We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.

🛈 Find out what you need to know before visiting

Michael Peck Self-portrait in the image of my son

oil on linen

206 x 237.5 cm

‘The painting marks a shift away from the almost black and white or sepia palette I have been using for the past few years and marks a transition into a super saturated range of warm reds and oranges,’ says Michael Peck.

‘This new palette shifts the time frame, drawing on the aesthetic of Polaroid photographs from my childhood in the late ’70s and early ’80s. The warm orange glow is the colour by which I remember my childhood in the outer suburbs of Melbourne, where my brothers and I would play war games in our neighbours’ yards. Inspired by films, we would dress up in army surplus gear and paint our faces. We’d dig bunkers, make guns from old timber scraps and run around pretending to be heroes. Now that I am in my 30s I notice the ways in which my own children play similar games and I wonder why children can be so fascinated by war.’

Born in Melbourne in 1977, Peck has a Bachelor of Fine Art (honours) (Painting) from Monash University. He has exhibited as a solo artist since 1998 in Melbourne and Sydney. His work is concerned with the sensation of disorientation and dislocation often felt in the modern world. He has been represented in a number of group shows and was a finalist in the 2010 Dobell Drawing Prize, the 2005 Metro 5 Art Award and the 2002 City of Hobart Art Prize. In 1998 he was the winner of the National Gallery of Victoria’s Trustees Award.