Born in Wales, John Beard is a prestigious Sydney-London based artist who specialises in abstraction and portraiture. At 19 years old, Beard won the Welsh National Art Scholarship and proceeded to study at the Royal College of Art in London.
Beard's portraiture is typically washed in darkness, giving the sense his subject is on the brink of disappearing. The effect is seductive, drawing the viewer into as curator and artist William Wright puts it, "a fugitive zone" somewhere between what is and is not. He states;
"Beard’s works are hovering presences carrying within them the quality of ineffable recognition. Head, head-land, headland: they contain metaphysical affinities, as if seeing into the communal self."
Beard's accomplishments are diverse. In 2000, his work 'Wanganui Heads' was selected to represent the year 1998 at The London National Portrait Gallery's exhibition 'Painting the Century, a Hundred years of Portrait Masterpieces.' In 2006, he won the Wynne Prize and in 2007, was awarded the Archibald Prize for his portrait of installation artist, Janet Lawrence. In 2011 a major monograph on the artist was published and currently, his work resides in numerous public collection in Australia and abroad.
For a more in-depth biography of the artist, click here.