You could be forgiven for wondering if I’m still not over the Archibald and am having yet another ‘farewell’ moment with this portrait. The truth is, this is the winning portrait of the 2012 Not the Archies, painted by Peter Allen. It’s a ripper isn’t it. The subject, Tony Fenelon OAM, is well known in the Yarra Valley for his work with the Royal Melbourne Hospital Biomedical Team and as a fine musician.
Given the quality of his portrait, it’s hard to believe that Peter Allen is entirely self taught. The strong compositional elements however, give away his life long work as a graphic designer. Up until the last few years, painting was always in the background for Peter. Now he’s enjoying the luxury of spending more time on it.
Peter Allen’s paintings above and below, are quite a departure in style from his portrait of Tony Fenelon. They capture something of his great admiration for Indigenous Art, African Art, Mexican and Aztec Art. While growing up in Northern Victoria, Peter’s mother worked closely with the indigenous people of the area and Peter says that his love of native art began back then. He also credits New York street artist Keith Haring with having a major influence on his work. Peter reverently brought me his copy of Michel Perrin’s Magnificent Molas. The art of the Kuna Indians. The influence of the Molas is apparent in this work.
I so hope I see more of Peter’s work in the future- maybe in the Archibald itself next time.
If you would like information about last years Not The Archies follow this link.