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Winner: People's Choice 2015 Winner: Packing Room Prize 2015

Bruno Jean Grasswill Michael Caton

oil on canvas

177.8 x 121.7 cm

Michael Caton is a much-loved actor with an irascible charm whose credits include the television series The Sullivans and Packed to the Rafters, the films The castle and the recently released Last cab to Darwin, and the musical Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

‘He is a multi-faceted, inspiring character with attractive, edgy contradictions: a sensitive, determined human rights campaigner, yet sometimes sour and dark,’ says Bruno Jean Grasswill.

They met at a party in 2013 and though Caton agreed to sit for a portrait, hectic schedules intervened. Earlier this year, Grasswill watched a repeat of Caton’s Who do you think you are? on SBS and was inspired to fire off an email to Caton. Three days later they had a four-hour lunch in the artist’s backyard.

As they talked about life, an idea gelled of a portrait capturing Caton’s contradictory rawness and sophistication: ‘an image of a discreet smile on a well-known face peering into the dark side of life, mixing Shakespearean comedy and tragedy,’ says Grasswill.

Born in France in 1946, Grasswill came to Australia in 1971. He has worked professionally in visual arts disciplines such as photography, commercial art, illustration, computerised art, art direction and fine arts. He holds private exhibitions and works on commissions. He has had two portraits in the Archibald’s Salon des Refusés.

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