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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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Ben Mendelsohn

2001 (printed 2014)
Ingvar Kenne

type C photograph on paper, edition 1/7 (frame: 103.0 cm x 103.0 cm depth 3.8 cm, sheet: 100.0 cm x 100.0 cm)

Ben Mendelsohn (b. 1969), actor, spent much of his early childhood abroad as his father, a leading medical researcher, worked in Europe and the USA. Returning to Melbourne in time to attend high school, he began acting in local theatre productions and gained roles on television series including The Henderson Kids. His breakthrough role came in the quiet hit The Year My Voice Broke (1987) for which he won the AFI award for Best Supporting Actor. After The Big Steal (1990) and Spotswood (1992) he made Cosi and Idiot Box in 1996 and Mullet in 2000. That year he appeared in his first Hollywood venture, Vertical Limit; and during the ensuing decade featured in Terrence Malick’s masterpiece The New World (2005), Knowing (2009), Baz Luhrmann’s Australia (2008), and Beautiful Kate (2009) opposite Bryan Brown and Rachel Griffiths. In 2010 he triumphed with his role as the menacing leader of a family of criminal brothers in the ensemble drama Animal Kingdom. His performance won him the AFI award and the Inside Film award for best actor and saw him named GQ magazine’s Actor of the Year. Mendelsohn has since appeared in many American and British films including the third instalment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy The Dark Knight Rises (2012); the crime dramas The place beyond the pines and Killing them softly (both 2012); Ridley Scott’s Biblical epic Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014); Rogue One: a Star Wars Story (2016); Una (2017); and Darkest Hour (2017). Having appeared in the HBO series Girls in 2013, Mendelsohn distinguished himself as a television actor in Bloodline (2015–2017) for which he won a Golden Globe nomination and an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.

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)

Ben Mendelsohn (age 32 in 2001)

Subject professions

Performing arts

Donated by

Ingvar Kenne (14 portraits)

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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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