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Max My Son by Maureen Hansen

Max My Son

Maureen Hansen

A portrait of
Max
Medium
Gouache

Dimensions

57 x 83 cm
Representation
The artist is represented by Woollongabba Art Gallery
Category
Sylvia Jones Prize for Women Artists
About the artwork

Australia is a melting pot of various cultures. The impact of the Black lives Matter campaign and the reality of the police brutality inflicted on George Floyd has had profound resonance the world over. Australian racism is rife but the newer generations are awake to the injustice and mistreatment of many cultures. In this picture of my son, who I know so well, I see a certain vulnerability and hope. He just is himself, on the crest of growing up. Somehow Max’s expression captures the uncertainty and fear surrounding Covid-19, the upcoming U.S. elections, but there is a casual freshness to his presence. Of the experience painting her son, Hansen says. “I just asked him to sit and he put his arms up and we went for it for 3 hours.”

About the sitter

This piece depicts the artists son, Max. Max’s father is from Ghana and his grandfather is a leading world expert in Indigenous Land Law. Alex Amankwah also worked on the ground-breaking MABO decision. His father Henry Amankwah has lived in Brisbane for 30 years. As a citizen of Brisbane Max has a new view of these times, and his fresh perspective inspired me to paint Youth Portraits in my last exhibition, “Fruit Party for One” at Woolloongabba Art Gallery.

About the artist

Maureen Hansen graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Queensland University of Technology in 1988, the first year the course was offered there. She joined her lecturers William Robinson, June Tupicoff, Tom Risley and Joe Furlonger and Ian Smith at the Ray Hughes Gallery, exhibiting in Surry Hills Sydney with them for 10 years. In 2007 she won the prestigious Tattersalls Landscape Prize. Her work is in the Museum of Brisbane Collection and the Parliament House Gallery Canberra. Maureen Hansen is also a professional singer and a member of the Australasian Performing Right Association Limited for 25 years. 

“It was painted in 3 two hour sessions, which may seem quick but I wanted to preserve that childlike matter of fact way he sat and ever since he was born I have painted a portrait of him every year. ”

Behind the scenes

Maureen Hansen has been a professional Artist for 34 years. This painting is of her 11 year old son Max painted on the couch. 

It was painted in 3 two hour sessions, which may seem quick but I wanted to preserve that childlike matter of fact way he sat and ever since he was born I have painted a portrait of him every year. 

I am a single mum so he and I live in a house that is a studio and as a child he has learned from a young age not to back into paintings stacked up against the wall and to always forfeit the dinner table for oil paints and gouache and the liberty that an artist needs.