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Ross Watson

b. 1962

Ross Watson specialises in interpolating representations of lithe semi-naked men into copies of paintings by masters such as Vermeer, Ter Borsch, David and Bronzino. Having studied at the Queensland College of Art, Watson moved to Melbourne, where he held his first solo show at the Acland Street Gallery in 1984. Since then has only worked as a painter - although he did paint trompe l'oeuil murals for Harrods for a time. He has traded through his own Ross Watson Gallery in North Carlton since 2000. Between 1996 and 2001 Watson produced a series of posed figure studies of a barely-clad Ian Roberts in lurid studio settings. The portrait of Mitcham is from a series titled Classic de Novo II, which includes paintings featuring Kylie Minogue's backing dancer Marco Da Silva; Scissor Sisters frontman Jake Shears; hardcore adult film stars Alex Baresi and Fran├žois Sagat; and retired High Court judge Michael Kirby. Watson's work is represented in the National Gallery of Australia, the National Gallery of Victoria and many private collections, notably that of Sir Elton John, whose early support encouraged the artist. The National Portrait Gallery acquired Waton's portrait of Ian Roberts after the French baroque painter Coypel, from a series titled Galerie des Glaces, in 2004.

Updated 2018