Ben Quilty | 2020

Asked recently how he was spending his time during lockdown, Ben Quilty said he was working on a massive painting entitled 2020 ‘which is about the end of humanity as we know it and that is screaming off the wall.’

It depicts ‘a single figure lying on a table, a self-portrait about the way I feel, the way world politics is derailing a healthy future.’*

Screaming off the wall, 2020 reveals how the Black Summer fires and Coronavirus – back-to-back disasters – impacted on his making of one painting, turning what had begun as ‘notes on chaos’ into a monstrous and powerful portrayal of anger and suffering.

Watch Ben Quilty in the studio with 2020

*Nick Galvin, Kerrie O’Brien and Chloe Wolifson, Portraits of the artists in IsolationThe Sydney Morning Herald, May 29, 2020.