Red Symons portrait shortlisted for art prize | radioinfo

Red Symons portrait shortlisted for art prize

Thursday 28 February, 2008
Red Symons - a face larger than life

Red Symons has made the finals of the Archibald Prize. Actually, it’s Warrnambool artist Phillip Barnes who has made the cut. The 774 ABC Melbourne breakfast presenter is merely the subject whose personality Barnes has depicted in paint.

A professional artist for the past 20 years, Barnes who has completed over 500 works of art for charity said Red was a natural choice for his first Archibald submission. "The dramatic change in Red's public persona over his career fascinated me and I wanted to capture this transformation in a significant work,” said Barnes.

Barnes set out to capture the varying stages of Red's life when creating the portrait. Measuring 3.15m x 1.2m, the black and white work of art features two very different face shots, both of which depict the many characteristics of Red’s personality.

Of the two distinctive images Barnes noted, “There is no mistaking Red's classic snarl on the right side of the portrait, yet the image on the left shows a different more gentle side.”

Upon hearing the announcement a humbled Symons remarked, ”I’m thrilled to be in the Archibald, but it’s not about me, it’s about the artist”.

The 2008 Archibald short-listed entries are on display at The Art Gallery of NSW until the mid May 2008. The winner announcement and ceremony takes place on Friday 7 March.

To see how this painting developed from inception to completion click on the link below

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