Spain

2.- Giant mosaic unearthed in mysterious tomb in Amphipolis in northern Macedonia

3.- Bonhams sale of 18th century French decorative arts to benefit Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

4.- Paris flustered by erection of 'sex-toy' sculpture; Paul McCarthy slapped by a passer-by

5.- High art or vile pornography? Marquis de Sade explored in Orsay museum exhibition

6.- 'Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection' opens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

7.- Greek culture minister says Elgin Marbles return a matter of 'global heritage'

8.- Vandals deflate Paris 'sex-toy' sculpture by American artist Paul McCarthy after outrage

9.- Exhibition at National Gallery in London explores Rembrandt's final years of painting

10.- 'Hans Memling: A Flemish Renaissance' opens at the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome

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