Do first heard of Charles in a newspaper article that introduced him as “esteemed actor, former heroin addict and jailbird, member of the stolen generation, gay man and latter-day Indigenous activist”, and later went on to interview him and paint him in the latest season of his popular ABC TV show Anh’s Brush with Fame. The ANZ People’s Choice win follows Do’s 2014 Archibald finalist portrait of his father, Tam Do.
“I feel very lucky that Jack let me paint his portrait for the Archibald Prize. He’s an extraordinary Australian with a great face full of character,” said Do. “Jack has lived a big life and I enjoyed getting to know him and painting his portrait immensely.”
Now a legendary figure and role model to many, Charles had his tumultuous life story vibrantly depicted in the winning ANZ People’s Choice portrait. Charles said he thoroughly enjoyed being in Do’s company as he sat for the portrait.
“I am extremely chuffed to be counted as one of Anh Do’s mates, and of his extraordinary portrait of moi. It was a hoot sitting for this legend in his sexy little Sydney studio,” said Charles. “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.”
Congratulating Do on his win, Art Gallery of New South Wales Director Michael Brand said, “Do’s striking portrait of Jack Charles has clearly moved visitors at this year’s Archibald exhibition. It is fantastic to celebrate this vibrant collaboration between two of Australia’s most talented creatives.”
The Archibald Prize People’s Choice was first awarded in 1988 – now supported by presenting partner ANZ – and this year was voted for by more than 15,000 members of the public who visited the exhibition before 2 October 2017. This year, the ANZ People’s Choice award carries a $3500 cash prize for the artist.
The winning portrait and finalists for the 2017 Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes are on show at the Art Gallery of New South Wales until Sunday 22 October. Archibald Prize finalists will then go on a regional tour until October 2018. For more information, visit: www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au for details.
Image: Anh Do, JC, 2017. oil on linen with unicorn hologram, dead insects found in garden and other mixed media © the artist – photo by Mim Stirling, AGNSW