On his last visit to Perth in December, Heath Ledger sat for artist Vincent Fantauzzo. Fantauzzo had planned to submit his portrait for the Archibald Prize this year, but released the image early with the approval of LEdger’s family.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports: “The painting depicts the notoriously private actor as three separate images. The central, and largest, image is of Ledger, bare-chested, looking straight ahead, appearing pained and exhausted. The two background images are of Ledger wearing humorous expressions, whispering into the ears of his foreground image. Fantauzzo said he felt privileged to have worked with Ledger. ‘Heath was a very private person, which is one of the reasons I was so honoured that he allowed me to paint him,’ Fantauzzo told reporters. ‘He was so easy and professional to work with. He didn’t need any direction, (he was) absolutely focused. Once done, he was back to his usual charismatic self.’ Ledger’s childhood friend, hip hop artist N’fa, told Channel Ten News the actor couldn’t wait to see the finished work. ‘He was very excited about it. He was very excited to see the finished product,’ N’fa said. N’fa said the picture had captured Ledger perfectly. ‘This is the way he always was. He was always a thought ahead.'”