An almost photographic portrait of Today host Lisa Wilkinson has won the annual Packer’s Prize, the forerunner to the nation’s most esteemed portrait competition, The Archibald Prize.
The painting by artist Peter Smeeth also takes home the winner’s $1500 cheque.
It shows Wilkinson lounging on a white sofa with her husband – Fairfax journalist Peter FitzSimons – and their three children reflected on a TV screen in the background.
Commenting on the painting at yesterday’s Packer’s Prize announcement at The NSW Art Gallery, Wilkinson said: “It’s very confronting when you’re painted. I think we all have a different idea in our head of how we look to the outside world and obviously every artist is going to have a different interpretation. But I’m thrilled with it.”
Smeeth added: “I’d like to acknowledge Lisa’s contribution and sincerely thank her for agreeing to sit and for being such a good sport.”
However Smeeth is also well aware of history. No artist that has won the Packer’s Prize has gone on to win the Archibald and its $100,000 prize cheque.
Smeeth rating his chances to take the art world’s quinella as “between 100 to one and Buckley’s”.