Sydney-based artist Nick Stathopoulos is self-taught and known for his hyper-realism. It is this painterly manner that attracts viewers to his works, mesmerising them with intricate detail and photographic quality.
Stathopoulos’ entry in this year’s ‘Black Swan Prize for Portraiture’ was Deng 2, a continuation of his study of the Sudanese refugee and lawyer Deng Thiak Adut who came to his attention through an advertisement for Western Sydney University, where Adut was a graduate. It movingly documented how he came to Australia following life as a child soldier in Sudan and how he put himself through law school, becoming a formidable refugee advocate and community leader.
With more than 3000 people voting while attending the ‘2017 Black Swan Prize for Portraiture’ exhibition at the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Deng 2 has been selected as the winner of the 2017 Black Swan Prize for Portraiture People’s Choice with Stathopoulos receiving $7,500 donated by the Baldock Family.
Now in its 11th year, the ‘Black Swan Prize for Portraiture’ is presented by the not-for- profit organization, ARTrinsic Inc. It is the third richest prize in Australia after the Archibald and the Doug Moran Prize and attracts submissions from more than 300 artists nationwide each year.
Other winners for 2017:
Lester Group Prize of $50,000: Jana Vodesil-Baruffi (WA)
Tony Fini Foundation Artist Prize of $10,000: Marie Mansfield (NSW)
Two Highly Commended H.U Kendall and Co $500 vouchers: Natasha Walsh (NSW) and Effie Pryer (TAS)
ARTrinsic Inc Board Chair John Langoulant said ‘this is the second year that the ‘Black Swan Prize for Portraiture’ has been at the Art Gallery of WA, leading to greater access to portrait art. The exhibition space that we had this year was larger and the numbers of visitors exceeded our expectations. The People’s Choice Award allows the general public to have their say, and we thank the Baldock Family for their generosity and support of this prize.’