My portrait of the Umbilical Brothers (David Collins and Shane Dundas) was entered in the Moran and Archibald Prize in 2016.
In honour of their 25th anniversary as a performance duo, my portrait of the Umbilical Brothers (David Collins and Shane Dundas) celebrates their unique physicality, positivity, and longevity as artists. Lending from the form of Raphael’s 1505 painting “Madonna of the Goldfinch”, I created a joyous tableau that places the comedians among high art.
I supplemented the faunal allegory of Raphael’s goldfinch, representing suffering, with a goldfish, representing good luck, something they have enjoyed a great deal of over the past 25 years. Also a goldfish looks funnier and is more fun to say.
Both Shane and Dave were incredibly generous with their time, doing sittings backstage at the Roslyn Packer Theatre (where they were the first comedy show in the newly named venue) and more sittings in their hotel rooms in Melbourne during the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. They are both lovely blokes and I was glad to have the opportunity to paint Dave again after my first portrait of him in 2012. Why wouldn’t you want to paint bodies as bendy as theirs filled with such electric personality.