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If you don't recognise the name, you will have most likely seen the amazing portrait work of Melbourne-raised artist Vincent Fantauzzo. He won the Archibald's People's Choice Award in 2008 with that haunting portrait of Heath Ledger, as well as again in 2009 with his work of Brandon Walters, the little boy who played Nullah in Baz Luhrmann's film Australia. He has exhibited work worldwide, including India, Vietnam, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong.
Last year, Fantauzzo's fascinating, yet somewhat gruesome, portrait of celebrity chef Matt Moran won the Archibald's prestigious Packing Room Prize. This prize gives gallery staff who receive the Archibald entries to vote for their favourite piece, and really reflects Fantauzzo's popularity not only with the masses, but also within the industry.
This month Fantauzzo took on the challenge of painting a portrait a day of inspirational Australians, as part of the Lucid 30/30 exhibition in Melbourne, which is a fundraising event to help raise awareness of alcohol and drug problems in our community. Fantauzzo has undertaken this month of marathon painting previously, having completed 30 portraits in 30 days in New York and Hong Kong, both times with much success.
Until 29 July, NGV Studio will be the proud host of Fantauzzo's latest 30 Portraits in 30 Days. Each day, a new portrait of an inspirational Australian will be revealed - amongst them, Baz Luhrmann, John Borghetti, The Hon Bob Hawke and singer Kimbra. Last year's Archibald entry of Matt Moran will be there for viewing. There's also a big wall in which the public are encouraged to write their name or draw on with special markers provided by the artist.
NGV Studio is open 10am-5pm Sunday-Wednesday, and 10am-10pm Thursday-Saturday. It is located centrally at the Ian Potter Centre on the corner of Russell and Flinders Streets. Best of all, entry into NGV Gallery is free.