Nick Stathopoulos has been a finalist many times in Australia’s Archibald and Doug Moran Portrait prizes and his 2016 portrait ‘Deng’ of refugee lawyer Deng Adut was awarded the Archibald Prize’s People’s Choice award.

Last year his painting of writer Robert Hoge was shortlisted in the renowned BP Portrait Award in London which attracted over 400,000 visitors.  The portrait was also reproduced on the cover of the Times.

His art career spans many fields including illustration, book cover design, computer game design, animation, screenwriting, film making and sculpture and this is all on top of an arts/law degree. He has won several awards for his illustration work but has found a real passion in hyper realist painting of portraits and still lifes.

In this interview Nick talks about how children’s television of the 60s provided him with the inspiration to draw toys, cars and machines as a child, he explains why he can never eat another Freddo frog and reveals how he came to name his 2009 show ‘Toy Porn’. He generously discusses his art techniques in detail from the first sketches and meeting with the sitter to the final portrait. He also gives moving accounts of how he came to paint Deng Adut and Robert Hoge and the emotional impact those experiences had on him.

Nick has works included in a forthcoming group show ’40/40 Project’ at Wagner Gallery,  Paddington, Sydney opening on 19 November 2016.

Show notes  (links to things we talk about in the show)

Video below was taken two years after the podcast interview where I caught up with Nick in his kitchen in Sydney.


‘Robot Power!’ (2011) Acrylic and oil glaze on canvas, 90 x 60 cm



‘Ugly – Portrait of Robert Hoge’ (2014) Acrylic and oil on linen



Deng (2016), acrylic and oil on linen 137.5cm x 137cm



Stathopoulos’ thumbnail sketches in preparation for his  portrait of Deng Adut



‘And our friends are all aboard’ Acrylic and oil glaze on canvas 61cm x 61cm (from Toy Porn 2)



‘Can I be of Service’ (2011) Acrylic and oil glaze on canvas 61cm x 61cm (from Toy Porn 2)



‘(GM) Square Meals’ (2008) acrylic and oil glaze on canvas 60cm x 60cm



Nick Stathopoulos at home with his painting ‘Don’t touch that dial!’


4 thoughts on “Ep 7: Nick Stathopoulos

  1. Mark Hayward

    I was in the same classes as nick in primary school. He always amazed me with his art. He could not only draw anything he made models, not kit form, these were his visions made real. I always asked how he did things and he was always obliging and amazing. I to loved toys, still to this day I have a huge pristine collection of Batman, just like nick advised me. Well done on his Archibald win and I envy what he has and is doing. Mark Hayward, ex student Marayong primary.

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