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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.

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Self portrait

1999/2005
Tracey Moffatt AO

black and white photograph, pen, and hand-coloured photograph on paper (frame (each): 45.5 cm x 52.5 cm depth 4.6 cm, sheet (each): 27.5 cm x 35.2 cm)

In 1999, ten years after coming to critical attention in Australia, Tracey Moffatt AO (b. 1960) created the one and only self-portrait in her oeuvre. In the hand-coloured photograph, Moffatt presented herself as a photographer, holding a camera in her hands. The black-and-white photograph in this diptych is a different shot from the Self portrait of 1999, although it was clearly taken on the same occasion, with the artist wearing the same knitted olive-green top and head scarf. It features Moffatt's instructions for the retouching of the second image, which was hand-painted at a studio in New York in 2005. Although it appears as though Moffatt is standing in a sun-drenched landscape, the original photographs were taken in a studio in front of a painted set, a reference to the movie-style painted landscape sets in her photographic series Something More (1989) and her short film Night Cries – A Rural Tragedy (1989).

Purchased with funds provided by Tim Fairfax AM 2013
© Tracey Moffatt
Courtesy of the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney.

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

Tracey Moffatt AO (age 39 in 1999)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Supported by

Tim Fairfax AC (53 portraits supported)

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.

Self portrait
Self portrait
Self portrait
Self portrait

Home truths

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2013

Despite once expressing a limited interest in the self portrait, the idea of it has figured strongly in much of Tracey Moffatt's work and has done so in some of her most distinctive and compelling images.

Self-portrait, 1999
Self-portrait, 1999
Self-portrait, 1999
Self-portrait, 1999

A self-portrait in focus

Magazine article by Kim Appleby, 2002

In her self-portrait, Tracey Moffatt presents herself as her work.

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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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