Australian artist gets personal

A collection of the latest and best-known paintings by Australia’s Archibald Prize-winning artist Vincent Fantauzzo opened to the public in HCM City.

Prize-winning painter gains inspiration from friends.

Multiple personas: A portrait of the late Oscar-winning actor Heath Ledger by Vincent Fantauzzo will be displayed at his exhibition in HCM City from August 27 to September 6. — File Photo

 The installation will feature a portrait of the late actor Heath Ledger, who won an Oscar for his portrayal of the Joker in the latest Batman movie, The Dark Knight, and one of child actor Brandon Walters, who played the Indian boy Nullah in the movie Australia. Fantauzzo received the Archibald People’s Choice Prize for each painting, in 2008 and 2009, respectively.

The portrait of his close friend Ledger, which had been planned for many years, was completed a few months before the actor’s death last January, said Fantauzzo.

"In this particular painting, I was trying to capture different sides of one person’s personalities," the artist said of his Ledger painting. "So the central figure is quite intent and looking out" while the other figures might be subconscious and inaccessible to others.

The exhibition features 26 other art works, some well-known, others previously unseen and borrowed from private collectors.

"All my subjects are people I know personally," Fantauzzo said. "I normally choose the subject that inspires me and I find to have special characteristics that I relate to and I think that people will relate to."

Vincent Fantauzzo earned a Master of Fine Art from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. He has had many solo exhibitions and received many art awards in Australia and Asia.

His exhibition in HCM City, organised by Y Ngoc-Si Hoang Gallery and Hong Kong-based Damina Gallery, will kick off Vincent Fantauzzo’s Asia Tour 2009 through Thailand, Singapore, India and China.

"Vincent’s style is strange," said Ngoc Thi Yen, co-owner of Y Ngoc-Si Hoang Gallery, "but when viewing his paintings, I find something honest and close to me."

Vincent Fantauzzo’s paintings will be on display at Y Ngoc-Si Hoang Gallery at 135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, District 1 until September 6. — VNS

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