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The crime writer Shane Maloney
, 2004

by Rick Amor

oil on canvas

Shane Maloney (b. 1953), author, studied Asian history and politics at ANU and held an assortment of jobs before embarking on what was to become Australia’s most successful crime novel series: Stiff (1994), The Brush-Off (1996), Nice Try (1998), The Big Ask (2000), Something Fishy (2002) and Sucked In (2007). Stiff and The Brush Off were adapted for television by John Clarke in 2004; David Wenham starred as Maloney’s fictional protagonist, state Labor MP Murray Whelan. Maloney is also co-author of The Happy Phrase: Everyday conversation made easy (2004) and writes a regular column, ‘Encounters’, for the intellectual journal The Monthly.

Rick Amor portrayed Shane Maloney near the railway lines in inner-city Melbourne. Once, Maloney recalls, there was a road over Downie Street where Flinders Street flew across King Street and down to Spencer Street. Now demolished, it was characteristic of that part of Melbourne, where industrial buildings such as those suggested in the painting are now being refurbished and repurposed. The portrait is something like a painting based on a dream of meeting a wordless Maloney in a half-familiar location.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2010
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number: 2010.76