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‘Dylan Alcott is a three-time Paralympic gold medallist, a grand slam tennis champion, a disability ambassador, the recipient of an Order of Australia, the founder of both the musical festival Ability Fest and the Dylan Alcott Foundation, a published author and an all-round media personality. Accomplishing all of this by the age of 28 absolutely astonishes me,’ says artist Kirpy.
Friends for many years, the two of them discussed the idea of a portrait after Kirpy watched Alcott play the first-ever wheelchair tennis exhibition match at Wimbledon last year.
‘Dylan’s foundation and Ability Fest are all about changing the way people with disabilities are perceived. Through representing a person with a disability in the Archibald, I aim to echo Dylan’s ethos. My approach was to capture the most natural, personal and honest representation of who I know Dylan to be.’
Kirpy has experimented with acrylic and aerosol for 15 years, developing his style and techniques on public walls and in studio spaces. As his practice has evolved, his paintings have migrated into gallery settings. He completed his Bachelor of Fine Art at Monash University in 2014. This is his first time in the Archibald Prize.