The Last Supper
Ben Quilty’s most recent works continue the examination of masculinity that began more than twenty years ago with his muscular paintings exploring the rituals of mateship. The figure of Santa Claus stands as an emblem of flawed masculinity. His colossal canvases titled The Last Supper began with sittings by life models, but figuration duels with abstraction. Here the painter becomes pugilist, with each lashing of viscous paint dealing the body of the canvas a visceral blow.