The Bald Archy is an Australian art prize with a difference: it is a parody of the Archibald Prize (which in my mind thoroughly deserves this treatment), and entries are supposedly judged by Maude, a cockatoo. Works usually include cartoons or humorous works of art making fun of Australian celebrities.
The Bald Archy was created 1994 at the Coolac Festival of Fun, in the tiny town of Coolac near Gundagai, New South Wales but is now a big event shown in Sydney, Melbourne and other locations. Being a spoof of that more serious competition, the Bald Archy provides artists of all styles and standards with a genuine opportunity, ranging from the hilarious to the bizarrely vulgar, to create portrait paintings of humour, dark satire, light comedy or caricature.
Since 2005 the home of this art competition and its accompanying exhibition is the Museum of the Riverina, Wagga Wagga, but it can also be seen at many other places in Australia, including the Queen Victoria Building in Sydney (6 March – 1 April, The Victoria Room, Level 3 [Town Hall End]). Winning subjects over the years have included Kerry Packer, Amanda Vanstone, Edmund Capon, Shane Warne, Dame Edna Everidge, John Howard and Pauline Hanson, Robbie and Gai Waterhouse, Rupert Murdoch, Jeff Kennet, Cardinal George Pell and Tony Abbott, and Ian Thorpe.
Depicted below is the 2004 prize winner, titled: “I’ll Eat You In The End” by Xavier Ghazi. For more pictures see the Museum of the Riverina’s gallery page.