Troy Quinliven’s subject is artist Rodney Pople – who is also a finalist in this year’s Archibald Prize.
‘I asked Rodney if I could paint his portrait when I was his student at the National Art School,’ says Quinliven. ‘Six years later I finally followed through. Despite his bad boy reputation as “Australia’s most controversial artist”, he was always a kind and generous teacher.
‘He was working on a large painting of an African elephant when I visited at his Marrickville studio, and during the sitting his gaze kept returning to his work, as if contemplating his next move. I hope my painting captures this reflective side of Rodney, as an artist’s mind is never far from his work.’
Born in Sydney in 1983, Quinliven has overcome disability to complete seven years of art training. He paints in his St Peters studio. He has had two solo exhibitions and has participated in many group exhibitions. He was awarded the John Olsen Drawing Prize in 2006, the Parkers Prize for outstanding achievement in painting in 2007, and the 2012 Waverley Art Prize for oil painting. He was a recent finalist in the Glencore Percival Portrait Painting Prize.