This is the second portrait of Dylan Alcott by Felix von Dallwitz that has been hung in the Archibald, the first being in 2019.
‘My painting practice has gone through various changes since then, moving across analogue and digital mediums. The latest switch was to oil painting in mid 2021. This is the first oil painting I’ve exhibited,’ says von Dallwitz.
The artist wanted the portrait to reflect the recent significant transitions in his subject’s career as well. After winning all four major tennis titles and a Paralympic Games gold medal in 2021, Alcott retired from the sport following the 2022 Australian Open, days before being named Australian of the Year for his groundbreaking record as an athlete and his advocacy for people with disability.
Says von Dallwitz, ‘Referencing classical portraiture through the composition and lighting, the painting aims to celebrate Dylan’s extraordinary accomplishments and look towards the next chapter of his life. I wanted to capture his expression as resolute and somewhat pensive. It’s a more serious portrait than the first.
‘I also think that when your friend is awarded Australian of the Year, they deserve to have a nice oil painting of them hanging in an institution or museum!’