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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.

Nick Cave

2001 (printed 2014)
Ingvar Kenne

type C photograph on paper, edition 3/7 (frame: 103.0 cm x 103.0 cm depth 3.8 cm, sheet: 100.0 cm x 100.0 cm)

Nick Cave AO (b. 1957), singer, songwriter and author, was born in Warracknabeal, Victoria, and educated at Caulfield Grammar School, where he formed his first band, The Boys Next Door. In 1980, the band changed its name to The Birthday Party and moved to London, where it significantly influenced other punk bands. With several talented recruits, members of the Birthday Party formed The Bad Seeds, whose first album was released in 1984. Soon after, Cave began his diverse involvement in films, appearing in the arthouse sensation Wings of Desire (1987); co-writing, acting in and writing the soundtrack for Ghosts . . . of the Civil Dead (1988); scripting The Proposition (2006) and appearing in I'm Your Man (2005–2006). He co-wrote and starred in a wry documentary about himself, 20 000 Days on Earth (2014); and another biographical film, One More Time with Feeling, was made during the recording of the Bad Seeds' sixteenth studio album Skeleton Tree (2016). Cave has also published two novels, And the Ass Saw the Angel (1989) and The Death of Bunny Munro (2009), and the autobiographical photobook Stranger Than Kindness (2020).


In 1997, photographer Ingvar Kenne created the first of the portraits that eventually formed a series called Citizen. The series encompasses portraits of famous and anonymous subjects as well as commissioned photographs and those that came about by chance. Either way, Kenne applied the same approach: a Mamiya 6 medium format camera, colour film, and whatever background happened to be available. 'Their public persona (whether they have one) was almost beside the point', Kenne says; 'I wanted them to simply represent man or woman'.

Gift of the artist 2017. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.
© Ingvar Kenne

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

Ingvar Kenne (age 36 in 2001)

Nick Cave AO (age 44 in 2001)

Subject professions

Performing arts

Donated by

Ingvar Kenne (14 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.

Cormac + Callum Kenne, My Children, Sydney, Australia, 2009
Cormac + Callum Kenne, My Children, Sydney, Australia, 2009
Cormac + Callum Kenne, My Children, Sydney, Australia, 2009
Cormac + Callum Kenne, My Children, Sydney, Australia, 2009

Citizen Kenne

Magazine article by April Thompson, 2013

April Thompson explores an exhibition of Ingvar Kenne’s global portrait project.

Nick Cave by Howard Arkley

Portrait story

An interview with graffiti artist Marc de Jong about the art of Howard Arkley.

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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