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Joe Furlonger Self-portrait with Chinese figure

253 x 210 cm

Self-portraiture is an on-going exploration for Joe Furlonger – in fact, he was represented in the Archibald Prize in both 1997 and 1998 by self-portraits.

As he has said in the past, “I need to feel really, really familiar with a subject before I do a portrait because although I admire portraiture as an enduring genre, I have a problem with it. One day, maybe I’ll confront it and start pouring out portraits of other people!”

Furlonger has long been interested in Chinese art. In November 1998, he travelled to Taipei, Beijing and Hong Kong. The Chinese figure in this painting is a Han dynasty warrior that he brought back from that trip. He collects Asian ceramics, many of which are seen in the portrait.

As for the teapot and teacups on the table: “He has developed a serious tea-drinking habit after spending time with Chinese artist friends of his and mine who live the life of scholar artists drinking tea and studying antiquities,” says his dealer, Ray Hughes.

Born in Cairns in 1952, Furlonger is a painter and printmaker. He studied at the Queensland College of Arts and the Alexander Mackie College of Advanced Education. He is a regular exhibitor in the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes.