Marikit Santiago’s Archibald finalist portrait ‘Filipiniana (self portrait in collaboration with Maella Santiago Pearl)’ continues her exploration in depicting her Filipino ethnicity and Australian nationality. Santiago was the winner of the Sulman Prize in 2020, and for this Archibald portrait she has collaborated with her eldest daughter, Maella. The confrontation of the dual portraits represents how she portrays herself and how she is perceived by others. We had a quick chat with @marikitsantiago, and asked her about her Archibald experience:
1. Hi Marikit, where are you based?
I am based in Parramatta, Western Sydney on unceded Darug land. I work in the garage studio of our 2-bedroom apartment that I share with my husband and three children.
2. And what inspired you to paint this particular subject?
In this work, I portray myself in the poses of Mona Lisa and Frida Kahlo. As Mona Lisa is the subject of another, and Kahlo paints self-portraits, my work considers how we are perceived by others and how we portray ourselves.
3. How long did the painting take to complete?
I worked on this painting while working on three others at the same time so it took about two months but was on and off.
4. What has been your favourite part of being an Archibald finalist?
The best part about being a finalist this year is that I am able to share it with my collaborator, my firstborn, Maella. It was very special to have her with me at the Artists Lunch at the Art Gallery of NSW.
Such a striking, painterly portrait. We can't wait to see this in person. Tickets to the Archibald Prize 2021 exhibition at the Gippsland Art Gallery available here.