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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.

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The crime writer Shane Maloney

2004
Rick Amor

oil on canvas (162.0 cm x 199.0 cm)

Shane Maloney (b. 1953), author, studied Asian history and politics at ANU and held an assortment of jobs before embarking on what was to become Australia’s most successful crime novel series: Stiff (1994), The Brush-Off (1996), Nice Try (1998), The Big Ask (2000), Something Fishy (2002) and Sucked In (2007). Stiff and The Brush Off were adapted for television by John Clarke in 2004; David Wenham starred as Maloney’s fictional protagonist, state Labor MP Murray Whelan. Maloney is also co-author of The Happy Phrase: Everyday conversation made easy (2004) and writes a regular column, ‘Encounters’, for the intellectual journal The Monthly.

Rick Amor portrayed Shane Maloney near the railway lines in inner-city Melbourne. Once, Maloney recalls, there was a road over Downie Street where Flinders Street flew across King Street and down to Spencer Street. Now demolished, it was characteristic of that part of Melbourne, where industrial buildings such as those suggested in the painting are now being refurbished and repurposed. The portrait is something like a painting based on a dream of meeting a wordless Maloney in a half-familiar location.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2010
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
© Rick Amor/Copyright Agency, 2021

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.
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Audio description

2 minutes 59 seconds
Show transcript

Artist and subject

Rick Amor (age 56 in 2004)

Shane Maloney (age 51 in 2004)

Donated by

Rick Amor (20 portraits)

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.

David Malouf

'The person who is the writer'

Portrait story

Australian author David Malouf discusses the creation of his portrait by artist Rick Amor.

Shane Maloney and Rick Amor

'Big canvas, small head'

Portrait story

Artist Rick Amor and author Shane Maloney relate divergent experiences of the creation of Shane's portrait.

© National Portrait Gallery 2021
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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.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency