Created in 1994 as a spoof of that more serious competition, the Bald Archy Prize 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.
Winning subjects over the years have included Kerry Packer, Amanda Vanstone, Edmund Capon, Shane Warne, Dame Edna Everage, John Howard and Pauline Hanson, Robbie and Gai Waterhouse, Rupert Murdoch, Jeff Kennett, Cardinal George Pell, Tony Abbott, and Ian Thorpe.
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Now known internationally as the only art competition in the world to be judged by a sulphur-crested cockatoo named Maude, the satirical side of this event has its basis in the irreverent, larrikin Australian comic comment, with great appeal to people from all walks of life, the reason why the exhibition of finalists keeps breaking attendance records wherever it is shown.
Celebrating its 20th year in 2013, the exhibition begins in Canberra before going on tour throughout Eastern Australia.