Ambassador for the Yartz
Performers in character,
Notes: “He’s not very nice is he?!” says Bill Leak of Sir Les Patterson who launched the 1999 Archibald book Lets Face It. Sir Les (aka Barry Humphries) is an international statesman, and a former Minister
for the Yartz. He also sits on the Australian Cheese Board.
‘I think Sir Les is everything that Barry Humphries hates about
Australian men and I have always admired Barry Humphries as our
pre-eminent satirist,’ says Leak.
‘The portrait is a caricature of a caricature. As Australians we all recognize Sir Les, probably because we all know at least one of him
and, more worryingly, we just might be recognizing ourselves. He is
at once both hilarious and appalling’.
Born in Adelaide in 1956, Leak studied at the Julian Ashton Art School before traveling around Australia and then to Europe. An artist, illustrator and cartoonist, he has won seven Walkley Awards and 19 Stanley Awards (eight as Artist of the Year) for his cartoons. He has illustrated and done cartoons for several books including three by ‘Rampaging’ Roy Slaven (ABC Books) while a collection of his own cartoons with text by Doug Anderson, called Drawing Blood, was published in 1998 by Allen & Unwin. He has exhibited with Robin Gibson in Sydney and at several German galleries. He has been a finalist in the Archibald Prize on nine occasions and is the subject of a portrait in this year’s Archibald by Esther Erlich.
Medium: Prize awarded: Winner: Packing Room Prize 2000
Archibald, Exhibited: 18 March - 7 May 2000 (33)
Illustrations: Dodd, Terri, 'Like it or loathe it!', 'Australian Artist', Volume XVI, Number 12, June 2000, p 20, colour.
'The Daily Telegraph - Archibalds 2000 Souvenir Guide', Sydney, 2000, p 5, colour.
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