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

Vincent Namatjira Self-portrait on Friday

acrylic on linen

152 x 122 cm

Vincent Namatjira is a Western Aranda man from Ntaria (Hermannsburg) in the Northern Territory and the great-grandson of legendary artist Albert Namatjira.

‘I’ve painted a picture of me on a Friday at the end of a tough but good week working in my studio at Iwantja Arts,’ he says.

‘Painting is about fighting really; it’s a battle you have every day with the canvas and the paints. You never stop learning, and you always have to be working and thinking as you paint. This painting shows how I feel at the end of the week when I’ve battled hard, and am now ready to spend time with my family,’ says Namatjira.

‘I usually paint world leaders and celebrities who are famous for making decisions that impact on us. So, this artwork is a bit different, it’s more personal – I’m the one that has been making decisions on my canvases about the stories I want to share.’

Namatjira began painting in 2012. Initially he did traditional dot paintings, under the tutelage of his wife Natasha. In 2013, he started painting portraits.

‘I really wanted to find my own way with artmaking, the way my grandfather found his way with landscape painting,’ he says. ‘Painting is in my blood, it’s part of our family.’

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