We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.

David Fenoglio Christopher Bassi

oil on linen

76.5 x 66 cm

Christopher Bassi is an artist of Meriam, Yupungathi and British descent, whose paintings address issues surrounding history, cultural identity and colonial legacies within Australia and the southern Great Ocean.

He and David Fenoglio are both based in Brisbane, but they first met in Sydney at the opening of the 2022 Archibald Prize, in which Fenoglio was a finalist.

‘I was already familiar with Chris’s paintings and really admired his work,’ says Fenoglio.

‘I wanted to capture his appreciation for baroque painting, so I took [Dutch painter] Carel Fabritius’ Young man in a fur cap [1654] as a starting point. I visited Chris’s studio to hang out and paint the first study for the portrait. Initially, I wanted to include some of his paintings in the background; however, they have become obscured by the sky and clouds, which I like to think of as a storm of creative ideas emanating from Chris.

‘I feel an affinity with him as we both appreciate aspects of historic painting and employ them in our practice. It was a challenge and an honour to paint another artist, particularly one who often paints self-portraits.’

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