Art Gallery of NSW | ISBN 9316521010864
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Vincent Fantauzzo painted his portrait of Australian actor Heath Leger in December 2007 just weeks before Ledger died in New York. Fantauzzo and Ledger were friends for around five years. 'We had been planning to do a portrait for the last three years but the time was never right. Then late last year he gave me a call and said he was ready to do it.' They met at Ledger's mother's home in Perth and had a long discussion about ideas for the painting. ' I wanted it to be dealing with self, your own consciousness and your thoughts.' says Fantauzzo. 'An artist is their own biggest critic. I had seen his eyes wander off or stare into the camera while doing interviews and wondered what he may have been thinking. I felt that being a celebrity, you are always under constant scrutiny with so many demands made of you that you have to hold part of yourself back and not give too much away.' Ledger and Fantauzzo had a couple of lengthy sittings, where Ledger was relaxed and happy and they talked about his career.