Vers la flamme by artist Loribelle Spirovski
Sydney Eisteddfod Alumni and Ambassador Simon Tedeschi was once again the subject of an Archibald Prize artwork this year.
A portrait of the pianist, painted by his partner artist Loribelle Spirovski, was an entry at this year’s Archibald Prize, held annually at the Art Gallery of NSW. Tittled Vers la flame, the painting “captures the anxieties of an artist better than anything”, said Simon. In 2002 Simon was a subject of the Archibald Prize-winning portrait by artist Cherry Hood.
Read on to find out what Simon thought of the portrait and what he has coming up later this year.
How do you feel about being featured as a subject for an Archibald Prize entry once again?
Wonderful. It’s so different. I’m a man now… I was a kid before. It’s very exciting and humbling, and there is a vulnerability about it because it renders you quite naked. My dad said: “It’s you. It just captures your personality. The highly strung quality, the intensity…”
In your opinion, what makes you a good subject for portraits?
I don’t know. Loribelle said I have very striking features and because of the fact that I’m also an artist we share similar sensibilities. It was a portrait of herself in many ways, as she identifies so much in me as we're both solo artists.
What do you think of the portrait?
It’s an amazing painting. Obviously it’s a portrait of me. It captures the anxieties of an artist better than anything. It’s sort of like Phoenix rising from the ashes. It portrays this mood of anticipation and expectancy. During the posing phase there was of course an intimacy for us and some humour. She sees me in such a way that other just simply don’t .
Are you proud of Loribelle’s achievement?
Enormously. She is somebody who is self-taught and who has only been a professional artist for a few years. She is only now blossoming as an artist but shows incredible maturity for somebody who is relatively a young artist.
Where can we expect to see you later this year?
I’m looking forward to a tour to China at the end of the year. There will be more performances of Pictures at an Exhibition (my latest recording) later this year and I’ll be performing a Grieg’s Piano Concerto with the NSW Youth Orchestra on August 20.