Artist: Guy Maestri
Title: Shattered (Griggs)
Medium: oil on linen
Dimensions: 71.5 x 81.5 cm
Guy Maestri’s subject, artist David Griggs, is himself a finalist in this year’s Archibald Prize.
‘I’ve known David for many years. The first time I met him was when I saw him walking along the side of the road and swerved my car over to go and introduce myself,’ says Maestri. ‘I was in awe of him. I was straight out of art school and Dave was a real artist. He made hard, brave, honest paintings. He used painting to critique society and himself. Over the years, as we got to know each other, we became close friends.
‘I also came to know and understand his depression. I’ve seen him crippled by it. It is real and it is debilitating. David is fiercely intelligent and perceptive, and his paintings can be darkly critical. But there is also a more positive value in painting for David. For him, in that daily struggle, painting is necessary. Painting is therapy, it is medicine. For that reason, I don’t know another artist for whom their art is so crucial and so real. Thank you for letting me make this painting of you, Dave.’
Born in Mudgee, NSW, in 1974, Maestri has a Bachelor of Fine Art (Honours) from the National Art School. He won the Archibald Prize in 2009 with a portrait of Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu and is a finalist, for the fifth time, in this year’s Wynne Prize.
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