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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.

Mick Fanning at Snapper Rocks

2010
Andrew Maccoll

type C photograph on paper (image: 101.5 cm x 152.2 cm, frame: 105.5 cm x 156 cm depth 4.5 cm, )

Michael 'Mick' Fanning AO (b. 1981) began surfing in Ballina at five and, in spite of severe scoliosis, took up the sport in earnest in Tweed Heads at twelve. He finished in the top three at the national titles in 1996 and, though devastated by the accidental death of his brother Sean, also a surfer, in 1998, he won the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach, Victoria in 2001. After a complete hamstring tear in 2004, he won the Association of Surfing Professionals' world title for the first time in 2007. He recovered from injury to reclaim the world crown again in 2009, and finished as the world number one for the third time in 2013. Shortly before the final event of the 2015 series, a second brother, Pete, died. At the close of the season Mick was ranked second in the world. The co-author of the inspiring biography Surf for your life (2009), Fanning retired from professional surfing in 2018.

Andrew Maccoll took this photograph in a short session with Fanning on the Gold Coast. The weather had changed from sunny to threatening – conditions that suited Maccoll's style. He said: 'It was important for me to keep the portrait minimalistic … If I can take myself out of the equation and leave just this emotional connection between people viewing my images and the subject then I have been successful.'

Purchased 2011
© Andrew Maccoll

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

Andrew Maccoll (age 32 in 2010)

Mick Fanning AO (age 29 in 2010)

Subject professions

Sports and recreation

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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.

Mick Fanning at Snapper Rocks
Mick Fanning at Snapper Rocks
Mick Fanning at Snapper Rocks
Mick Fanning at Snapper Rocks

Beach scene

Magazine article by Andrew Maccoll, 2012

Photographer Andrew Maccoll tells the story behind his portrait of dual world champion pro surfer Mick Fanning.

Bryan Brown
Bryan Brown
Bryan Brown
Bryan Brown

The Look

Previous exhibition, 2019

Featuring striking photographic portraits of contemporary figures from the National Portrait Gallery collection, The Look is an aesthetic treat with a lashing of je ne sais quoi.

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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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