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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

The Gallery’s Acknowledgement of Country, and information on culturally sensitive and restricted content and the use of historic language in the collection can be found here.

Michael Hutchence

1997
Harry Borden

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 50.5 cm x 40.2 cm, image: 43.0 cm x 35.4 cm, frame: depth 4.3 cm)

Michael Hutchence (1960–1997) was the charismatic lead singer of the rock band INXS, which formed in Sydney in 1977. Their eponymous first album was released in 1980. The albums Underneath the Colours (1981), Shaboo Shoobah (1982), The Swing (1985) and Listen Like Thieves (1985) followed in quick succession, combining with their tireless touring to win the band a large fan base in Australia. The only Australian group to participate in the historic Live Aid concert in 1985, they supported Queen at Wembley stadium in 1986 and by the following year, when Hutchence starred in the virtually plotless film Dogs in Space, they were contenders in the competitive American music arena. Their sixth album, Kick (1987) sold some nine million copies worldwide and its four huge singles, ‘Need You Tonight’, ‘Devil Inside’, ‘New Sensation’ and ‘Never Tear us Apart’ established their position in the US mainstream market. Hutchence was often in the gossip pages over the 1980s and 1990s as he squired a string of high–profile beauties including fledgling performer Kylie Minogue (whose career is sometimes said to have benefited from his ‘corrupting’ influence); model Helena Christensen; and Paula Yates, with whom he had a daughter in 1996. His last album with INXS was Elegantly Wasted (1997). Hutchence died by misadventure in the Ritz – Carlton Hotel in Double Bay, Sydney in November 1997. Nick Cave sang at his funeral, and acts as diverse as U2, Powderfinger, Simple Minds and Prince have since paid public tribute to him in various songs and appearances.

Harry Borden (b. 1965) is a New York-born photographer who has spent much of his life in England. His earliest commissions were for the New Musical Express and the Observer. Now, there are few leading English magazines that have not published his work, which has come to comprise mostly portraiture. The National Portrait Gallery, London has more than one hundred of his photographs.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 1999
© Harry Borden

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Harry Borden (age 32 in 1997)

Michael Hutchence (age 37 in 1997)

Subject professions

Performing arts

Related portraits

1. Michael Hutchence, 1997. All Polly Borland.

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Michael Hutchence by Harry Borden

Portrait story

An interview with photographer Harry Borden about his portrait of Michael Hutchence.

Elle Macpherson
Elle Macpherson
Elle Macpherson
Elle Macpherson

Australian Visit

Previous exhibition, 2006

The exhibition will include works of art from the NPG Canberra's permanent collection with some inward loans and aims to highlight the achievements of notable Australians.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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