The Archibald Packing Room Prize is awarded to the portrait of Taika Waititi by emerging artist Claus Stangl

Sydney artist Claus Stangl’s painting of Aotearoa New Zealand filmmaker, actor and comedian Taika Waititi has won the Archibald Prize’s Packing Room Prize – kicking off ‘Archies season’ at Sidney.

This is the second time Stangl has been an Archibald finalist, having been shortlisted in 2020 for his portrayal of Sydney hip-hop artist L-FRESH The LION.

The New Zealand-born painter said ‘he couldn’t believe it’ when Waititi agreed to sit for him, after sending him a detailed ‘treatment’ of ideas for the portrait while he was filming the upcoming Marvel blockbuster Thor: Love and Thunder.

“I’ve admired his work for so many years,” he said, dating back to watching Waititi’s 2010 film Boy.

The portrait of Taika Waititi by Claus Stangl received the 2022 Packing Room award.(Provided: AGNSW/Felicity Jenkins)

Stangl’s portrayal of Waititi is one of 52 finalists for one of Australia’s oldest and richest prizes, with a prize pool of $100,000.

Announcing the winner of the Packing Room award, head packer Brett Cuthbertson, who has the deciding vote, said Waititi had a “vision and twisted sense of humor that we all need right now” in a “world full of war and COVID – it’s quite miserable sometimes”.

He also announced that 2022 is his last year in this role, as he is retiring after 41 years.

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