A PORTRAIT of singer Jimmy Barnes strapping his hands like a boxer has won the Archibald competition’s $1500 Packing Room Prize for first-time finalist, Sydney painter Jamie Preisz.
The painting, titled Jimmy (title fight), was chosen by the Art Gallery of NSW’s new head packer Brett Cuthbertson, who took over last year after Steve Peters judged his 26th and final competition, and his team which receives, unpacks and hangs the entries.
“Look, to be honest, when the work arrived, I’d just been asked by a journalist who I’d like to see painted this year,’’ Mr Cuthbertson said.
“Fair dinkum, I said Barnesy would be great. I turned around after the interview, and there was a young artist turning his work around so we could see it.
“I couldn’t believe it. It was of Barnsey. The portrait stuck in my head for the week we were receiving entries. By the final day of submissions, it was still the only contender for me.”