By EMMA CORNFORD
STRAPPED to the top of his car, Seelands artist Graeme Payne's Archibald Prize entry began its journey to Sydney yesterday.
The portrait of INXS guitarist and saxophonist Kirk Pengilly is oil on canvas, incorporating bold colours and a surreal background.
"The thing that intrigues me about Kirk is that he actually managed to survive that lifestyle that he lived, because not many do," Mr Payne said.
The painting portrays Pengilly sitting on a glass plate on a glass column, which in turn rests precariously on a glass pyramid.
"The way he's sitting is like that fragile existence that he leads and that's what I was trying to portray.
"It's a fairly representative painting but the background is a ... swirling mix of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, really."
Arranging a time to sit with his muse proved to be one of the most difficult parts of the creative process for Mr Payne, with Mr Pengilly flitting between Aust- ralia and the US on a regular basis.
"He was back in Australia for a week before he went back to the US to start filming that new show to find an INXS lead singer, but he took a day off in Sydney for me.
"I was rapt because he's so well-known and could have had anyone in the world paint him but he was still prepared to sit with me."