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Marcus Wills Requiem (JR)

oil on linen

288 x 192.5 cm

Marcus Wills has been a finalist six times in the Archibald Prize including winning in 2006 with his portrait of sculptor Paul Juraszek, which was painted in a style inspired by a 16th-century Flemish etching. This year he has painted Melbourne-based dancer-choreographer Jack Riley, a Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) graduate who has worked with Tasdance, Force Majeure, Chunky Move, Opera Australia and choreographer James Batchelor (the subject of Wills’ 2016 highly commended Archibald Prize finalist portrait). Most recently, Riley was commissioned to be an ambassador for the VCA, performing in Italy.

‘I wanted to make a picture that felt sombre and melancholic, like parts of Mozart’s requiem mass,’ Wills says. ‘The painting is not biographical in any way, rather a fictional narrative with Jack central, appearing as some character from a psychological horror or nightmare.’

Born in Victoria in 1972, Wills graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts with a Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art).

This work will not be part of the Archibald Prize 2020 tour.

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