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

Tony Costa Claudia Chan Shaw

oil on canvas

182.5 x 152 cm

Claudia Chan Shaw is a vibrant, energetic woman of many talents: fashion designer, television and radio presenter, author, public speaker, collector and artist. She has her roots in the fashion industry as a co-designer for the acclaimed fashion label Vivian Chan Shaw, but is perhaps most recognisable as the co-host of the popular ABC television series Collectors. She was curator of the Sydney Chinese New Year Festival (2016–18), and leader of tours to China, Cuba and New York for the Art Gallery Society of New South Wales.

‘I met Claudia last year at Art Atrium, where we are both exhibiting artists. We quickly discovered we share an interest in vintage antiques and 20th-century design,’ says Sydney-based artist Tony Costa.

‘I was struck by Claudia’s dramatic look. For the portrait, she chose to wear a dress and jade jewellery to reflect her Chinese ancestry. I chose a simple chrome-plated tubular steel chair by Marcel Breuer from 1930 as it corresponds with the art-deco period. I felt a strong affinity with Claudia, which made painting her a joy.’

Born in 1955, Costa studied at the Julian Ashton Art School, Desiderius Orban Art School and City Art Institute, Sydney. This is his third time as an Archibald finalist. He has also been represented in the Wynne and Sulman Prizes.

Listen to label text

Watch Auslan video