Australia’s richest woman Gina Rinehart ‘demands’ gallery removes her portrait | World News

May 16, 2024
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Australia’s richest woman is reported to have made a demand that her portrait be removed from an exhibition.

The portrait is currently on display at the National Gallery of Australia alongside a collection of other works by the award-winning artist Vincent Namatjira.

Complete with double chin, it portrays mining billionaire Gina Rinehart in what some may say is an unflattering light.

Responding to the reports, Mr Namatjira has said he “paints the world as he sees it”.

Ms Rinehart has not publicly commented on the painting, Australian media is reporting.

However, a spokesperson for the National Gallery said it “welcomes the public having a dialogue on our collection and displays,” according to Australia‘s ABC News.

The piece features alongside portraits of other major figures like King Charles, Queen Elizabeth II, and former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard as part of an exhibition titled Australia in Colour.

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According to the National Gallery, Mr Namatjira is “renowned for producing paintings laden with dry wit” and is a “celebrated portraitist and satirical chronicler of Australian identity”.

He won the Ramsay Art Prize in 2019 and was the first indigenous artist to win the Archibald Prize in 2020. In the same year, he received the Medal of the Order of Australia for his contribution to indigenous visual arts.

In his statement, Mr Reinhart said: “People don’t have to like my paintings, but I hope they take the time to look and think, ‘why has this Aboriginal bloke painted these powerful people? What is he trying to say?'”

“I paint people who are wealthy, powerful, or significant – people who have had an influence on this country, and on me personally, whether directly or indirectly, whether for good or for bad.”

Lisa Slade, assistant director of artistic programmes at the Art Gallery of South Australia – where the work was on display until early this year – told Australia’s ABC Radio Adelaide she suspects Ms Rinehart has not personally seen the show.

“I think if you have seen the show … you will have a context for the way in which Gina is depicted and for the kind of storytelling inherent in the show.

“Portraiture is not a photographic art, it is an art of expression, an art of creating a sense of identity, a sense of an individual,” she said.



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