This is Lewis Miller’s 10th year as an Archibald finalist. Last year, in 2000, he was represented by a full-length, multi-panelled self-portrait. ‘This year I decided to do a smaller picture,’ says Miller. ‘Halfway through this self-portrait, I thought this could be the one for the Archibald. It felt quite fresh and that’s important to me.’
Miller has painted 40 or more self portraits over the years, ‘so I’m getting to know my features well,’ he says. ‘This one wasn’t laboured. It came out quite quickly. When I’m painting self portraits I work with a mirror to constantly check how it looks. I felt confident about this one which is always a good litmus test.’
Born in Melbourne in 1959, Miller studied at the Victorian College of the Arts. He won the 1998 Archibald Prize with a portrait of artist Allan Mitelman and the Art Gallery of NSW’s 2000 Sporting Prize, held in conjunction with the Archibald, with a portrait of Australian rules football player and coach Ron Barassi.