Graeme Drendel wins Australian Portrait Award after ironic twist


The winner of Australia’s richest portrait award – one of the most coveted in the Australian art world – has been revealed.

Victorian artist Graeme Drendel has won the $150,000 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize for 2022 for his portrait of fellow artist Lewis Miller, in Sydney on Wednesday.

In an ironic twist, Lewis Miller’s own portrait of Mr Drendel was also selected as one of 30 finalists for the award.

Mr. Drendel was a competition finalist in 2021 and 2017 and an Archibald Prize finalist in 2018.

Victorian artist Graeme Drendel has won the $150,000 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize for 2022.
DAN HIMBRECHTS/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Australian art historian and museum trustee Gerard Vaughan AM and Peter Moran, representing the Moran Arts Foundation, judged this year’s award.

They were joined by Lucy Culliton, one of Australia’s foremost contemporary artists.

“The portrait has everything I was looking for: a freshness of paint, a resemblance to the subject. The eyes meet the viewer,” Ms. Culliton said of Mr. Drendel’s painting.

“The color palette used is subtle but mixed with good skin tones.

Mr. Drendel was a competition finalist in 2021 and 2017 and an Archibald Prize finalist in 2018.
Lewis Miller’s own portrayal of Drendel was also selected as one of 30 finalists for the award.
DAN HIMBRECHTS/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

“Interestingly, when we saw the paintings in real life, even though I knew the painting was small, I was surprised at how small the portrait was.”

New York Post

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