what | 2019 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize winner

Blue Mountains-based artist what is the winner of the 2019 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize (DMNPP) – as announced today at historic Juniper Hall in Paddington, Sydney – for his painting of Robert Forster from Australian indie rock band The Go-Betweens; chosen from close to 1000 entries to receive the $150,000 prize.

‘Portrait of Go-Between, Robert Forster.
I picked Robert up in my SAAB 900. He understood the car, I made him a pour over coffee.
Robert played my concert classical guitar, out of tune. He loved the tuning. He was thinking about the guitar. And the coffee. And the SAAB.
I put the brush down when I saw Robert in tune.’
– what

The 2019 DMNPP judging panel includes: Nigel Milsom, artist and 2013 DMNPP winner, and Kelly Gellatly, Director of the Ian Potter Museum of Art at the University of Melbourne, who judged this year’s Prize alongside Peter Moran, Managing Director of the Moran Health Care Group and son of Greta and Doug Moran who established the Moran Arts Foundation in 1988.

what, Robert Forster, oil, 204 x 102cm

Gellatly and Milsom said:

‘The 2019 winner of the Doug Moran Portrait Prize what, Robert Forster is intriguing for its lack of solid form, and for the way in which the subject hovers on the surface of the canvas like a vibrating aura. The artist has successfully captured the essence of what we think we know about Robert Forster – singer-songwriter and guitarist of the Go-Betweens, and now, music critic – but he is like a technicolour apparition; neither concrete shape nor exact likeness.

The artist has used an array of coloured broken brushstrokes as both decoration and form, while skilfully rendering three-dimensional space. For the judges, this work embodies the endless possibilities of contemporary portraiture and painting.’

Each year, the Moran Arts Foundation invites entries of original works from Australian artists, capturing Australians from all walks of life, whether a public figure or someone from their own circle of experience. Works must be painted at least partly from life with the sitter known to the artist and aware of the artist’s intention to enter the Prize. Each of the thirty finalists receives $1000.

The 2019 DMNPP finalists’ exhibition opens at Juniper Hall on Thursday 31 October and runs until Sunday 1 December 2019.