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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.

Self portrait

1999/2005
Tracey Moffatt

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

Tracey Moffatt AO, artist, was born in Brisbane and graduated from the Queensland College of Art in 1982. Moving to Sydney, in 1989 she held her first solo exhibition, Something More. In 1990 her short film Night Cries was selected for official competition at the Cannes Film Festival, as was her first feature-length film, Bedevil, in 1993. Following the photographic series Scarred for Life (1994) she was invited to exhibit in the Venice Biennale in 1997, and during that year held solo exhibitions in Germany, Denmark, France and the USA. Since then, she has built a high international reputation with a body of films and photographic series such as Laudanum (1998), Invocations (2000), Under the Sign of Scorpio (2005), First jobs (2008) and Spirit Landscapes (2013) reflecting on issues including race, childhood trauma, gender and popular culture. In 2007 she received the Infinity Award from New York’s International Center of Photography; in 2012 she had a solo show at the city’s Museum of Modern Art. In 2017 she will become the first indigenous Australian artist to present a solo exhibition at the Venice Biennale.

The black and white photograph in this diptych was shot in the USA in 1999. It features Moffatt’s instructions for the retouching of the second image, which was hand-painted at a studio in New York in 2005.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with funds provided by Tim Fairfaix AM 2013
© Tracey Moffatt
Courtesy of the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney.

Artist and subject

Tracey Moffatt (age 39 in 1999)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Supported by

Tim Fairfax AC (53 portraits supported)

Related information

Little faces

Wed 26 May until Fri 25 Jun
10:30am

Little faces is for babies and toddlers (with their grown up) to play, sing and have fun discovering a portrait together.

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.

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.

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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 National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency