Louise Hearman’s portrait of Barry Humphries wins 2016 Archibald Prize

Louise Hearman has taken out the 2016 Archibald Price for her portrait of Barry Humphries.

Hearman’s oil on masonite painting of the 82-year-old comedian, satirist, painter and actor, titled “Barry”, won her a neat $100,000.

Born in Melbourne in 1963, Hearman studied at the Victorian College of the Arts and is known for her dark, dreamlike paintings.


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Hearman claimed the 2014 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, but this is her first time in the Archibald Prize.

“I have admired Barry Humphries since I was a young girl,” Hearman said.

Louise Hearman's Archibald Prize winning portrait of Barry Humphries PHOTO: Art Gallery of NSW

Louise Hearman’s Archibald Prize winning portrait of Barry Humphries PHOTO: Art Gallery of NSW

“For years I had hoped that one day this frighteningly brilliant individual, who also paints, would see a show of mine when he was in Melbourne and like my work.

“As it happened, we became friends through mutual acquaintances and much to my delight Barry agreed to sit for a portrait.

“I tried many ideas, but as it progressed, the painting itself showed me the way,” Hearman said.

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney is mounting a major survey of Hearman’s work from September to December this year.

It’s not the first time Humphries has been the subject of an Archibald Prize finalist.

In 1969, the actor was depicted as one of his alter egos – Dame Edna Everage – in a painting by John Brack.