The Archibald Prize 2020: An Artistic Accolade Awarded by the Visually Impaired

Charles Bronson
Cobber’s Morning Herald
September 27, 2020

The state of art globally as well as here in our beloved Australia continues to drain in an anti-clockwise motion down the metaphorical toilet. The most recent sign of artistic cultural decay comes packaged in a neat little envelope labelled, “The 2020 Archibald Prize Winner.”

For those who are unaware, The Archibald Prize is an open competition awarded to what is judged to be the best portrait, painted by any artist resident in Australasia. It is judged by the trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW.

This year’s Archibald Prize was awarded to an abo named Vincent Namatjira, from South Australia, who painted a really bad picture of himself with former Sydney Swans AFL footballer and professional Donkey Kong impersonator, Adam Goodes.

The portrait is called, “Stand strong for who you are,” and it really is just bad. It’s not even just bad in the way that modern art usually is – you know, where it’s like, intentionally ugly. This is just a really low quality painting.

It looks like something that might be painted by a secondary school student who thinks they are good at art, but they actually are not. Don’t take my word for it, I’ve pasted the piece right at the top of the article for you. Look deeply at it. Investigate it closely.

The faces all look like clapped out junkies; with deformed, melted paddle pop looking heads. Although I haven’t seen Adam Goodes in many years. He may well be a clapped out junkie with a melted paddle pop for a head these days, so perhaps the painting is more accurate than I have given credit for.

This part of the painting is actually very accurate in the face department.

The ‘artist,’ Vincent Namatjira allegedly drew this terrible picture because he watched the documentary, The Final Quarter about Adam Goodes final season of AFL. He states that his guts were churning as he relived Goodes’ experience of relentless racism on and off the field.

There is no explanation for why his guts were churning. I can only assume that he perhaps ate some roadkill that didn’t agree with him while he was going walkabout.

The point of all this though, is to say that the statement a piece of art attempts to make now takes primacy over the quality of the art, in the judging process. Many of you could make turbo mega bucks by just churning out retarded drawings that completely suck, but giving them some ridiculously specific meaning which is a comment on social politics.

Of course, this is the angle that many news media publications are taking.

Sydney Morning Herald:

Instead, Vincent Namatjira’s Stand Strong for Who You Are, is a highly appropriate winner. This double portrait of the artist clasping hands with footballer Adam Goodes may be too loosely painted for those who insist on near-photographic precision, but it’s a sincere and likeable image.

Stand Strong is not an angry picture but a call for everyone to feel proud and confident in their own skin. At a time when the world is becoming increasingly divided, Namatjira posts a simple, positive message about race and identity. If you’re thinking this shouldn’t be a consideration when it comes to picking the best painting, that would be an unrealistic expectation.

This sure is an interesting way of saying that the best portrait does not have to win, or even a good portrait. More important, is that the message of the portrait meets the socio-political values of the judges, the trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW.

The Conversation:

It is worth noting the trustees, laid down by Jules François Archibald’s will as judges of the prize which he established, are (with two exceptions) non-artists. Their choice is more than purely aesthetic.

I have long argued the Archibald is in essence a social history prize, not an art prize. In announcing the first Indigenous winner in the prize’s history, this year the guardians of New South Wales’ visual cultural heritage are proclaiming the value of integrity, and for Aboriginal people to stand proud. They are also indicating it is no longer a given white men of a certain class are entitled to take the prize.

Umm, ok. Anyway. The interesting thing about this is that Vincent Namatjira is the great-grandson of the aboriginal artist, Albert Namatjira.

Albert Namatjira was actually a good artist, quite contrary to Vincent who has no talent whatsoever. I will share some of Albert’s art for you now.

Heavitree Gap
Palm Valley
Not Titled
Mount Sonder, Macdonnell Ranges

I actually enjoy this art a lot and I can appreciate the accuracy and talent with which he has captured the Australian landscape. Albert’s art is honest, simple and aesthetically pleasing.

Here are some of Vincent’s other works for you to scoff at in comparison.

James Cook – With the Declaration
Donald and Kim
Vincent & Donald
Queen Elizabeth & Donald
The Ghan

These are all just so bad. The picture he has drawn of The Ghan looks like something I might draw on microsoft paint as a joke. And this is not a matter of preference or subjectivity, his pieces are objectively bad. They are objectively worse than his great-grandfather’s.

I wondered to myself why it might be that such a shithouse piece of terrible art could possibly win this prize. Well perhaps all the other entries were garbage? We can check that later.

I first decided to check who the judges were. Of course as mentioned earlier, all but two are non-artists. What I did manage to find in addition to this is that the president of the Art Gallery of NSW Board of Trustees is a man named David Gonski. David Gonski is a jew.

Uncovering this information did clarify the situation for me, to some extent. It is understood that jews have a biological drive to oppose natural beauty in favour of the ugly and decrepit. I even believe that the experience of transcendence I feel when viewing a truly beautiful piece of art, that same feeling is experienced by a jew when he sees an ugly piece of art. In what other scenario would a bloke who spits paint out of his clacker be given a $4,000,000 grant.

It fulfils jews to view something that bastardises nature and the creation of God.

“Mendelssohn has shown us that a Jew can have the richest abundance of talents and be a man of the broadest culture,” he wrote, “but still be incapable of supplying the profound, heart-seizing, soul-searching experience we expect from art.”

Richard Wagner, in Das Judentum in der Musik

It appears to me that as we observe the rise of ugliness in art, we also observe the rise in over-complicated explanations for why the art should be appreciated. Ugly jewish art, which glorifies the decrepit, must necessarily be accompanied by philosophical sophistry – fallacious reasoning that is designed to deceive.

Word salad allows for this type of art to be, “free from the dependence on the skill of the artist or craftsman,” in the words of Sol LeWitt (whose early life section contains exactly what you might expect).

I will refer to the kind of art in which I am involved as conceptual art. In conceptual art the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work. When an artist uses a conceptual form of art, it means that all of the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair. The idea becomes a machine that makes the art. This kind of art is not theoretical or illustrative of theories; it is intuitive, it is involved with all types of mental processes and it is purposeless. It is usually free from the dependence on the skill of the artist as a craftsman. It is the objective of the artist who is concerned with conceptual art to make his work mentally interesting to the spectator, and therefore usually he would want it to become emotionally dry. There is no reason to suppose, however, that the conceptual artist is out to bore the viewer. It is only the expectation of an emotional kick, to which one conditioned to expressionist art is accustomed, that would deter the viewer from perceiving this art.

Sol LeWitt, in Paragraphs on Conceptual Art

I can’t see this as anything other than a mechanism by which our natural affinity for truth, beauty and nature is degraded, directing us slowly but surely towards an existence as culture-less, product consuming blobs. We separate ourselves from God in this way.

Returning to our original subject; although perhaps the pool of portraits was not fantastic, there were significantly more worthy pieces that were eligible for the award. I will now show you a number of portraits, in no particular order, that I believe are objectively better pieces of art, on a purely artistic level.

‘Dark Emu’ – Portrait of Bruce Pascoe, by Craig Ruddy
Soils for Life, by Lucy Culliton
Self-portrait after ‘Allegory of Painting’ , by Tsering Hannaford
Adam with Bream, by Yoshio Honjo
Barry Jones, by Louise Hearman
Chef’s Coat – Graham Doyle, by Peter Wegner

Lmao look, I don’t know what to say here. The painting is a piece of shit. Simple as. It won because it’s ugly, pro-boong/anti-white, and includes a sports celebrity who is known for ooga-ing and booga-ing. You know I am correct about this.

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