Emerging street artist takes on the Archibald

Kirpy viewing his portrait of Dylan Alcott.

By Jed Lanyon

The TarraWarra Museum of Art opened the Archibald Prize exhibition on Saturday 14 September, featuring the portraits of 54 of Australia’s leading and emerging artists.

While the exhibition features some prominent artists who have been finalists for several years, one Melbourne artist, Kirpy, is exhibiting for the very first time.

Kirpy painted Australian Tennis star Dylan Alcott’s portrait and was named as a finalist for the 2019 Archibald Prize.

“It was amazing, it’s quite a feat as I still consider myself an emerging artist… It’s definitely a step up,” Kirpy said.

“It’s great to have a painting hanging at a solid institution like Tarrawarra … It’s great exposure.”

Kirpy’s upcoming exhibition titled Symbiotic Systems at the Port Jackson Press Gallery from 26 September.

The exhibition explores the multifaceted relationship between humans and technology.

“My first exposure to painting was through street art and graffiti when I was 14.”

Kirpy described painting Dylan Alcott as ‘super easy’ due to his relationship with the athlete.

“We’ve sort of been friends for ten years now. We grew up in the same part of Melbourne.

“Over the years his transition and success in tennis has just snowballed,” he said.

“Dylan’s foundation and Ability Fest are all about changing the way people with disabilities are perceived.

“Through representing a person with a disability in the Archibald, I aim to echo Dylan’s ethos.

“My approach was to capture the most natural, personal and honest representation of who I know Dylan to be,” Kirpy said.

The 2019 Archibald Prize exhibition will run from 14 September to 5 November at the TarraWarra Museum of Art.

The museum will be hosting intimate evening sessions with certain artists throughout the exhibition.

For more information, visit https://www.twma.com.au/

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