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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.

Nick Cave

1973 (printed 1991)
Ashley Mackevicius

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 27.0 cm x 37.8 cm, image: 25.6 cm x 36.7 cm)

Nick Cave AO (b. 1957), singer, songwriter and author, was born in Warracknabeal, Vic., and went to Caulfield Grammar School, where he formed his first band, The Boys Next Door. In 1980 the band changed its name to The Birthday Party and moved to London, where it significantly influenced other punk bands. Members of The Birthday Party formed The Bad Seeds, whose first album appeared in 1984. Cave has provided music for several films, including Wings of Desire (1987); he co-wrote, acted in and scored Ghosts . . . of the Civil Dead (1988) and scripted The Proposition (2006). He has written several novels while continuing to release albums and perform internationally. Ashley Mackevicius and Nick Cave were friends at Caulfield Grammar School, as Cave was entering his Boys Next Door phase. This photograph was taken in the loft bedroom Cave occupied in his own parents' house, with Cave's desk lamp illuminating the shot and one of his drawings on the wall. After attending art school Mackevicius gained a full-time photography job with Australian Consolidated Press in Sydney in 1984. Later he set up a studio in Balmain, coming to specialise in food photography for magazines, advertising and books. He won the Kodak Australian Photographer of the Year award in 1996. He has recently turned away from commercial work to focus on his art photography practice.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2006
© Ashley Mackevicius

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

Ashley Mackevicius (age 15 in 1973)

Nick Cave AO (age 16 in 1973)

Subject professions

Performing arts

Donated by

Ashley Mackevicius (1 portrait)

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.

Nick Cave by Howard Arkley

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An interview with graffiti artist Marc de Jong about the art of Howard Arkley.

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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.

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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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