Should I paint a homeless man for the Archibald Prize? Bold idea #1 to win


Last time I shared what I learnt about trying to win the Archibald Prize.

I need to stand out amongst the 900 other works with a big, bold idea lest I be trampled underfoot like autumn leaves.

My first idea is this: to paint one of the homeless men I see on George Street in Sydney.

Why? I'm moved with compassion as I walk past them each day and wonder how they got there. No young boy envisions that future.

But there is a problem. The Archibald Prize is: for ‘the best portrait 'preferentially of some man or woman distinguished in art, letters, science or politics, painted by any artist resident in Australasia during the 12 months preceding’.

Is a homeless man distinguished (or more likely unnoticed)? I wonder whether they were once distinguished or in an alternate history if they would be renowned for an invention we all now carry. Or maybe they are distinguished because they cause others, like me, to think more deeply about the fragility of life.

It would be a radical outcome to win (and an unnoticed person has never been the winner’s subject).

To you - the reader of my thoughts - what do you think? Should I paint a homeless man? 

P.S - I'd love to send you my updates, just go here.

You can see my Archibald Journey here and my other creations and art here.




4 Responses


May 11, 2016

yes, i think it is a wonderful idea and i believe comes under the catergory of “Everyman”. you go, Oscar!! :) Robyn

Linda Uren
Linda Uren

May 11, 2016

It’s a great idea and always a sad topic. Have you considered Jonathan Welch of The Choir of Hard Knocks fame?

Kate Prout
Kate Prout

May 11, 2016

I reckon it would be a great social statement, but don’t expect it to win the main prize.

Steven John Campbell
Steven John Campbell

May 11, 2016

No to that idea. To grad the Archi you will need something spectacular. A known face, an important figure, someone whose memory triggers an emtion. Paint Mrs Gough Witlam or a somebody imposing. A mere figure fun will not do.

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