LEGAL PRESENCE: Nigel Milsom poses with his Archibald Prize-winning portrait of Charles Waterstreet.
LEGAL PRESENCE: Nigel Milsom poses with his Archibald Prize-winning portrait of Charles Waterstreet. JOEL Carrettaap

The armed robber wins Archibald Prize for portrait of lawyer

A PORTRAIT of Sydney lawyer Charles Waterstreet by a former convict has won the Archibald Prize.

Newcastle artist and former armed robber Nigel Milsom painted the portrait of the colourful legal eagle who represented him in court on the robbery charges.

Mr Milsom had previously been named a finalist three times in the prestigious art prize.

The oil on linen work depicts Mr Waterstreet as an other-worldly figure, with a hand extended forward as if offering help.

Mr Waterstreet's colourful life also formed the basis for the fictional ABC Television series Rake, starring Richard Roxburgh.

Mr Milsom told reporters it took more than three years to complete the work.

It follows the 2015 Archibald Packing Room prize awarded to Sydney painter Bruno Jean Grasswill last week for a portrait of The Castle actor Michael Caton.

Other significant awards given out included the Sulman Prize to Jason Phu and Wynne Prize to Natasha Bieniek.


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