The 2021 Victorian Salon des Refusés
This portrait was submitted to the 2021 Archibald Prize.
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Cat #1 Robert Babic
VIRUS CITY - Self Portrait
Oil on Linen
53 cm h x 38 cm w
VIRUS CITY - SELF PORTRAIT was painted at the height of the Corona lockdown that went for 111 days in Melbourne in 2020. It was a dreadful time for many people including myself. It was made even worst by the gloomy weather, the closure of schools and the travel restrictions. I had read about horror and deprivation of liberty but never thought that I would personally have to endure such conditions during my lifetime.
I felt a little bit like Max Beckmann, the great German modernist, painting in his studio in Amsterdam surrounded by the Nazis for the the duration of WWII. Of course, my situation could never be compared to his, yet, I may have experienced a little bit of the dread that he must have felt in such oppressive circumstances.
The whole idea of this Self-Portrait is to convey my feeling of horror and dread at the situation I found myself in and one which I continue to find myself in. If the painting manages to capture this feeling of dread, then it can be said to have succeeded.