Archibald winning artist Craig Ruddy passes away a few weeks after David Gulpilil’s death

Archibald laureate Australian artist Craig Ruddy died of coronavirus-related complications just weeks after the death of his famous subject, David Gulpilil.


The Australian art community is shocked after the death of Archibald Prize winner Craig Ruddy, just weeks after the tragic loss of its most famous character, David Gulpilil.

Ruddy, 53, died in the arms of his longtime partner Roberto Meza Monta at their home in Byron Bay after succumbing to complications from Covid-19.


The acclaimed Australian artist was best known for his charcoal portrait of the 2004 Archibald Prize-winning actor David Gulpilil, who lost his battle with terminal lung cancer on November 29. portrait of Warwick Thornton. He was an Archibald finalist in 2011 and 2020 for his portraits of Katie Freeman and Bruce Pascoe.

“With the heaviest and most tender heart, we inform you that last night Craig peacefully left his body at home in the arms of Roberto,” reads a statement on Ruddy’s social media pages. “We have lost the most divine person who has given so much to our communities, creativity, inspiration, pure love and many dances.


“Let’s remember him the way he was always wanted to be remembered. We ask for the next few days to calm down inside, light a candle and play music that gently touches you. “

It came just five days after Ruddy’s 20-year-old partner posted a photo of the couple celebrating the new year together.

“Happy New Year 2022 from Australia,” reads the message.


In profile in Overview of the northern riversRuddy talked about a rare lung disease he was diagnosed with as a child.

“It slowed me down and put me in a weird state of euphoria,” he said. “As a result, I learned to sit and observe.”

He began his career studying design and fashion illustration in Sydney before pursuing a successful career as a landscape gardener, designer and art director.


However, he gave up his passion for art.

Just three years later, he won the $ 35,000 Archibald Prize for a portrait of his good friend Gulpilil.

His victory was challenged in court by artist Tony Johansen, who claimed that the portrait belonged to him, but the case was dismissed by the New South Wales Supreme Court.

Actress Isabel Lucas was among those who paid tribute.

“We send so much love. We are very sorry to hear that, ”she wrote.

Ruddy recently commented on the death of his friend Gulpilil, calling him strong, resilient and cocky.

“My first encounter with David was in a memorable film. Walk where its appearance captured my imagination and connected my connection with our ancestral peoples, ”he wrote. “From that moment on, his powerful presence was deeply entangled in my mind. Across Walk and Storm boyDavid became an important figure that I admired and admired for his charisma, strength and cinematic magnetism.

“I was so honored and grateful when I was able to meet with him in person to celebrate his existence, and each subsequent meeting has fueled my honor, respect and admiration for him. David was a brilliant artist in every sense of the word, and his great legacy will continue to bring us joy and laughter, ”he said.

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