Australia’s richest woman wants her portrait removed from an exhibition

Art is subjective. And although many artists want to share their work with the world, there’s no guarantee that the public will understand, or even like it.

That certainly appears to be the case with a painting by Aboriginal artist Vincent Namatjira, which features a portrait of Australia’s richest person, mining magnate Gina Rinehart.

Rinehart reportedly asked the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) to remove his portrait, which is one of 21 individual works that form part of Namatjira’s “Australia in Colour” exhibition.

This exhibition is being displayed in the gallery of Australian capital Canberra since March.

Other subjects of the play include the late Queen Elizabeth II, American musician Jimi Hendrix, Australian Aboriginal rights activist Vincent Lingiari and former Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Rinehart’s painting is one of 21 paintings by artist Vincent Namatjira that are part of his “Australia in Colour” exhibition. [Austrália a cores], Vincent Namatjira

Australian media report that Rinehart contacted the director and president of the NGA to request his removal from the board.

The NGA said in a statement to CNN on Thursday that it “welcomes the public conversation about this.” [suas] Collections and Exhibitions”.

“Since 1973, when the National Gallery acquired Jackson Pollock’s painting Blue Poles, there has been a dynamic discussion about the artistic merits of works in the National Collection and/or displayed in the Gallery,” the NGA statement continues, ” We present works to inspire the Australian public to explore, experience and learn about art.”

Namatjira also said in a statement that he portrays “rich, powerful or important people”, adding: “People who have had an impact on this country and on me personally, directly or indirectly, for good or bad. “

“I paint the world as I see it,” he defended. “People don’t have to like my paintings, but I hope they’ll take a moment to look and think, ‘Why did this Aboriginal man paint these powerful people? What is he trying to say?’. Some people may not like it, others may find it funny, but I hope people will look beyond the surface and see the serious side.”

Rhinehart is the executive chairwoman of Hancock Prospecting, a private mining company founded by her father, Lang Hancock.

CNN contacted Hancock Prospecting but did not receive a response.

According to Forbes, Rinehart has an estimated net worth of $30.2 billion. The businesswoman “remains steadfast” at the top of Forbes Australia’s 50 richest list for 2024, according to the publication in February.

The National Visual Arts Association of Australia (NAVA) spoke out in favor of Namatjira, CNN affiliate 9News reports.

According to 9News, NAVA Executive Director Penelope Benton said, “Although Rinehart has the right to express her opinion about the work, she does not have the right to pressure the gallery to remove a painting because she doesn’t like it.” “

NAVA gave its “full support” to the National Gallery of Australia, saying it was concerned that demands to remove Rinehart’s photograph would “set a dangerous precedent for censorship and the suppression of creative expression,” 9News reported.

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About the author: Cory Weinberg

"Student. Subtly charming organizer. Certified music advocate. Writer. Lifelong troublemaker. Twitter lover."

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