Michael Fullerton (b.1971)
Michael Fullerton's paintings challenge many of the traditional assumptions of portraiture. He often depicts contemporary figures with ties to specific newsworthy events or those who carry wider connotations for culture at large, from internet entrepreneurs to benefit fraud investigators. His work asks how the traditions of art history might provide insight into the balance of power in present day society. The work Kim Dotcom Under House Arrest, Dotcom Mansion, Auckland, 2013 (Third Version), 2014, is one of three paintings produced after Fullerton traveled to New Zealand to meet and photograph Dotcom. With its bucolic setting and jaunty pose, the portrait is reminiscent of those of Thomas Gainsborough, who recorded the elite of his day within natural landscapes rather than urban interiors.