An image of Self portrait in the studio

Brett Whiteley

(Australia, England 07 Apr 1939 – 15 Jun 1992)

Self portrait in the studio

Brett Whiteley Studio, Surry Hills
Further information

Similar to Brett Whiteley’s other major paintings of this period, 'Self-portrait in the studio' exudes a sense of sumptuous living and the liquid presence of the harbour through what he called ‘the ecstasy-like effect of Ultramarine blue’. Whiteley’s tiny mirror self-portrait also reflects the influence of Eastern art in his portrayal of man as merely part of a larger landscape. However, this painting also hints at a darker side, as Wendy Whiteley explained in 1995:

... he was warning himself and other people watching. It was the cage of his interior, his addiction, the window or a glimpse of possible escape into paradise: the escape from one’s psyche.

His last studio and home – 2 Raper Street, Surry Hills in Sydney – is now a museum managed by the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Place of origin
Lavender Bay, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
oil, collage, hair on canvas
200.5 x 259.0 cm stretcher; 210.5 x 268.5 x 5.7 cm frame
Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r., black ink "brett whiteley/ 1975-76/ ...". Signed and dated upper c. verso, black fibre-tipped pen ".../ brett whiteley/ 1975-76/ ...".
Purchased 1977
Accession number
© Wendy Whiteley