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For those hopeful artists who were brushed off by the Gallery of New South Wales, there is a life line: The Real Refusé exhibition at the TAP Gallery.

This one of a kind exhibition has been running for 16 years and showcases as many ‘rejected’ artworks as possible.

TAP Gallery, which will celebrate its 23rd birthday later this year, described Real Refusé as “giving a fair go to all artists.”

Hung artwork includes pieces that failed to win the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman prizes.

The opening night will showcase Brydie Greedy’s portrait of Tim Freedman.

This year, Tim Storrier walked home with the $75,000 Archibald prize for his thought-provoking self portrait, The Historic Wayfarer (after Bosch).

In the painting, the figure is shown “making a decision between right and,” Mr Storrier said.

Associated prizes are the Wynne Prize for landscape paintings or figure sculptures, worth $35,000, and the Sulman Prize for best subject or genre painting, or mural work, worth $30,000.

Mr Storrier won the Sulman prize in 1968.

The Archibald 91st year attracted over 800 entries and 41 finalists and only acknowledges one winner every year.

For the devastated artists left behind, TAP Gallery offered up Real Refusé.

The gallery’s manager, Lesley Dimmick, said: “We do Real Refusé every year because artists need recognition for their efforts.

So many talented people are disappointed and we give them a chance to show their work to the public.”

The climax of the exhibition is the everpopular gala night on April 14, where the People’s Choice Award is given out.

The winner is voted for by the public and the lucky artist wins a free exhibition at TAP Gallery.

“It’s the democratic Archibald,” Ms Dimmick said.

Turkish-born Mertim Gokalp won last year’s People’s Choice Award for his portrait of Paul Fenech.

“The award is tremendously important as you get direct feedback from viewers. As an artist, appreciation is the single most important thing,” he said.

Sixty artworks have already been accepted and TAP Gallery is expecting
many more.

“Artists from out of town are driving up to deliver their work. The word is getting out that the public are genuinely interested in seeing their art,” Ms Dimmick said.

The Real Refusé exhibition is open daily from 12-6pm from April 10-22 at TAP Gallery, Darlinghurst.

By Punam Vyas