The Archibald People's Choice Award was given to Sydney artist Craig Ruddy for his portrait of Warwick Thornton.
Thornton is an Aboriginal writer-filmmaker who won awards for his feature Samson And Delilah.
The portrait, which Ruddy called The Prince of Darkness, originated from Thornton's raw and honest style in filmmaking.
In a statement, Ruddy said, "Warwick's strong social consciousness drives him to fearlessly tackle society's darkest issues head on."
"In a dignified and sensitive manner he carries us deep into the belly of darkness, yet holds up a lantern that leads us through to the light.
"His film gives a voice to a lost generation who find themselves at the end of a long dark tunnel," he added.
Thornton's Samson And Delilah is about two love-struck teens from a remote Aboriginal country. They stole a care and drove off to Alice Springs. It received the Camera D'Or prize for best feature film at the Cannes Film Festival in 2009.
Ruddy is not only happy to receive his $2,500 prize money. More than that, he is glad that his portrait was able to get through to the viewing public.
According to him, "The greatest thing for an artist is to evoke feeling and emotion in the viewer."
Ruddy's portrait of actor David Gulpilil won the Archibald Prize and the People's Choice Award back in 2004.
The winners and finalists for Archibald is available for public viewing at the Art Gallery of New South Wales until May 30.
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