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April 4, 2013 10:28 PM   Subscribe

The winner of the 2013 Bald Archy Prize has been announced.

Like most things in the country, the honour of being depicted belongs to Gina Rinehart. Previous winners include a world-grasping Murdoch, matching set of bedpans, and nightmare fuel you probably shouldn't view.
posted by pompomtom (37 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Recent New Yorker profile of Gina Rinehart
posted by Bwithh at 10:36 PM on April 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


To be honest, I thought this painting was trite, predictable, cliched, and not a little chauvinist.

Oh, a fat woman eating cake, painted to look ugly, greedy. It's such a common trope, and all too easy to draw a link between Rhineheart's literal greed for resources, money, influence and the metaphorical greed of eating cake and being fat and stuff. These things are not connected, and given the stigma and shaming associated with weight, particularly for women, I don't think it's original or helpful to reinforce the cliche.

Mind you, it's typically of the satirical depth of the bald archies. Howard went out of his way to destroy Hanson, more than Labor ever did, really, but you won't see that much more ambiguous reality in a painting.
posted by smoke at 10:44 PM on April 4, 2013 [6 favorites]


Oh, a fat woman eating cake, painted to look ugly...

The cake thing aside, she actually does look like that. If anything, the painting is flattering.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:03 PM on April 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


While I think her actual facial depiction's accurate enough, I feel like it would get rejected as a political cartoon for being too obvious. Marie Antoinette, literal stack of gold, the Age for Fairfax; hardly symbols that need much interpretation, or give much.
posted by solarion at 12:39 AM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


The contrast between the dislike of Rinehart and the dislike of Gillard and the way they are discussed is interesting.

How much chauvinism plays in the dislike of Gillard is intensely discussed, with Rinehart far less so. Even less so the role of fattism.
posted by sien at 12:49 AM on April 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


It's such an easy 'joke' to make and ts not clever. But Australian humor trades in cheerful vulgarity. On a related note, the actual Archibald winner for this year strongly reminds me of a comic book cover artist and I can't remember who.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 1:39 AM on April 5, 2013


Yeah, I don't think this is a great painting in its allusions, but it is lifelike, which I suppose is what you want for something like this competition.

I think accusations of sexism or fattism are off the mark, because it's actually just that accurate.

Howard went out of his way to destroy Hanson

By becoming like her and stealing all her followers.
posted by Mezentian at 1:58 AM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


because it's actually just that accurate.

Oh, because she eats chocolate cake with her bare hands, smearing it all over her face all the time? Please. I have no love for Rhinehart, but we can and should do better.
posted by smoke at 2:32 AM on April 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


Maybe not all the time, but you try eating chocolate cake and not smearing it everywhere.
posted by Mezentian at 2:43 AM on April 5, 2013


Sorry, but I'm utterly with smoke on this. Derivative, obvious, chauvinistic and not clever.

Degrading is actually the best word I can think of. Hated it. And I truly, utterly, completely hate Gina Rhinehart.
posted by taff at 3:41 AM on April 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


I suspect that annoying people like MeFites is among the prime goals of the Bald Archies, so achievement unlocked.
posted by unSane at 4:29 AM on April 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Nah. I suspect it's made up of lefty "artists", just not very bright ones. There are morons on both sides of politics. It's just that us ernest lefties prefer to call them, rather paternalistically, uneducated. It's not that, they're just plain, fucking dumb.
posted by taff at 4:35 AM on April 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Not that there's anything wrong with that....
posted by taff at 4:37 AM on April 5, 2013


It's meant for caricature, parody, etc. It can be pretty blunt.

It's just that us ernest lefties

Ah yes, the importance of being ernest.
posted by Wolof at 4:38 AM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Lane, who painted a rolled-up copy of The Age newspaper in the artwork - a reference to Rinehart's purchase of Fairfax Media shares - modelled the portrait on 17th century Dutch painter Jan Victors' The Banquet of Esther and Ahasuerus.

In the original painting, the Jewish heroine Esther alerts her husband, the Persian King, of a plot against his empire.

"I saw some parallels with Gina and her daughter Ginia and the ... siblings John, Bianca and Hope ... [taking] their family issues to court," Lane said.


But in the original painting there is a third person:

"In this scene the Jewish heroine Esther, wife of the Persian King Ahasuerus, notifies her husband of the plans of his advisor Haman, here seen at left, who has schemed to massacre the Jews in the Persian empire."

Who then is Haman in this satire and isn't this painting saying something about that absent figure?
posted by three blind mice at 5:25 AM on April 5, 2013


Julia Gillard threatened to massacre the miners by putting a bad bad impost on their profits.
posted by Wolof at 6:06 AM on April 5, 2013


But Australian humor trades in cheerful vulgarity.

It does.
posted by Fizz at 6:15 AM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I quite liked this one of Gillard
posted by the noob at 6:27 AM on April 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


How much chauvinism plays in the dislike of Gillard is intensely discussed, with Rinehart far less so.

Except that Rinehart is actually awful in every way imaginable.

The treatment of her reminds me more of the media treatment of Australia's other great contribution to the world: Rupert Murdoch.
posted by outlandishmarxist at 6:32 AM on April 5, 2013


I agree with smoke - I thought it pretty obvious.

but
Howard went out of his way to destroy Hanson

cough...
posted by mattoxic at 6:34 AM on April 5, 2013


I am all in favor of heaping scorn, degradation, and humiliation on those who go so far out of their way to harm others. This degrades her? Good. That's the point.
posted by 1adam12 at 8:10 AM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


The treatment of her reminds me more of the media treatment of Australia's other great contribution to the world: Rupert Murdoch.

This.
Not everything needs to be looked at through Jezebel's Lens of Outrage.

Yes, it's not exactly deep.

Who then is Haman in this satire and isn't this painting saying something about that absent figure?

That is actually a good question. It could be her son, John (who is apparently crazy, so some say) or it could be one of her advisors, or one of the journalists she is threatening to have thrown in jail for not revealing their sources*. The levels on what is missing are pregnant with meaning and we could discuss it for hours. I suppose that's a hallmarkl of good art.

The cake is our taxes, unpaid, perhaps


(* Let us not forget that she apparently hires people to read - not scan, read - the e-mails that leave her office for signs of dissent. Is that anecdotal? Yes.)
posted by Mezentian at 8:21 AM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


But Australian humor trades in cheerful vulgarity.

All the more reason for Australians with spines to look elsewhere for their humor.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:09 AM on April 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


We could find humour elsewhere, and America could maybe not invade other nations or prod nuclear-armed powers into insane actions.

The poster did not define the award properly, avoiding a wikipedia entry, so allow me:
The Bald Archy is an Australian art prize, a parody of the Archibald Prize, an important portraiture award. It usually includes cartoons or humorous works making fun of Australian celebrities.

It is judged by Maude, a cockatoo

So, get your cultural outrage on all you want (and that's fair, Metafilter - and Australia - are places where we can have debates about female circumcision/FGM and the like) but you are getting your rage on about a spoof prize chosen by a bird.
posted by Mezentian at 10:41 AM on April 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


We could find humour elsewhere, and America could maybe not invade other nations or prod nuclear-armed powers into insane actions.

What? I was pointing out that "Australian comedy is conventionally like this" is a lame excuse, just as "Chinese comedy, etc.," and "American comedy, etc." would be for a Chinese or an American prize. But now it turns out Charlemagne is excusing a bird, so ...
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:51 AM on April 5, 2013


I must add, since it came to me, we could look for our humour elsewhere, and we did. Do.

Do other countries have the cultural cringe, in the same way we do?
posted by Mezentian at 10:52 AM on April 5, 2013


What? I was pointing out that "Australian comedy is conventionally like this"

Like I say, cultural cringe. We get defensive. Even over our insane billionaires who commit acts of unspeakable evil or confused evil (Titanic 2, Robo-Jurassic Park).

Australians, as far as I have seen, have been pretty good about not making Jabba The Hut jokes about Gina (Clive Palmer and Nathan Tinkler have been less fortunate), so while this might look all "Ho, ho, look at the fattie" internationally, it's actually an oddity in the public discourse here (again, as far as I know).

That Gina's power extends into the media no doubt has some role in that, but I think we not so bad as all that.
posted by Mezentian at 10:58 AM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ack, sorry. I wrote poorly.

I didn't mean "Australians should ignore Australian humor," but "Australian prize committees should reward Australians who don't just crack the same jokes in the same way as every other Australian."

When someone says that Bulgarian humor or French humor or Russian humor is such-and-such, what they really mean is that conventional humor in those countries is such-and-such. I don't think conventionality should be rewarded, especially when surprise is such an important part of comedy.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 11:01 AM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Howard went out of his way to destroy Hanson

cough...


No, really he did. In fact, even more counter-intuitively he did it through none other than Tony Abbott.

Make no mistake, Howard was soulbent on stopping One Nation dead - not for any altruistic reasons, but to ensure that what happened at the QLD election was not repeated federally.
posted by smoke at 2:57 PM on April 5, 2013


I didn't mean "Australians should ignore Australian humor," but "Australian prize committees should reward Australians who don't just crack the same jokes in the same way as every other Australian."

Let's compromise, and ignore CiS whenever he makes these idiotic generalisations about Australia.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:48 PM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Be it resolved.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 4:49 PM on April 5, 2013


Make no mistake, Howard was soulbent on stopping One Nation dead - not for any altruistic reasons, but to ensure that what happened at the QLD election was not repeated federally.

At the time, some of the Left even praised Abbott for taking down One Nation.
posted by kithrater at 5:36 PM on April 5, 2013


Australians, as far as I have seen, have been pretty good about not making Jabba The Hut jokes about Gina

You wouldn't see, because I did it here, and it got modded out of existence. (That the same picture cast Tony Abbott as the obsequious, soft-minded Bib Fortuna, utterly in her thrall, didn't seem to enter into it, presumably because oh my god woman of size you just can't.)

Jabba shows that the fat, morally corrupt gangster stereotype is older than Rinehart, and spans gender boundaries. No, it's not particularly subtle having somebody's inner greed juxtaposed with their external appearance, but there it is. It's not fair, ut I don't think she's particularly entitled to fairness, given her conduct (Kant forgive me). I certainly wouldn't do it for, say, Susan Boyle, who's also fat and rich and a bit odd, but then she doesn't want to rip all of our sovereign wealth out of the ground with slave labour, keep it for herself, and have us serfs pay her for doing us a favour into the bargain.

Those who suggest that drawing the same picture with Rinehart - the world's richest woman, somebody who'd melt us all down for tallow to fuel a mine truck to carry an extra five cents of ore if she could - are somehow damaging all fat people are being a tad precious, I say as a fat person (not that it should matter whether I'm fat or not - as a vicious, enormously powerful public figure, she's fair game for ridicule by skinny people, too, because how else are we supposed her hurt her?).

Can and should we do better? Maybe. Probably. Should I have to? No. I'll stop making comparisons with fat rich monsters who want to eat me or feed me to fuel her pets when she isn't all of those things. I did the same thing with Russ Hinze.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 5:57 PM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'd rather mock Rinehardt for her bad poetry. And praise Clive Palmer for his hubris.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 6:21 PM on April 5, 2013


I think Lyndsey Hatchwell did it better (scroll down). Far more effective.
posted by heyjude at 8:59 PM on April 5, 2013


I think Lyndsey Hatchwell did it better (scroll down). Far more effective.

Heh. It's still a cheap joke, I think (that whole Shepard Fairey meme is pretty common) but it doesn't tap into ugly prejudices.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:53 PM on April 5, 2013


Make no mistake, Howard was soulbent on stopping One Nation dead - not for any altruistic reasons, but to ensure that what happened at the QLD election was not repeated federally.


Yes, not good to split the conservative vote.
posted by the noob at 5:36 AM on April 6, 2013


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