Baritone (Portrait of Teddy Tahu-Rhodes)

2017, oil on linen, 67 x 51 cm

Exhbited at the Archibald Salon de Refuses, 2017. The first time I heard Teddy sing was in a recital room in Beechworth. The sound of his voice hit the back wall and reverberated through the back of my skull. It was a large, robust and powerful sound. The baritone is a “man's man” kind of sound, and the role delivers a variety of expectations.

As a sitter, Teddy was thoughtful and generous. For all of the expectations of the operatic Baritone there was a gentleness and humility. We shared stories of childhood and life disasters. This portrait aims to capture the duality of strength and vulnerability. While minimalist and direct in composition there is subtlety and nuance in the rendering of his face. This portrait aims to present a male Australian identity, a popular man, with complexity and compassion.