Artist: Chris Browne
Medium: oil on linen
Dimensions: 57.5 x 44 cm
‘Krista Brennan is a friend, artist and a former art student of mine,’ says Chris Browne.
‘Krista’s personal style has always been distinctive and an important expression of her interests in art and fashion. Her dress mode is neo-Victorian, which is a product of an avid engagement, begun in childhood, with British art and culture of the Victorian era. She perceives her dress sense as gender neutral and her taste flexible, choosing elements from both genders as mood appeals.
‘I started the portrait three years ago but put it aside from time to time while working on other paintings. Initially the pose was an austere profile, inspired by Renaissance profile portraits, focusing on the strong design of the clothing and hat. But later I turned her head slightly to the left to give some axial movement and personalise the face. There is a reticence to the figure, while the face is half in shadow, not engaging with the viewer. The palette is restrained; black, white and grey, with a few red accents. The scale is under life size, in key with the quiet nature of the work.’
Born in Sydney in 1959, Browne studied at the Julian Ashton Art School, Sydney, in the 1990s and later won the AME Bale Travelling Scholarship, enabling further study in Italy at the Florence Academy of Art. He currently teaches portraiture and figure painting at Julian Ashton. This is his first time in the Archibald Prize.
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