About the Artist
Born in 1991 and based in Perth, Western Australia, Tessa MacKay paints contemporary realism, large-scale hyperrealism and photorealism portraiture. Reluctant to be boxed in by an overt singular concept or style, Tessa paints diverse subjects ranging from entertainment icons, to the indigenous ‘Montagnard’ people of Vietnam and Aboriginal Australians. In every instance, she strives to meaningfully engage with her subjects and their story as a means to inform her thematic, stylistic and compositional approach. Above all else, through her own interpretive prism, Tessa seeks to create honest works that capture a subject’s essence, drawing the viewer’s empathy, curiosity, fascination and ultimately, shared humanity.
Foxtel Arts ‘The Archibald’
In 2017, Tessa was included in the Foxtel Arts documentary ‘The Archibald’. The four-part series tracked the journey of eight artists, from blank canvas to finished work as they vied for the Nation’s most coveted portraiture prize, and lifted the veil on the judging process for the first time ever.
Twenty-five at the time, Tessa was the youngest artist on the show, among high profile artists Nicholas Harding, Yvette Coppersmith, Nick Stathopoulos, George Gittoes, Tim Storrier, Jason Phu and Wendy Sharpe. For her 2017 Archibald submission, Tessa painted iconic theatre and screen actor, Trevor Jamieson.