Vincent Fantauzzo is one of Australia’s most popular portrait artists. He has won the Doug Moran National Portrait prize, is a four time winner of the Archibald People’s Choice award and was recently commissioned to paint the official portrait of former prime minister Julia Gillard for the Parliament House collection.
But his wasn’t a smooth path to success. He grew up in a tough neighbourhood where you literally had to fight to get by and he learnt to survive by becoming someone that went against his true nature.
Unaware he had dyslexia, he struggled at school and was kicked out at 13 years of age. He worked from job to job but never stopped drawing and ultimately realised that was what he did best. How he got into and finished university is a story in itself. He is now an adjunct professor of that university, RMIT.
In this episode he also tells the story behind many of his famous portraits: of actor Heath Ledger, film director Baz Luhrmann, acclaimed actress Asher Keddie (who is also his wife) and former prime minister Julia Gillard.
He also talks about his passion to take art to people who might have never set foot in a gallery.
Press ‘play’ above to hear the interview.
Current and upcoming events
- Work included in ‘Heath Ledger: A Life in Pictures’, Art Gallery WA until 18 January 2018
- Unveiling of portrait of the Hon. Julia Gillard AC at Parliament House
Links to things and people we talk about on the show
- Vincent Fantauzzo
- Vincent Fantauzzo on Instagram
- Archibald Prize
- Doug Moran National Portrait Prize
- Heath Ledger
- Baz Luhrmann
- Asher Keddie
- Julia Gillard AC
- Nic Cester
- Matt Moran
- Harley House