Ken Done

Me, March 2011

acrylic and enamel on canvas
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‘This portrait took me a little over 70 years and one hour to paint,’
says Ken Done.

‘I’ve entered the Archibald before, the third time with a rather complicated cubist painting, called Me, 1992, which is now in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra. I was thrilled!

‘Since then I’ve entered a number of times. All have been rejected. This new work I wanted to be simple, strong and direct: painted with one brush, an almost continuous line and two yellows, one flat and one enamel. You will often find cadmium yellow in my works.

‘An artist can be honest with a self-portrait (although maybe I’ve left out a few grey hairs). At 70, after a lifetime of work, this is me.’