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‘Arts mafia’ snub Steve Price portrait for ‘politically correct’ Archibald Prize

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Steve Price has been painted for the Archibald Prize, but the so-called “arts mafia” has rejected the entry.

The prestigious portrait competition appears to be have been taken over by political correctness with a very clear theme among the nominated subjects.

There are plenty of paintings of indigenous, disabled and female Australians. There are several people from the media as well, with five ABC personalities featured in the exhibition.

But the portrait entitled Steve Price – Always Thinking wasn’t what judges were looking for apparently.

Artist Christopher Malouf contacted Steve in late 2018 and spent several sittings and almost 200 hours working on the piece.

Which is far more than other artists can claim according to The Australian’s art critic, Christopher Allen.

“The Archibald Prize has a dirty ­secret that no one will speak about,” he writes in today’s paper.

“Many of these paintings are not paintings at all. They are photographs printed in acrylic on canvas, then tricked out with a surface layer of handpainting in acrylic or even in oil.”

Artist Christopher Malouf putting the finishing touches on the portrait

Steve says he doesn’t care about whether his painting was chosen, but he’s upset for the artist involved.

“Don’t mistake this for me grumbling. I’m not,” says Steve.

Artist Christopher Malouf handing over the portrait to Steve Price

But Mr Malouf was happy to call out the judging panel himself, saying there is a clear bias.

“Unless you’re one of the stereotypes they’re trying to push at the time, it’s pretty rare that you’re going to get picked.

“When I had a look at the finalists that got picked yesterday… some of them, my niece does the same quality painting.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview