The Aboriginalist

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The Aboriginalist
by Gordon Bennett

The artwork the ’The Aboriginalist’ by Gordon Bennett is artwork created with synthetic polymer paints on canvas and wood as it’s medium. A then, young artist named Gordon Bennett who uses his life experiences, particularly those surrounding his identity, as inspiration for his artwork, created the painting in 1994. The artwork belongs to the postmodern movement. This is apparent due to the social comment of racism.

My first impression of the artwork made me feel shocked at the scandalous statements of racism. I believe that the artwork is a narrative based on racism. The artwork is based around the indigenous man and the box he is holding. The Box says ‘Australia’s white hope household soap’ below that phrase is an image of a indigenous woman being hit with a wooden spoon with the words ‘Knocks Dirt On The Head’ suggesting the women is ‘Dirt’. Because the box says ‘Australia white hope’ we know that not just the women is being called dirt, but the whole indigenous race. Once again the once white moon is covered in typically indigenous style hand paintings on the moon, representing the indigenous making things, or the moon ‘Dirty’.

The man is brought forward and made to be the focal point. So when you first look at the artwork, he is the first thing you see. He is also a lighter shade bringing him forward as one of the closest things to the front in the image, once again making him a focal point. The separate box outside of the image in the artwork is closest to the front of the painting, so the viewer is drawn to reading the details on the box as they are important elements of the artwork. Negative space is in the puddles were he walked through the bed of water. Many different shades and tones of orange and brown are in the artwork creating balance. There are also many overlapping shapes.

I believe that that Shepard Fairey inspired Gordon Bennett as ‘The Aboriginalist’ replicates screen-printing; also Fairey...
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