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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.

George Gittoes - last sitting before Peshawar, 2007

George Fetting

type C photograph on paper (sheet: 156.0 cm x 127.0 cm, frame: 157.8 cm x 129.0 cm)

George Gittoes (b. 1949) is among Australia's best known artists. Gittoes studied at the University of Sydney and in 1970 was a co-founder with Martin Sharp of the Yellow House cooperative in Potts Point, Sydney. His early work encompassed filmmaking, performance art, installation and holography. During a stint in the United States in the late 1960s, Gittoes became interested in making art with a strong social and political statement, leading to the body of work that has since established his reputation. Gittoes's powerful images explore his personal concerns with war and violence, documenting many of the world's trouble spots and recent conflicts in places such as Rwanda, Yugoslavia and the Middle East. In an arrangement with the Australian War Memorial, in 1992 and 1993 Gittoes travelled to Cambodia and Somalia to document the work of Australian peacekeeping forces and in 1995 accompanied Army public relations staff to Rwanda to observe the aftermath of the country's civil war. Gittoes has said he believes in making art which is accessible and 'readable' to a wide public and that there is 'a role for contemporary art to challenge rather than entertain: my work is confronting humanity with the darker side of itself'. Gittoes is represented in most major public collections in Australia and his work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions and publications. He lives and works in the village of Bundeena, south of Sydney.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2008
© George Fetting

Accession number: 2008.85

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

George Fetting (age 43 in 2007)

George Gittoes (age 58 in 2007)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Donated by

George Fetting (4 portraits)

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.

Andrew Gaze video: 6 minutes 26 seconds
Andrew Gaze video: 6 minutes 26 seconds
Andrew Gaze video: 6 minutes 26 seconds
Andrew Gaze video: 6 minutes 26 seconds

Andrew Gaze

'Make it fun'

Portrait story

Basketballer Andrew Gaze and photographer George Fetting.

Love City; George Gittoes on hilltop 2013
Love City; George Gittoes on hilltop 2013
Love City; George Gittoes on hilltop 2013
Love City; George Gittoes on hilltop 2013

Man of war

Magazine article by Tedi Bills, 2016

Tedi Bills talks to George Gittoes about canvassing conflict.

The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery

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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.