Bald Archy Prize heading for immortality

Batey astride Maud in “By no means a Uninteresting Second” by Marty Metal

A HEAVENLY imaginative and prescient of Bald Archy founder Peter Batey driving aloft the airborne determine of chief choose, cockatoo Maude, cements the impression that the revitalised  infamous satirical artwork prize is heading for immortality in its twenty seventh yr.

After the loss of life of Batey in 2019, the administration of the Bald Archy Prize was handed to the Museum of the Riverina, Wagga Wagga, which has assumed duty for operating the prize in perpetuity and now Australia’s satirical painters and cartoonists are again once more capturing the great, the sensible and the not-so-great — with a sting within the tail of their paint brushes.

“Rabbitoh Man” by James Brennan

This morning (February 9) I caught up with workers at Watson Arts Centre, the place the Archy has been unveiled for a few years, placing the ending touches to the cling of what seems to be a modestly-sized exhibiting, though Luke Grealy, supervisor of the Museum of Riverina, mentioned he was  sure entries would quickly  beginning mounting once more now that the phrase was artwork that the Bald Archy was alive and kicking.

The exhibition options acquainted stars as topics, similar to Dame Edna Everage, King Charles III, media mogul Rupert Murdoch and gardening guru Costa Georgiadis, however is comparatively quick on politicians this time spherical, with solely restricted portrayal of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese – it typically takes caricaturists some time to get the cling of latest PMs.

“Kiss My Ar..! I’m Wealthy” by Xavier Ghazi

Some artists are acquainted. Rocco Fazzari, who gained the primary Bald Archy Prize in 1994, is again with a pleasant regional contact – a portrait of  disgraced former Wagga MP Daryl Maguire.

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Common Bald Archy entrant Xavier Ghazi  has carried out a fearsome job on mining magnate Gina Rinehart in his work, “Kiss My Ar..! I’m Wealthy”

Element of “Pell” by Simon Schneider

Simon Schneider joins within the after-life motif together with his portrait of deceased Cardinal George Pell, full with a few typical Archy prospers on the prime of the portray.

As traditional, there was a combination of gross in-your-face caricature and real portraiture, a combination, the late Batey embraced, fearing that individuals would possibly take the competitors too severely – and that may defeat it complete objective.

2023 Bald Archy Prize, Watson Arts Centre, 1 Aspinall Road, till March 12. Winner shall be introduced when the exhibition travels to Sydney in March.


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Ian Meikle, editor