Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

A painting of Yolngu rapper Baker Boy has won the Archibald’s Packing Room prize

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun15,2024
The Archibald Prize is the probably the country’s most well-known artistic competition.
Almost as eagerly awaited is the Packing Room Prize, a wildcard award that was introduced to the Archibalds in 1991.

This year, a portrait of one of the country’s hottest musical acts has enchanted the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ staff, who select the Packing Room winner.

A striking painting of Yolngu rapper Baker Boy, created by artist and friend Matt Adnate, wowed the gallery’s handlers with its larger-than-life depiction of the musician.
Adnate’s almost four-metre-square portrait, using synthetic polymer and spray paint, shows Baker Boy (born Danzal James Baker) in a reflective mood, with bright slashes of orange and blue offsetting his warm eyes and dark locks.
Adnate said it was a choice that he felt reflected the musician’s work.
“[It] echoes the fusion of tradition and innovation that defines his sound,” he said of his painting.
“I have also included a reflection of the Arnhem Land landscape in his eyes to symbolise the profound connection between his cultural heritage and his artistic narrative.”

The Packing Room Prize comes with $3000 dollars for the winning artist.

First Nations contenders for the top prize

It’s not the only time a portrait of a staunch Indigenous figure took out the top gong.
In 2022, , which comes with a $100,000 dollar award.

Thumbnail of Blak Douglas - Artistic Disruptor

Blak Douglas – Artistic Disruptor

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Robert Fielding’s portrait of his nan, herself an accomplished artist, entitled ‘Mayatja’.

An Indigenous artist could win again this year, with four in the running for their works.

Butchulla artist Mia Boe has depicted Barrabinya heartthrob Tony Armstrong in her distinctive style.
Western Arrente and Yankunytjatjara man Robert Fielding painted his nan, senior Pitjantjatjara Elder Tuppy Ngintja Goodwin, a strong cultural woman and herself a finalist in the 2023 Wynn Prize, an award for landscape painting.

Family is a strong theme for the Indigenous entrants this year, with Arrernte and Kalkadoon woman Thea Anamara Perkins, and Adrian Jangala Robertson, a Warlpiri man depicting their mother and sister respectively.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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