The 2023 Victorian Salon des Refusés
This portrait was submitted to the 2023 Archibald Prize.
click on artwork to enlarge
Cat#20 John Mandich
Oil on Canvas
168 w x 198 h cm
“This young woman walks into the bottle shop at the Evelyn Hotel and I feel I’ve known her for a thousand years”, John Mandich describes his serendipitous meeting with the portrait’s subject, Kasinda Faase, as chemical in nature. This instant sense of kinship between the two has led to a 3-year long friendship in which shared senses of humour, art and the finer things in life are appreciated.
Mandich describes Kasinda as “a very talented multi-instrumentalist and a sophisticated artist”. As well as studying music theory in university, Kasinda spreads talents in lead vocals, guitar, flute and saxophone across Melbourne psychedelic rock bands, ‘Heavy Amber’ (of which she is a founding member), ‘FLY’ and ‘Zelkova’.
Inspired by a connection that has seemingly spanned across lifetimes, Mandich employed his passion as an impressionist portrait painter to transmute what was an initially a photo of Kasinda sitting amongst canvases in his home, into a colourful expression of her most notable qualities and the friendships they share. “The main objective was to get that connection between Kasinda and me - the child and the sophisticated musician in that sense”. Mandich’s resonance with Kasinda’s dualistic nature went on to inform the details of the piece. “She’s got these qualities which are child-like. She looks like a young 12-year-old kid then she turns around and looks like a really sophisticated woman. Her loudness side of things in the shirt that I painted and the quiet side of her musical talents, especially the flute and rock-style would be in the face, and also, in the glass of wine.
Born in 1953, Mandich migrated to Australia from Croatia in 1967. Based in Melbourne, Mandich works at the Evelyn Hotel and avidly engages with his lifelong calling to portrait painting. This is his 24th entry to the Archibald Prize.