It's the talk of the Sydney arts world...
Iconic Australian sports figure Ian Thope will return to Sydney to launch a portrait painted of him for the 10-year anniversary of his charity, Fountain for Youth.
The painting was completed a year ago but has not been revealed due to the swim star's Olympic training commitments.
It's understood Thorpe will attend tonight's launch, coming off the Olympic trials in Adelaide.
Well known and celebrated artist Charles Billich has enjoyed some wonderful conversations with the swimmer during their sittings for the portrait and thinks Thorpe is "going for the theatrics" and might surprise everyone with his comeback.
"He's an impressive guy, not because he's famous but because he has enormous discipline, enormous energy and dedication and if he wants to do it, he will do it and he will do it again," Billich says.
"I think he is leaving it to the last; he might have a sense of the theatrics with his timing and he'll surprise everyone."
The art is entitled "Spiritual Training" and is described as "A composite portrait of Ian Thorpe...an iconic Australian Renaissance man".
The occasion is in support of Ian Thorpe's charity - The Foundation for Youth. The painting can be acquired by silent auction.
Charles Billich official website
Ian Thorpe official website
Eva Rinaldi Photography Flickr
Eva Rinaldi Photography