Lot 87
  • 87

Tracey Moffatt born 1960

3,000 - 5,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Tracey Moffatt
  • The Movie Star: David Gulpilil on Bondi Beach
  • Bears artist's name, title, medium, size and 'Edition of 20' on Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery label on the reverse
  • Direct positive colour photograph


Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
Private collection
Sotheby's, Aboriginal Art, Sydney, 20 October 2008, Lot 176
Private collection, United Kingdom


Editions of this print have been exhibited as below:

The Armory Show, New York, 11 March- 15 March 2004

Lines in the Sand: Botany Bay Stories from 1770, Hazlehurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre, 28 March-11 May 2008

What’s in a face? Aspects of portrait photography, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 24 September – 5 February 2012


Gail Newton and Tracey Moffat, Tracey Moffatt Fever Pitch, Sydney, 1995, p.15, illus.

Catherine Summerhayes, The Moving Images of Tracey Moffatt, Charta Artbooks, Milan, 2007, p.26, illus.

Catalogue Note

Born in 1953, David Gulpilil, is a member of the Mandhalpuy clan in central Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, and is one of Australia's most famous Indigenous actors. He first came to public notice as a young man in the 1971 movie Walkabout by the British director Nicholas Roeg, and he starred in the 1986 film Crocodile Dundee.

Here Moffatt depicts him as the stereotypical Australian male surfer. All the trappings of the photograph indicate the Australian archetype. The setting is Bondi Beach, the most famous beach in the country, and the sitter's accoutrements include a ghetto-blaster, a can of popular Australian beer in his hand, and a car; and he wears fashionable board shorts. The image would be one of the epitome of modern Australian maleness, except the irony is that the sitter wears a traditional ritual design painted across his face, instead of sun-resistant cream, and his skin is black.

The descendants of the original inhabitants of the site that is Bondi Beach are vastly outnumbered, if ever seen at all at this beach. The image is one of dispossession and reclamation. The artist originally took this photograph in 1985 and first printed it in this edition of twenty in 2002. Prints from the original edition of the photograph are held in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia and the National Portrait Gallery, both in Canberra.