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Nigel Milsom Judo house part 8 (a perfect light)

oil on linen

70 x 124 cm

Nigel Milsom’s painting is a self-portrait which, he says, touches on two themes: ‘painting as illusion, and self-portraiture as a sort of delusion’.

‘It was inspired by an experience I had one morning when I looked in the mirror and my reflection seemed to have absolutely no correlation to what I thought I looked like. The startling thing was not only did I not know the person being reflected in the mirror, but I was certain the person looking at the reflection was not me.’

‘While this brief encounter unfolded, I found myself listening to an internal, quasi-philosophical argument between two voices about who the hell I was. On reflection – pardon the pun – it became paramount that the difference between my idea of myself and my reflection in the mirror is just an idea, a construct. So, this painting is essentially an attempt to depict the way in which I came to feel a more enlightened connection to my identity and surroundings.’

Born in 1975, Milsom lives and works in Newcastle. This is his fourth time in the Archibald Prize, which he won in 2015 with a portrait of Charles Waterstreet. He is also a finalist in this year’s Sulman Prize, which he won in 2012.

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