Untitled [‘Head’] (1996?) [W/P]

Synthetic polymer paint on paper, 75.5 x 55.5 (according to Deutscher-Menzies)

Coll. John Buckley, Melbourne

This work was first recorded when it was auctioned by Deutscher-Menzies, 10 August 1998 (catalogue photo reproduced here). In May 2009, the present owner informed me that the work was in his possession, noting that Arkley called it a ‘self portrait.’

In the first edition of Arkley Works (June 2010), this example was mistakenly assumed to be identical with the work on paper now catalogued separately as Self Portrait (1996) [W/P]; for further discussion, see the entry for that work, including comments on the idea of the image as a type of self-portrait of Arkley. While closely similar, the two works differ in several respects (here, for instance, the man’s hair is light blue, not green, and there are also distinctive doubled lines indicating the upper arms).

Arkley repeated this composition several times during the 1980s and 90s: see now Pittoresque (1984) [W/P], Untitled [Icon #2] 1984 [W/P], Black and White Icon (1995) [W/P] and The Icon Head 1997 [W/P].


  • auctioned by Deutscher-Menzies, Melb., 10 Aug.1998, lot 175: as ‘Head’ (details and illustration as noted here; no inscriptions or provenance information indicated; est.$2-3,000; sold for $3,200 plus buyer’s premium)
  • recorded in present coll., May 2009 (correspondence with owner)