An artist’s place in society is ambiguous and one not often discussed. Artist’s often have difficulty claiming themselves as ‘artist’ for fear of criticism and rejection both inside and outside the art world and from within. Historically, artists have had their work labeled as narcissistic, sexist, racist, classist, elitist, indulgent, hermetic…and the list goes on.
I have been on the end of some harsh criticism. Comments made by the board of Queensland’s most prestigious art school have stayed with me for over 15 years. “Impressive folio” they said, however, using images of indigenous persons is ‘cultural appropriation’ and ‘unacceptable’. They were referring to a series of pieces I had been encouraged to create under the mentorship of a fine, accredited artist Wim De Vos.
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