Artist Craig Ruddy dies aged 53

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  • Craig Ruddy
    Australian artist
  • David Gulpilil
    Australian actor

Artist Craig Ruddy, who won the Archibald Prize with his striking portrait of actor David Gulpilil, has died aged 53 after contracting COVID-19.

He died on Tuesday at his home in Bryon Bay, a post oh his Facebook page confirmed.

In 2004 Ruddy won both the Archibald and the Packing Room Prize for his large-scale Two Worlds picture of Gulpilil, who died last year aged 68.

The portrait became the subject of a legal battle after artist Tony Johansen, another Archibald Prize entrant, took issue with the Art Gallery of NSW, saying Ruddy's work was not eligible as it was "not a painting but a drawing".

The court heard that Ruddy had used acrylic paint, charcoal, pencil, crayons, pastels and varnish in the work.

NSW Supreme Court Justice John Hamilton dismissed the claim, saying it was "impossible on any objective basis to exclude the portrait from the category of a work which has been 'painted'."

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