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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

The Gallery’s Acknowledgement of Country, and information on culturally sensitive and restricted content and the use of historic language in the collection can be found here.

Chrissy Amphlett "Temperamental"

1989
Ivan Durrant

synthetic polymer paint on composition board (frame: 101.7 cm x 132.3 cm, sight: 91.0 cm x 121.0 cm)

Christina 'Chrissy' Amphlett (1959–2013) was best known for her energetic performances as the lead singer of the Divinyls, which she formed in 1980 with guitarist Mark McEntee. They played in grimy Kings Cross venues before being cast – as a band – by director Ken Cameron in the film version of Helen Garner's book Monkey Grip. The single 'Boys in Town', performed in the film, became a top ten hit, and was followed by their first album, Desperate (1983). Over the next decade, the band became part of the international Australian music assault that included INXS and Crowded House. They remained largely based in Paris and the US, where they scored a hit single in 1991 with 'I Touch Myself'. Amphlett's autobiography, Pleasure and Pain, was released in 2005; two years later, she announced that she suffered from multiple sclerosis, and in 2010 she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She died in New York in 2013.

In an interview about her portrait, painted by photorealist artist Ivan Durrant, Amphlett said: 'I suppose in a man's world of rock and roll, I perpetually had a finger raised to people because I copped a lot of flak. So I was often called temperamental … I think you can instantly look at that painting and have a sense of the biography of my life.'

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2001
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
© Ivan Durrant/Copyright Agency, 2021

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Ivan Durrant (age 42 in 1989)

Chrissy Amphlett (age 30 in 1989)

Subject professions

Performing arts

Donated by

Ivan Durrant (1 portrait)

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Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

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© National Portrait Gallery 2021
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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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