Comedian, author and artist Anh Do has won the Archibald Prize's People's Choice Award for his portrait of actor and Indigenous activist Jack Charles.
The $3,500 cash prize was announced at the Art Gallery of NSW on Wednesday.
In accepting the prize, Do said he first heard of Charles in a newspaper article that introduced him as "esteemed actor, former heroin addict and jailbird, member of the Stolen Generations, gay man and latter-day Indigenous activist".
He then painted Charles on his ABC television program Anh Do's Brush With Fame, and later painted a second portrait in a similar style that went on to be his entry in the 2017 prize.
"I feel very lucky that Jack let me paint his portrait for the Archibald prize. He's an extraordinary Australian with a great face full of character," Do said.
"Jack has lived a big life and I enjoyed getting to know him and painting his portrait immensely."
Do said his winning oil-on-linen portrait of Charles' head floating on a black background with a reflection underneath is made from more than just paint.
"There's a hologram of a unicorn and its mother there to represent the years Jack spent looking for his mother," Do said.
"There's dead insects here [because] Jack spent many years homeless."
In a statement, Charles said: "I am extremely chuffed to be counted as one of Anh Do's mates, and of his extraordinary portrait of moi."
"It was a hoot sitting for this legend in his sexy little Sydney studio," he said.
More than 15,000 people who visited the exhibition cast their vote for this year's winner.
Gallery director Michael Brand said the "striking portrait" of Charles "has clearly moved visitors at this year's Archibald exhibition".
In July, figurative painter and cartoonist Mitch Cairns won the Archibald Prize for his portrait of his partner and fellow artist Agatha Gothe-Snape.
Peter Smeeth won the Packing Room Prize, chosen by the gallery's head packer Steve Peters, for his portrait of TV journalist Lisa Wilkinson.
The winning portrait and finalist works for the 2017 Archibald, as well as Wynne and Sulman prizes are on show at the Art Gallery of New South Wales until October 22.
Archibald Prize finalists will then go on a regional tour for 12 months.