Vincent Namatjira has become the first Indigenous artist to win the Archibald Prize for his portrait of Adam Goodes.
Namatjira was announced winner of the $100,000 prize, now in its 99th year, at the Art Gallery of NSW in Sydney on Friday for his portrait titled Stand strong for who you are.
The announcement was made virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“This is a really special moment for me and I am feeling a bit nervous and excited,” Namatjira said on Friday.
The Western Arrernte artist said he was honoured to be the first Indigenous winner of the Archibald, noting “it only took 99 years”.
His work was up against portraits of refugee Behrouz Boochani, Indigenous author Bruce Pascoe and popular actor Magda Szubanski among the contenders.
The 55 Archibald finalists announced last week included Angus McDonald’s portrait of Boochani, the Kurdish-Iranian granted refugee status by New Zealand and Wendy Sharpe’s portrait of Szubanski.
Artwork: Winner Archibald Prize 2020 Vincent Namatjira 'Stand strong for who you are' © the artist
— Art Gallery of NSW (@ArtGalleryofNSW) September 25, 2020
Also among them was first-time Archibald prize entrant Meyne Wyatt who last week became the first Indigenous artist to win any of the prizes on offer in the Archibald‘s 99-year history.
The actor and Wongutha-Yamatji man won the Packing Room Prize for his self-portrait.
The winner of the Sulman prize was also announced on Friday with Marikit Santiago taking home the award for her entry titled The Divine.
The Wynne prize was also on Friday awarded to Hubert Pareroultja for his piece titled Tjoritja (West MacDonnell Ranges, NT).