Retired politician and Queensland mining icon, Clive Palmer has blown away the insular Australian art community today, after being listed as an Archibald finalist with a moving and heartbreakingly honest self-portrait.

Titled ‘Clive, 100 cm x 50 cm’ the oil painting has offered a rare insight into the embattled businessman’s current state of mind, in a world of boat cruises, court cases and high quality memes.

“This is me. This is the most honest look you will get at me”

“Forget the fake news. Forget Murdoch. This is the real Clive”

The 63-year-old mineral magnate and former leader of the Palmer United Party is paying odds of $0.5 to take out the iconic winner’s sash, according to TAB.

Director of the Art Gallery Of NSW, Nolan Hart, says it’s good to include a few high profile non-artists to really get things going.

“Clive was one of those dark horses that we rarely get to see in this industry dominated by art-school-educated practicing artists”

“We have made a concerted effort to include a few one-hit wonders, or other equally novel finalists – it’s a great way of creating a bit of buzz”

“The Edgecliff Boys Grammar portrait of their retiring headmaster offers a rare portal into the life and achievements of Caucasian white men that live five kilometers away from our gallery”

In it’s 96th year, the Archibald Prize is touted as one of the most prestigious art prizes in the country – with approximately 800 entrants each year submitting portraits-of-photographs of B-list Australian actors, other artists, and moderately well-known ex-politicians.

The Art Gallery of NSW announced this morning the 43 finalists in the running for the Archibald Prize. Some of the artists with strong works in contention include Brisbane graffiti artist SOFLES, who has painted fellow artist Ben Quilty, Anh Do’s portrait of himself; Nicholas Harding’s portrait of John Olsen and Melbourne rapper 360 with his stunning portrait of ABC Q&A host Tony Jones.


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