Cartoonist Mitch Cairns wins Archibald Prize

CARTOONIST Mitch Cairns has claimed this year's Archibald Prize for his portrait of partner and fellow artist Agatha Gothe-Snape.

The painting shows Gothe-Snape sitting crossed leg on a mat in a red room.

Whites aid the portrait perfectly illustrates Gothe-Snape's ability to blend different forces of nature.

"Ultimately this is what is most attractive about Agatha," Mr Cairns said.

"She embodies an uncompromising agency whilst having the grace to accept the ready complications inherent within our life as artists.

"I composed this portrait with love in the full knowledge of its inevitable and palpable quake."

A portrait of Agatha Gothe-Snape has won the 2017 Archibald Prize for cartoonist Mitch Cairns.
A portrait of Agatha Gothe-Snape has won the 2017 Archibald Prize for cartoonist Mitch Cairns. Art Gallery of NSW

Cairns has been shortlisted for the accolade four times and has been runner-up on two occasions.

However, he finally grabbed the $100,000 winner's cheque with painting showing Gothe-Snape sitting crossed leg on a mat in a red room.

"Artists need a lot of support and I do have that in spades," Cairns said. 

The Archibald Prize is judged by the trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW and can rouse controversy with awarding the winner.

However, this year it seemed the votes would be be split between two entries: Cairns' and Jun Chen's portrait of gallery owner Ray Hughes.

But after much deliberation, it was Cairns who came out on top.

"It took us some time, wandering between the two wonderful paintings to decide who would be the winner," the gallery board of trustee member David Gonski said.


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