Archibald Packing Room prize winner revealed

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A portrait of ARIA Award-winning Yolngu rapper, dancer, artist and actor Baker Boy has won the prestigious 2024 Packing Room Prize.

The Rhythms of Heritage The portrait by New South Wales, Northern Rivers-based artist Matt Adnate was selected from 57 finalists for this year’s Archibald Prize.

The Packing Room Prize, worth $3,000, is judged and awarded by Art Gallery of NSW staff who receive, unpack and hang entries.

Mr Adnate said he was “absolutely over the moon” to win the 2024 Packing Room Prize for his portrait of his friend Baker Boy, also known as Danzal Baker.

“With this portrait I wanted to encapsulate the journey of my dear friend Baker Boy from his beginnings as a young Indigenous artist from Arnhem Land to the music icon he is today,” he said.

“Music has always inspired me because it can help me direct and evoke strong emotions in my work.

“It gives me the energy to keep painting, from canvases in my studio to large-scale murals.

“I admire artists like Baker Boy who can change people’s mood, spirit and energy with their music.”

“It was an honor to paint him again and capture the intensity of his music.

“It has been incredible to watch Baker Boy develop into a multi-talented and award-winning artist over the last decade and cement his legacy as an Australian music icon.”

Monica Rudhar, one of the judges, said the portrait had impressed the entire Packing Room team.

“Matt Adnate is an incredible Australian street artist known for his large murals,” said the jury

“His portrait of singer-songwriter Baker Boy in his unmistakable style is characterized by large scale, vivid colors and a gaze that draws you in.

“Matt and Baker Boy are both very successful in their respective fields and recognize each other’s talents.

“Matt’s powerful portrait embodies Baker Boy as the inspiring Indigenous storyteller he is and reflects the joy and hope his music brings to the world.”

Mr Adnate said using spray paint and graffiti techniques gave him “the greatest control” when painting the portraits.

“It was a challenge to maintain my own technique and resist the pressure to use oil or more traditional media,” he said.

“I have always considered the Archibald to be the pinnacle of art prizes, particularly for portraiture.

“Winning the Packing Room Prize with a portrait that means so much to me, and being the first street artist to win it, really motivates me”

Baker Boy said he was proud to have been chosen by Mr Adnate for several murals and portraits over the years.

“It’s incredible to see how he captures me as I am today and how he reflects my love of music and a deep connection to my home in Arnhem Land, seen through the soulful reflection in his eyes,” he said.

Last year, Mr Adnate’s portrait of Silverchair frontman and musician Daniel Johns was also selected as a finalist for the Archibald Prize.

This year, 57 works were named finalists, which Archibald,

The Archibald winners will be announced on June 7, along with the Wynne and Sulman award winners.

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