As a portrait, this painting is unusual and, perhaps, deliberately misleading. While Australian writer and broadcaster Clive James is the subject, his portrait appears in miniature, and the viewer is instead drawn to the large yellow fence that fills most of the composition. Pressed against the foreground, the fence’s metal corrugations run left to right, creating a pattern of light and dark. These seem to mimic the optical abstractions seen in the broad planes of flat colour seen in the work of Hard-edge painters in the 1960s. Smart’s choice of vibrant yellow is perhaps a metaphor for James’ extroverted public persona.