Yvette Coppersmith's Self-portrait, after George Lambert.
Yvette Coppersmith's Self-portrait, after George Lambert. Art Gallery of NSW/Yvette Coppersmith

Artist gets turned down by PM, wins Archibald anyway

WHEN you get turned down by a prime minister why not just paint yourself?

That was the attitude of artist Yvette Coppersmith as her self-portrait - a secondary idea to capturing the portrait of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern - won this year's Archibald Prize.

The painting - Self-portrait, after George Lambert - is the fifth piece Coppersmith has submitted into the prestigious competition, becoming only the tenth female winner.

"Ardern wasn't available but I thought I might channel something of her in my self-portrait," Coppersmith told ABC News.

However, Arden may have felt a pang of jealousy as the world leader was one of the first to congratulate Coppersmith on her victory.

The wonderful moment between and artist and muse was captured on Sky News.

"You were the initial inspiration and when you were unavailable I thought I'll do one as you," she told Arden over the phone.

Coppersmith collected $100,000 for her winning portrait.

Art Gallery of NSW director Michael Brand said Coppersmith's winning entry fulfilled the promise of a "diverse" and talented artist.

"Yvette is a highly talented young artist who brings a deep and historical understanding of the tradition of contemporary art practice," he said.

The Archibald Prize is exhibited alongside the Wynne Prize for a landscape or sculpture and the Sulman Prize, both claimed by Indigenous artists.

Kaylene Whiskey took home the Sulman Prize for her work Kaylene TV, while the Wynne Prize was awarded to Yukultji Napangati.

The combined exhibition opens on Saturday at the Art Gallery of NSW and will close in September before a tour to regional NSW and Geelong in Victoria.


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