Storrier was one of 30 finalists in the annual award, Australia’s richest portrait prize, which was announced on Wednesday. The list of finalists also included one of McLean’s own self-portraits, along with works by Anh Do, Jiawei Shen, Prudence Flint, Celeste Chandler and Vincent Namatjira.
The prize is the most recent accolade for the 68-year-old painter, who won the Archibald prize in 2012 with a controversial “faceless” self-portrait.
Prize judge Daniel Thomas, emeritus director of the Art Gallery of South Australia, said Storrier was “a veteran artist who went outside his personal mythology and produced an affectionate, teasing ‘friendship painting’ of a wild fellow artist”. Greta Moran of the Moran Arts Foundation and artist Wendy Sharp were also on the judging panel, with Sharp describing Storrier’s painting as “an arresting, intriguing image at once both disturbing and playful”.
Dagmar Cyrulla’s self-portrait ‘I Am Woman’, which depicts the artist semi-nude, seated on a wooden chair and holding a pair of tweezers, was also singled out for high commendation by the judges.
More than 1,130 artists entered the prize this year, which is awarded to an Australian artist for portraiture of “Australians from all walks of life”. Sitters this year included actor Isla Fisher, performer Paul Capsis, engineer and writer Yassmin Abdel-Magied and artist Rick Amor.