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Rick Amor Peter Carey at the VACB Studio, Soho, New York

oil on canvas

162 x 162 cm

Image courtesy the artist and Niagara Galleries, Melbourne. Photo by Mark Ashkanasy, Melbourne

Rick Amor has always been interested in the Archibald. In 1996, when working in the Visual Arts\Crafts Board’s Green St Studio in New York, he approached the highly respected Australian author Peter Carey to sit for a portrait.

Currently living in New York, Carey has won the Booker Prize, the Miles Franklin Book Council Award and the Victorian Premiers Prize among other accolades. Two of his best known books are Oscar and Lucinda and Illywacker.

Amor painted Carey in the VACB studio and it was in this environment that he got to know him best. It was very hot at the time and Amor recalls how Carey used to walk from where he was living in Greenwich Village to the studio and immediately take off his shoes. Amor made several studies of Carey’s head in New York before returning to Australia to paint the portrait. Carey was ‘fun to paint’, says Amor. ‘I loved his quintessential “Australianess” and his lankiness.’

Rick Amor studied at the National Gallery of Victoria School and has worked as a full-time professional artist since 1972.