Sunday, May 20, 2012

PSoA Certificate of Excellence: Evert Ploeg

Evert Ploeg
39 X 28 in.
oil on linen

International award-winning artist Evert Ploeg (pronounced Ay-vert Plough), is one of Australia’s most highly regarded portrait artists. He has painted portraits of such eclectic luminaries as musical legend Kamahl, pop star Ben Lee, international film actor Richard Roxburgh, and the esteemed Dr. Paul Scully Power – Australia’s first astronaut in space.

Evert’s Dutch heritage has played a significant role in his artistic pursuit; today his representational style fused with a fresh and contemporary attitude has seen him secure portrait commissions from clients diverse as Hollywood celebrities to commercial and corporate institutions. His work is represented in The University of Melbourne, the private collection of The ABC, the Australian War Memorial, and the permanent collection of The Australian National Portrait Gallery in Canberra.

Nationally, his work has been seen in Australia’s prestigious and often controversial Archibald Portrait Prize held at The Art Gallery of New South Wales. In 1997 his profile was immediately elevated when he submitted a portrait of ‘Bananas in Pyjamas’. Evert has twice won the coveted Archibald People’s Choice Award in 1999 (Deborah Mailman) and 2007 (George Ellis) and it’s Packing Room Prize in 2004 (Jana Wendt). Evert has been selected to the Salon des Refuses – SH Ervin Gallery on three occasions with a People’s Choice win there in 2000. In June 2005 he won the Shirley Hannan National Portrait Prize. He has been a multiple finalist in the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, Black Swan Portrait Prize in WA and the Mortimore Prize. The once only, AGNSW Sporting Portrait Prize, saw Evert’s inclusion with a portrait of Paralympian Louise Sauvage.

Internationally recognized, Evert was recently awarded ‘Best of Show’ at The Portrait Society of America’s 2011 International Portrait Competition in Atlanta, Georgia, followed by a Certificate of Excellence in 2012, in Philadelphia. In 2005, he was an Exceptional Merit Award Winner in the same competition, and also participated in the Macquarie Bank sponsored ‘Portrait Artists Australia’ exhibition held in the Australian Embassy, both in Washington DC. An Honourable Mention in the PSoA Members Only Showcase in 2010 and 2012 was complimented with a 1st place in the Ex Arte Equinus IV in 2010, with a stunning Equine portrait.

In September 2010 he joined the cast of the BighART and Company B highly acclaimed production ‘NAMATJIRA’ at the Belvoir Theatre, painting portrait’s of lead actor Trevor Jamieson, live on stage, as he retold the story of Australia’s most famous indigenous artist. That association has continued, including a regional tour of Namatjira in 2011 into 2012 and also participating in Creative Developments with BighART in the Pilbara communities of Western Australia.

Included in the inaugural NSW edition of ‘Who’s Who’ publication, Evert was also commissioned to illustrate the republications of the Australian classic stories “We of the Never, Never”, and “Clancy of the Overflow”, receiving a coveted award from publisher Random House for “Outstanding Cover” at the time. In November 1995 he held his first solo exhibition “The Mask of Myth”.

Evert considers his work to be first and foremost character driven. For him, each new portrait brings another challenge, to produce a work of art that is tailored with the subject’s spirit and individuality. With a direct and sculptural approach, he explores more than just a mere likeness or pictorial representation; he strives to show a truth of character, personality, and emotion. In Evert’s earlier work, alternative textures and surfaces were often used to explore the narrative. Now, a more energetic and painterly approach to his work creates a feeling of movement, and the sense of a captured moment found somewhere between a still and moving image. The portraits still maintain texture and intuitive expressive marks, but with subtlety, and in harmony with a mature application of tones. Evert works from his self-designed and built studio, ‘The Barn,’ which was featured on the Nine Network ‘Our House’ programme. He resides on Sydney’s Northern Beaches with his partner Ivana, and their two beautiful daughters Paloma and Aurora.

Additional work by Ploeg can be seen at his website,

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