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As the title suggests, Guy Maestri’s self-portrait was painted in the first weeks of being a new father.
‘It was painted in the mirror, during a few stolen hours of studio time,’ says the artist, who was born in Mudgee, New South Wales, and lives and works in Sydney.
‘It is a dark painting, but feels like an honest documentation of my physical and emotional state at the time; not emotionally dark, but exhausted and nocturnal. That’s what I like about painting in the mirror, even if you can’t see it, your state of mind comes out in the painting.
‘I didn’t make this painting for the Archibald Prize, I actually painted someone else, but it was no good. This painting was just there in the studio, and says so much about this particular time in my life.’
This is Maestri’s third time as a finalist in the Archibald Prize, which he won in 2009. He is also a six-time finalist in the Wynne Prize.