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Marc Etherington Sleeping beauty (portrait of Michael Reid OAM)

acrylic on canvas

221 x 191 cm

Self-taught artist Marc Etherington has painted gallerist Michael Reid OAM. He says: ‘If you can’t keep a good man down, you probably can’t kill a great art dealer either. After binge-watching the entire television series The walking dead, I painted and carved my art dealer Michael Reid as a zombie.

‘He is undead, resting with eyes wide open. His coffin is lined with his favourite pink striped shirt. Michael is wearing his trademark round buffalo-horn glasses. He is resting in one of his German Loden jackets with a gold Rolex watch and signet ring on his left hand. Gucci driving shoes complete the look. Dead cool (and he doesn’t seem to mind his finger falling off). Michael is surrounded by spider webs. I like to think of his many galleries as a web, with Michael in the middle, pulling the strings. He seems to never sleep. Sometimes it feels like there are more than one of him. Maybe there are 18…’

This is the sixth time in the Archibald Prize for Etherington, who was born in Sydney in 1973. During the week he runs a woodchipper ‘which gives me lots of time to daydream about new art projects.’

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