Archibald Packing Room prize winner revealed

A portrait of ARIA Award-winning Yolngu rapper, dancer, artist and actor Baker Boy has won the prestigious 2024 Packing Room Prize.

The Rhythms of heritage NSW Northern Rivers artist Matt Adnate’s portrait has been selected from among 57 finalists in this year’s annual Archibald Prize.

The $3000 packing room prize is judged and awarded by Art Gallery of NSW staff who receive, unpack and hang the works.

Mr Adnate said he was “absolutely delighted” to win the 2024 Packing Room Award for his portrait of his friend Baker Boy, also known as Danzal Baker.

“With this portrait, I set out to encapsulate the journey of my dear friend Baker Boy, from his roots as a young Indigenous performer in Arnhem Land to the musical icon he has become today,” he said.

“I have always been inspired by music as it can help me channel and evoke strong emotions in my work.

“It gives me the energy to keep painting, from canvases in my studio to large-scale murals.

“I’m in awe of artists like Baker Boy who have the power to use music to transform people’s moods, minds and energy.”

“It was an honor to paint him again and capture the intensity of his music.

“It’s been incredible to watch Baker Boy develop into a multi-talented and award-winning artist over the past decade, cementing his legacy as an Australian music icon.”

One of the judging staff, Monica Rudhar, said the portrait really impressed the wider Packing House team.

“Matt Adnate is an incredible Australian street artist, famous for his large murals,” the judge

“His portrait of singer-songwriter Baker Boy, in his style, is characterized by large scale, vivid colors and a gaze that draws you in.

“Matt and Baker Boy are both highly accomplished in their respective fields and share a mutual recognition of each other’s talents.

“Matt’s powerful portrayal encapsulates Baker Boy as the inspiring Indigenous storyteller that he is, mirroring the joy and hope his music brings to the world.”

Mr Adnate said his use of spray paint and graffiti techniques allowed him to have “the most control” when painting portraits.

“It was a challenge to maintain my own technique and resist the pressure to use oils or more traditional mediums,” he said.

“I have always considered the Archibald to be the pinnacle of art awards, particularly for portraiture.

“To win the Packing Room Award with a portrait that is so important to me and to be the first street artist to do so really pushes me forward”

Baker Boy said he was proud to have been painted by Mr Adnate for several murals and portraits over the years.

“It’s unreal to see it capture me as I am today, reflecting my love of music and a deep connection to my home in Arnhem Land, seen through the soulful reflection in my eyes,” he said.

Last year, Mr. Adnate’s portrait of Silverchair frontman and musician Daniel Johns was also shortlisted for the Archibald Prize.

This year, 57 works were named Archibald finalists,

The winners of the Archibald Prizes will be announced on June 7, along with the winners of the Wynne and Sulman Prizes.

Leave a Comment