Comedian-turned-painter Anh Do has won the People’s Choice award at the Archibald Prize with his portrait of gay Indigenous actor Jack Charles.
Do said he first approached Charles to appear on his show Brush With Fame to sit for a portrait after reading about his incredible life story as an “esteemed actor, former heroin addict and jailbird, member of the stolen generation, gay man and latter-day Indigenous activist.”
More than 15,000 visitors to the Archibald exhibition at the Art Gallery NSW placed their votes to give him the win.
Do said Charles is “an extraordinary Australian with a great face full of character”.
“Jack has lived a big life and I enjoyed getting to know him and painting his portrait immensely,” he said.
Charles said he was “extremely chuffed” to be a friend of Do’s.
“It was a hoot sitting for this legend in his sexy little Sydney studio,” he said.
“I count him as one of the best extractors of information – from his engaging smile, wit, genuine interest and listening to the dribs and drabs of my story, my reason for living. I’m blessed thrice over.”
Charles’ episode of Brush With Fame is available to watch on ABC’s iView here.
The Archibald prize is awarded each year to a portrait “preferentially of some man or woman distinguished in art, letters, science or politics.”
This year’s $100,000 Archibald prize was awarded to artist Mitch Cairns for his portrait of partner Agatha Gothe-Snape.
(Top photo via ABC, portrait photo via Art Gallery NSW)