Nick Santoro has painted fellow artist and musician Phanos Proestos. He says: ‘Phanos is an artist who approaches music with conceptual rigour, a strong work ethic and a finely tuned ear for detail in his music project Phanosland. Since meeting at the College of Fine Arts in 2013, we’ve been best friends and bandmates in Solid Effort.
‘In this painting, Phanos is surrounded by symbols of his fast-paced, busy schedule: triple-shot iced long blacks, vapes, Yeezys (designed by his favourite rapper, Kanye West) and Mother energy drink cans. He goes to sleep late and rises early, juggling work, life and his creative practice with an urgency and intensity I have huge respect for and haven’t really seen anyone else do.
‘I’d been wanting to paint Phanos’s portrait for years, as I’ve previously placed him in other multi-figure paintings. Sometimes I find it hard to capture the likeness of subjects, but because we’re so close and he has such a distinctive look it was easier.’
Santoro was born in 1994 in Wollongong, NSW and has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of New South Wales. This is his first time as a finalist in the Archibald Prize.