Art Culture

Ozzie Observations – Week 6 – The Artist has no Clothes – What the NSW Art Gallery tells us about Australia and the Westo

I love going to art galleries and our trip to the New South Wales Gallery near the Botanical gardens was no exception.  We saw some great paintings in the European and traditional Australian galleries – as well as some in the Asian.  And then….

Art galleries give us a real sense of where a culture has come from and where it is at.  What does it value?  So follow me through a few photos that I took of some of the paintings. First this was our route to the gallery – past St Mary’s and the fountain beside it…a good start.  Beautiful, artistic and speaking of a greater beauty.

Then we went into the gallery itself.

David Roberts – portrait of Edinburgh
Eugene van Gerard – Milford Sound – New Zealand.

Edward John Poynter – the visit of the Queen of Sheba – Jean Francois Portzel – Esther 

James Tissot – the Widower
Adam Pynacker – Landscape with enraged ox.
Cezanne – The Banks of the Marne
Team Lab – Japan – Flowers and Gold
Rahiq Shaw – Blossom Gatherers

I loved all the above…but then it began to go wrong when we went to the contemporary art.

It was hardly the most popular!

Albert Irvin – Yupon                                               Apologetic Forest. 

                                  This work of ‘art’ was by the British artist, Bob Law, who apparently was a champion of British minimal art.  Apparently he has several paintings in galleries throughout the world – of various kinds of black. Personally I think the man was a genius -persuading foundations and art galleries to pay him a fortune for putting black paint on a canvas and claiming it is art. I suppose it is – of a kind – scam art.  But that was nothing compared to what was to come – have a look at this.  And wonder!


This is the absolute best illustration of the Emperor’s New Clothes that I have ever seen.  The great and good of the land were persuaded to part with their money by an artist who sold them an invisible painting!  Someone I think it is an apposite image for much of contemporary culture! Money for nothing.

And then on the way out (we had to leave early because some French artist called Macron was coming to visit and apparently required the galleries to be cleared and lots of armed police to be around….) we saw this…


Such brave and revolutionary art!  What courage and radicalism!  I’m sure that further into this room there would be a similar portrait of Mohammed – who knows many a Danish cartoon?!


As we left I noticed this statue of Rabbie Burns and his words came to mind.  “Oh that God would gie us, the gift to see ourselves as others see us”.  Western society (including Australia) has a great heritage – including art.  But we are in danger of squandering it all for invisible paintings, colourless art and a mind numbing stupidity and cowardice which only serves to illustrate how much we are regressing rather than progressing.

Walking home past St Mary’s reminded me that there is a greater grandeur, beauty and love…which all true art points to and reflects.


Ozzie Observations – Week 5 – Liberal Indoctrination; The Drum; Israel Folau; The Bible in Australia; ANZAC; Moore College; The Bookery; Aussie Humour


  1. Some time do go and see “Art” by Razima Reza; it is a brilliant satire on the absurdities of modern “art”, very funny – I saw it when it first came to London. How anyone can present a monochrome canvas since that play is beyond belief.

  2. The art that is worshipped by the masses is usually a sign of the times. Can’t stand such crap masquerading as ‘talent.’

    Btw, I love how your common sense approach to scripture and faith has raised the ire of atheists. I can only tolerate them in small doses, as their perpetual requests for ‘evidence’ are only a treadmill of repeated excuses.

    I like to say that God and His word have never lost an argument to ants, bless them little creatures.

    1. I guess as long as scripture and faith remain the hobby of a minority us atheists have naught to worry about.

      1. Have you looked up the word ‘hobby’ lately in the dictionary?

        Ever read the hobby work of Dr. Alfred Edersheim, the Austrian Jew, and Christian, whose monumental work ‘Old Testament Bible History’ has no equal?

        And that in a day without using the crutches of the internet. What have you done with your life that so compares? We are thieves of sorts then eh? Stealing and borrowing another mans food while we call him an idiot, yet the true scholars went about their work quietly, and warning of the insidious inroads of false science and atheism.

        Congratulations john. Your godless heroes with big mouths will all die, and God will still be God. Yeah, yeah I know, no evidence. But you may want to ponder the existence of the wind. After you research that, get back to us in ten years, and see if you wised up.

      2. I wondered, John,
        what I would find to worry about if I were an atheist. (Apart from the obvious, obviously.)

        I started to draw up a list but all other potential items — including global warming; other atheists; and the polarisation of society — seemed to fade into insignificance compared with the first. So:

        1. Ageing population.

        I’d worry that things designed to aleviate the perceived problems of the few might become so attractive to the many that the effect on the population is irreversible. At least, I think I’d worry about that.

        John K./.

  3. Ironic how it’s the contemporary work that evoked a strong response in you, certainly the strongest in this post. That’s one of art’s purposes!

      1. What is evil about the two black pieces you make reference to? Plus ‘strong response’ is perhaps the wrong phrase. ‘Thoughtful’ response is better. Is art justified by a thoughtful response?

      2. Evil? No art is not justified by a thoughtful response….and a gallery paying a fortune for a black canvas which only the ‘artist’ knows what is behind – is dumb….

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