Gallery 3 Paintings: Portraits by
Portraits can be an avenue to discover the humanity deep in the soul, the best portraits are psychological insights in addition to being likenesses. Tony Johansen does portraits of people who tend to be achievers. They are usually paintings but the link to the sculpture page will reveal portrait sculpture.



Click pictures for close ups

Portrait of Hon Tony Abbott, MP, Federal Minister for Health
Acrylic on Canvas (h)120cm x (w)193cm 
Tony Abbott was at the start of painting him a media stereotype. Across several sittings I came to appreciate his humour and incisive intelligence, and his love for the symbolic artifices of Parliament.

 I did the first sitting at Parliament House in Canberra and he told me the history of various items such as the Despatch Boxes. They were a gift from the British Parliament in the 1930's and are silver and oak replica's of the originals in Westminster that date back to the time of Cromwell. A sort of Australian connection to ancient traditions.

I watched him speaking and noticed he places one hand on the Despatch Box habitually, so I painted him with his one hand on the box, loving tradition and the other hand open as if he has nothing to hide. There's a lot of psychology in hand gestures.

Acrylic on Canvas on Panel (h)140cm x (w)130cm 
This painting has been worked on off and on for more than 2 years. Some people have said that it is finished, but I am still not totally satisfied.

The Wake-up Call
Mixed Media (h)120cm x (w)148cm x (d)34cm 
Reverand Ray Richmond headed the Wayside Chapel and forced the Government to make a decision on a trial for a legalised injecting room for heroin addicts. He achieved this by setting up an illegal one openly then getting arrested for it.

This picture alludes to the 2 thieves that were crucified with Christ. In boxes that have perspex covers with the words 'break in case of emergency' their are bones and needles that represent the junkies, and a manniken head with mouth, eyes, and ears covered that represents ordinary people in the street who offer no better solutions to a growing problem. Both are thieves of peoples lives. In between Rev Ray has a bell to wake people up.

Self Portrait as an Old Man
Mixed Media (h)105cm x (w)205cm x (d)10cm 
This portrait was done during divorce proceedings. No more need be said.

Self Portrait Reflected in the Mirror of Carlotta's Bourbon
Acrylic on Panel (h)244cm x (w)124cm 
Carlotta was close friends with Bernie Houghton. She is here relaxing with Bernie after a show. Is the clown a relection of the life in the mirror or its antithesis? We cannot tell.

Portrait of Murray Rose: Looking Back
Acrylic on Panel (h)147 x (w)230cm x (d)120cm 
Murray Rose was historically Australia's greatest male Olympian. I learned a lot about how to think about paint when hearing him talk about swiming. The things that make someone very good at their discipline are the same no matter what ones craft.

I painted him sitting on the same beach where he learnt to swim.