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 The Archibald: where poor art parades as political tripe!

26.09.20.  Just in case you hadn’t noticed but this year’s Archibald had a surprising number of Aboriginal entries which coincides with Minister 3% Wyatt’s push for constitutional recognition. Vincent Namatjira took the top prize with his politically motivated bum-kissing display of himself beside a wild splodge of uncomplimentary images of the disgraced Adam Goodes. Art is like beauty, it rests in the eye of the beholder. One can only wonder what the artist’s great-grandfather would have said about Vincent’s talent which gives no clue to the wonderful skill of Albert Namatjira’s  brilliant  landscapes? It’s more than obvious that the Archibald gang have lost their way ans serious artists may choose to exhibit elsewhere because of, “Art Stacking!”
It’s fourth time lucky for Vincent Namatjira, great-grandson of acclaimed artist Albert Namatjira, who has become the first Indigenous Australian to win the $100,000 Archibald Prize in its 99-year history. The Western Arrernte artist was an Archibald finalist for the fourth consecutive year in 2020 (having been the runner up in 2018), with a double-portrait featuring himself alongside former AFL player and 2014 Australian of the Year Adam Goodes, entitled Stand Strong for Who You Are.

Source: ABC

Archibald Prize won by Vincent Namatjira with self portrait alongside Adam Goodes

Accepting the award via Zoom from the APY Lands, where he lives, Namatjira said: “What an honour it is to be the first Indigenous winner of the Archibald Prize. It only took 99 years!”
Vincent Namatjira is the first Indigenous Australian to win the Archibald Prize.
Namatjira won against a field of finalists that includes former Archibald Prize winners Louise Hearman, Nicholas Harding, Craig Ruddy, Marcus Wills, Wendy Sharpe and Guy Maestri.
Of the 56 artists, 25 are female and 31 male
The win comes off the back of an incredible 18 months for Namatjira, who won the $100,000 Ramsay Art Prize in 2019.
Namatjira first met Goodes in 2018, when he visited Indulkana, where the artist lives, to promote Indigenous literacy.
But he had been a fan of the footballer since childhood, writing in his artist statement:
“When I was younger and growing up in the foster system in Perth, Indigenous footballers were like heroes to me. Goodesy is much more than a great footballer though, he took a strong stand against racism and said, ‘enough is enough’. I stand strong with you too, brother.”
Announcing the award, David Gonski, President of the Art Gallery of NSW Board of Trustees — who choose the finalists and winner of Archibald Prize — read a statement from Goodes:
”I am thrilled that an Indigenous artist, Vincent Namatjira, has won the Archibald Prize for the first time. And I am so pleased that it shines a light on all Indigenous art. We have a 60,000 year history of art and culture in our people, and we share this knowledge and gift of culture with all Australia.”

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Lorraine 26/09/2020, 7:14 am

    60,000 years and this painting has not got dots. it can not be a true indigenous painting with no dots. which is Goodes and where is the spear……sorry but my grand daughter who is 8 draws a better picture.

  • Ian 26/09/2020, 7:30 am

    If that crap image at the top is this year’s winner then I’m entering next year with a smudge offered up by 5 well fed dairy cattle.

    What a piece of crap, I would not place that on a wall in DD’s house, despite how much I despise that git.

    Why can’t they bring back the artists without all the PC crap. Maybe it should be blind judging, where the art work is presented without any link to the artist’s name, background, race, etc.

    PC has destroyed merit, again.

  • PW 26/09/2020, 7:49 am

    What about Vincent’s community?
    So he was growing up in the “foster system”.
    And then speaks of racism?
    These people have no decent lives within.

  • Xword 26/09/2020, 7:52 am

    Folks, don’t take the bait. The judges know this thing is a piece of unadulterated crap but they just want to have a giggle at the plebs’ expense as they suck their Verve Cliq.

  • John 26/09/2020, 7:58 am

    And when you look at McInnis`s winning painting of 1921 you just wonder “What`s the point?”. Excellent idea Ian, all submissions are “blind”.
    The 60,000 years of dot painting actually goes all the way back to – um – ah – well 1971, 49 years. A bit like the traditional “welcome to country” invented by Ernie Dingo and and Advertising mate over lunch. But the traditional aboriginal dot painting was invented by Geoffrey Bardon, a white art teacher working at Papunya in 1971.
    Yes, there are, lies, damn lies and statistics then, then there is this garbage.

  • Ian A 26/09/2020, 8:16 am

    Obviously painted by someone with poor technical handling of the medium. Stiff, lifeless figures. Painted from photos obviously. But it’s got the BLM flag in it it, so cannot be criticised, as of course criticism would be racist. Yet another merit-based institution now fallen into the maw of “Diversity Inclusiveness and Equality”.

  • Uber 26/09/2020, 8:16 am

    I doubt that there’s any such thing as a ‘double portrait’, but this isn’t even a portrait. Let alone art.

  • Ex ADF 26/09/2020, 9:40 am

    Well, one thing is for sure, ol’ Vince’s paintings will never make a bob at the Alice Springs Sunday Trash n Treasure market!

  • Penguinite 26/09/2020, 9:58 am

    I put this tripe in the “naive” art category. J F Archibald will be turning in his grave. None of the requirements of distinguished in “Art, Letters, Science or Politics,” seem to be present! Unless of course BLM rules apply?

  • JK. 26/09/2020, 10:57 am

    It always seems to me that the packing room staff have a much better understanding of art then the main judges.

  • nev 26/09/2020, 11:51 am

    Poor old Albert must be horrified looking down to see how his artistic talent has deteriorated with the dilution of his DNA as displayed by his young name sake Vincent Namatjira’s talentless scratching, which wouldn’t stand out among the graffiti on the bike shed wall at the local primary school.
    This award degenerates the Archibald in the same way the awarding of the Obama peace prize diminished the prestige of a Nobel award. Using the colour of some ones skin as the sole criteria for winning has ridiculed both of these once esteemed awards to nothing more than politisized virtue signallers.

  • Cliff 26/09/2020, 1:54 pm

    This is like witnessing a repeat of the travesty that political correctness has made of the Nobel Peace Prize with its award to Barry Soreto five minutes after he became US President – for what? Being black(ish)? Or not George Bush? These prizes have been demeaned, quite possibly quite consciously, by those awarding them to those thoroughly undeserving of them.

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