Bald is beaut

Dr Leigh Summers with Midnight Cowboy, a portrait of famous Australian art critic Robert Hughes by Graeme Davis
Dr Leigh Summers with Midnight Cowboy, a portrait of famous Australian art critic Robert Hughes by Graeme Davis


GLADYS McLeod of Coffs Harbour and her friend John Urquhart giggled and chuckled their way around the Bald Archy's exhibition yesterday, gleefully identifying send-ups in cyan and sienna as irreverent artists skewer famous and famously self-important people on the point of a paintbrush.

"I'm sending all my family out to see it ? they have a morbid sense of humour, too," Mrs McLeod said.

The Bald Archy's exhibition, which spoofs Sydney's Archibald Prize for Portraiture, will be officially opened at 6pm today by the founder of the Bald Archy's, Peter Batey, and will remain on show until April 24.

Mr Batey says the Bald Archys, which offers a $5000 prize, is unique in the world, as paintings are selected by Maud the sulphur-crested cockatoo 'who believes she knows as much about art as any other judge in NSW or the world'.

The comic and satiric portraits of Australians range from Miss Bumiverse, Jennifer Hawkins, portrayed more than life size as mainly legs and an impressive derriere, to the Cardinal With His Abbott, showing Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott as a ventriloquist's dummy in the hands of the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell.

Media personality and Bellingen resident George Negus appears as a Victorian cameo and somehow Paris Hilton sneaks in as a garden gnome, Plaster of Paris Hilton. Perhaps Maude's eagle eye was distracted by a sunflower seed.

Coffs Harbour is the only regional city to host this exhibition, which attracted 4000 visitors in Canberra and will moved to Sydney late in April.

- The Bald Archy's opens at the Bunker Cartoon Gallery at 6pm today. The Gallery opens from 10am to 4pm daily seven days a week. There is a Bald Archy's People's Choice Award and your vote could win you a prize. Inquiries 66517343.

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