Sunday, September 19, 2010

Art Attacks !

right : Rodney Pople & Annita Keating

It is the sort of publicity to die for !. Complaints that the art works are 'blasphemous' and 'pornographic'.

Rodney Pople, a graduate from the prestige Slade Art School in London found around 20 placard waving religious folk outside an art gallery at the beginning of his new solo exhibition this week at the Australian Gallery in Paddington. Pople's impressive list of collectors of his works include US film director Spike Jonze, millionaire banker and MP Malcolm Turnbull and Perth billionaire media mogul Kerry Stokes.

The demonstrators-in between bouts of prayers, were complaining that Pople's exhibition, Bellini 21c, includes a work called Altarpiece in which the figures in the famous Bellini altarpiece in Venice are obscured by an image of a woman being penetrated from behind and having oral sex.

Their prayers paid off. As guests arrived for the opening party the heavens opened and rain lashed down. Amongst those guests was a former pupil of Pople's and the former first lady Annita Keating who was once married to former Prime Minister Paul Keating. Annita is having her own exhibition early next year. She wasn't shocked by Pople's works and says she concentrates on painting flowers. So there won't be a demo at her show.

Apparently Inspector Knacker of Rose Bay police is investigating the complaints about the art works.
He's been called one of 2 of the most important living Australian artists-Charles Blackburn (left)-the other is Margaret Olley-and his past paintings exchange hands for well over a million dollars but the artist at 82 is said to be struggling financially.

Blackman's latest exhibition at the Art House was a sellout which should solve that crisis. Blackman has had 4 wives and they all received generous settlements including the last - Victoria who is a devotee of the Raelians which has been described as "the largest UFO religion in the world".

Raelians don't believe in smoking, drinking and sex. Blackman believes in all 3 so something had to go. It was Victoria.

At the other end of the art market, the very controversial painter Charles Billich seems to have become very chummy with King Taufa'ahau Tupou V. the King of Tonga who has been keeping a $2000 a night suite at a Kings Cross hotel and entertaining locals with Charles and wife Christa joining in.

Apparently Charles has begun work on a portrait of the King and will be presenting it to him in 8 weeks at a gala dinner in the King's honour (we'll be there!).

Tupov V takes after his predecessors in looks and enormous bulk. His grandmother Queen SalotiTupou III was in the Royal procession of coaches after the coronation of HRH Queen Elizabeth II.

Watching was Noel Coward along with actor David Niven. When Niven asked who the large lady in the carriage was, Coward replied "the Queen of Tonga".
"And who is the little man beside her " asked Niven of the small attendant seated next to the Tongan Queen.

"Her lunch" replied Coward.