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Black Swan Portraiture Prize


The Black Swan Portraiture Prize with a purse of $50,000 has now selected forty finalists from 375 (?) entries.

Here is a link to the finalists:

This prize is the biggest in my home State. I'll be dropping in to the gallery to check them out.

Can you pick the winner?



  • Hey,
    Wow 50,000.. That's a lot of money.. I think the first one was interesting because it reminded me of the old master's style of portraits (mostly raphael or van Eyck).. I think I liked the philanthropist the most.. It's just appealing and has me coming back to it. In terms of light and shadow I enjoyed Marc Gordon the most.
    Though I feel some of the portraits on this forum are well suited to get the prize as well.
  • H.M
    Though I feel some of the portraits on this forum are well suited to get the prize as well.
    Agree 100%!

  • My votes:

    1. Marc gordon
    2. Stone sculpturer
    3. Self portrait by daniel butterworth.
    Many are very good. Some are weird for me, but thats art. Philanthropist to me is very good, but the lady in it is overpowering for me.
  • @dencal ,
    Thanks for posting so much good stuff.
  • mariebmarieb -
    edited September 2015
    who won ??? There are some great ones and then a few in there you could hang over your fireplace to keep the kids away from the fire :p I loveVintage winemaker...The Stone Sculptor, and Tom Gleisnar..
  • marieb

    Can't find out when the winner will be announced. From memory it's usually half way through the exhibition of the finalists ie during the next week.

    They also have a Salon des Refuses, must look at that too.

    Brilliant organisation this - they also have cash / award for young artists and for disabled artists.

  • @dencal I like the portrait of Marc Gordon by Sarah Pearn.
  • I liked the one of Marc Gordon, also. Thanks for the link. I enjoyed looking.
  • Folks

    Here is a story about one of the finalists for the Black Swan Youth Prize.

  • @Castillo : I do agree that flip is one of the best rendered portraits.. But of late everyone has been doing photorealism haven't they.. Always wondered why draw when you can click a photo instead. Not taking anything away from the artists though.. Amazing stuff.
  • My vote goes to: Self-Portrait by Daniel Butterworth. Second would be Jodi Daley. Makes me want to try another portrait.
  • Folks

    The Black Swan Portraiture Prize will be announced on October 1.
    Arts: Black Swan portraiture prize elicits unique mix of artists

    AFL players, a migrant's story of survival and Fremantle musicians are among the inspiration for entries in this year's Black Swan prize for portraiture.

    A record number of artists entered Western Australia's version of the Archibald prize, with more than 370 hoping to claim the $50,000 prize.

    Three judges have whittled the number of entries down to 40 finalists, the majority of which have come from interstate artists.

    The panel finished judging for the major prize on Wednesday morning but they remained tight lipped about their decision until the announcement on October 1.

    Judge and head curator of the National Portrait Gallery Doctor Chris Chapman said the decision on the winning artwork was unanimous among the panel.

    "But to get to ...

    Read the full story

  • H.M

    I simply chose it because I felt it was the best depiction of the style it was created for.

    H.M said:

    @Castillo Always wondered why draw when you can click a photo instead.


    Why bother learning to match colors and values when Adobe Photoshop can do it at the click of a button? Why bother learning to paint like the masters when software like Corel Painter has everything to transform a photo into something that Monet, Van Gogh or Sargent could have painted?

    Of course the answers will vary significantly from person to person depending on their artistic goals.
  • Thanks, Denis. This was an interesting thread to follow. My selections didn't win either. I'm just an old-fashioned romantic, I guess.
  • I guess I'm too ignorant to understand what good art is suppose to look like. I'm confused .
  • I would choose
    #1 the stone sculptor
    #2 footballer
    #3 Mark Gordon
    the one that won, would be placed last in my opinion .
    This shows you how little I know.
  • The one that won would have been my last choice as well. But I do understand intellectually their reason for selecting it. Their reasons were solid and right on. Emotionally, I couldn't live with it. Good thread.
  • My response is: hmmm..., o well...WAS I WRONG!! lol
  • Folks

    I would not have chosen that entry as the winner. It is not a $50k painting.
    However, the judges are experienced and established artists. I respect their decision.

    Interesting to see the variety of choices here on the forum. I have no doubt the judges had a similar diversity of opinion and then a long argument.

    What I do like is the interest and vitality the state Black Swan Prize (and the national Archibald Prize) creates around portraiture painting and recognizes the genre as a pinnacle of art achievement.

  • Summer

    I went back to reread the judges comments to see what i had missed.

    Artist: Marcus Callum
    Subject: Abdul Abdullah
    Title: Wrecking ball

    Judges Comments:
    The painting is a compelling example of the possibilities of contemporary portraiture. While the sitter is outwardly recognisable, at the same time the portrait gives a very strong sense of a resourceful inner life and the sense of flux that characterizes selfhood. The artwork has been filtered and processed in a particularly inventive way. A very deliberate sense of perfected craft.

    Dr Christopher Chapman, Helen Carroll-Fairhall, Dr Ben Joel
    I think these comments are finely crafted generalizations that could be said about any portrait.

  • The judges comments are a perfect example of ambiguous language but the words "in a particularly inventive way" indicates to me we are not talking about usual portraiture. Just thinking. :)
  • Come to think of it @Kingston, the winning entry does seem to be more of an illustration than fine art. And after thinking about it further, the winning entry actually reminds me of paintings I used to find in the clinical psychology books I had to read in college. My husband thinks that good art should not be mistaken for alien biological experimentation. Did I just write that? LOL Summer
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • The judges comments no more insightful than something blathered by a cold-reading psychic.
    [Deleted User][Deleted User]CastilloIrishcajun
  • Quite a bit of surrealism and abstraction - at least as I perceive the works.

    My favorites didn't win either, but Dinner Lament did intrigue me when I first saw it on this thread weeks ago. Actually, it made me think of Jeff Koons' sculptures (which I generally dislike, overall).

    Wrecking Ball almost looks like a mezzotint. Delicate and surreal. I like the body of Callum's work in whole, but I didn't even remember viewing this painting in the first thread.

  • I definitely don't remember seeing "Wrecking Ball", perhaps I missed other entries as well.
    I actually think this is something that I would hang on my wall especially because it reminds me of Rorschach.

  • Castillo

    I for one, can live well without a reminder of Rorschach.

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