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Joe Furlonger Self-portrait - artist painting landscape

190 x 230 cm

This is not the first time Joe Furlonger has been represented in the Archibald Prize with a self-portrait; in fact, self-portraiture has become an ongoing exploration. “I need to feel very familiar with a subject before I do a portrait because although I admire portraiture as an enduring genre I have a problem with it,” admits Furlonger. “One day maybe I’ll confront it and start pouring out portraits of other people!”

The current self-portrait was inspired, to a degree, by a particular form of Chinese art in which Chinese court artists are pictured in their studios, or sometimes outside, painting their esteemed subjects while other people scurry around. “I like the sense of the contemplative that you get in this kind of Chinese art and also the limited use of colour”, says Furlonger.

At this stage in his life and career Furlonger also finds himself interested in the ageing process and the shock of the spreading waistline. “I’m not moaning and groaning about it, I’m sitting there watching the process you might say, detached and not detached.”

Born in Cairns in 1952, Furlonger studied at the Queensland College of Art and at the Alexander Mackie College of Advanced Education.