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Flat White

Art’s gone Woke and no longer serves the common good

Perhaps the National Gallery of Australia should be renamed the National Fringe Gallery of Australia...

21 May 2024

9:31 AM

21 May 2024

9:31 AM

The recent brouhaha over an unflattering portrait of Gina Rinehart is emblematic of a much larger problem with Australian democracy. For centuries, art represented the glory of what Thomas Carlyle referred to as the ‘great men’ of history. Sure, there were great women, too, but the term ‘men’ meant ‘people’ until recent times. Interestingly, men can now be women, and while the whole Woke ‘thing’ is not my focus here, it is the backdrop to my argument that art is failing ordinary Australians who just happen to be paying for it.

Much of the art of the pre-modern era was funded by patrons who appeared in the...

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