Peter Stichbury
Collection: Wallace Paramount Awards

Winner of the 1997 Paramount Award
Oil on canvas
1010 x 1390 mm
Collection of the James Wallace Arts Trust

Peter Stichbury (b. 1976)

Accomplished artist Peter Stichbury exploded onto the art scene taking five awards in the same year he completed his BFA at Elam School of Fine Arts in 1997. Stichbury is technically proficient, extolling portraiture painting precepts with his contemporary caricatures. Stichbury’s painting is highly controlled, evident in his seamless shading and line work. His use of light and shadow bring his hyper-real figures to the foreground of his largely monotone works.

‘Stitchbury has developed a repertoire of trademark techniques – taking images of fashionable celebrities from glossy magazines and distorting and stylising their already excessively groomed visages into sleek yet disturbing caricatures of impossibly idealised perfection.’ ( 1)

Stitchbury wants to “illustrate the corruption of appearance” (2 ) where he challenges perceived notions of beauty. “Some beautiful people are proportionately so extreme that they become just surreal. They are so beautiful that they become almost ugly again.” ( 3)

Of this award winning work ‘there are hints at some hiatus in interpersonal relationships. What is depicted is a group of three individuals talking past each other – locked into a caricature of disputing politician’s. This trinity with strange proportions, large heads and small bodies and annoying table manners has a 1940’s film noir look, creating a disturbing and enigmatic work.” ( 4)


(1) Andrew Clifford, NZ Herald, 1.12.04

(2) Andrew Clifford, NZ Herald, 1.12.04

(3) Andrew Clifford, NZ Herald, 1.12.04

(4) John Daly-Peoples, The National Business Review, 14.11.07