10.7.14

Auteur auteur!

" ... it's Nick bloody Cave." said artist James Powditch who has suffered for his newest work of art and suffered also the imperious household staff of Nicholas who does not even answer a question these days.

His mind-reading PA replies for him  "Nick wouldn't like to wear a hat" when Powditch requests one for his portrait sitting which has been completed and hung today as a finalist for The AGNSW Archibald 2014.

'The Archibald Prize' for "the best portrait of some man or woman distinguished in Art, Letters, Science or Politics" is regarded as the most prestigious art prize in Australia, and the cash component is now about $75,000. First awarded in 1921 with a bequest by funny Geelong-born guy Jules Feltham 'Archie' Archibald, who had edited The Bulletin magazine.
Several comic elements at that link are appropriate to this topic, and the The Packers Prize is an amusing element of  The Archie - in my opinion this is more relevant than the panel choice, as those men have prolongued physical experience of each work. They don't know anything about 'art' but they know what they like.
It's so Australian to cock a snoot at anything pretentious so we also have the joy of The Bald Archies - do follow that link for a good long laugh.
Cock a snoot? At King Nick?  May I commend to you James Valentine's essay for The Drum/ABC 2010 -
One-Trick Nick', which suggests the reason for Mr Nick being everywhere one might gaze -

'Nick Worshippers grew up and became rock critics and festival directors and magazine people and anytime they could they got Nick a gig. 
If Nick brought out a recording it was always five stars. 
If Nick wrote a film, it was incredible. 
Would Nick mind if we set a ballet to his music? 
Could Nick curate something for us, write a forward, could he sculpt something? Then we can write about it, and put Nick on the cover of our magazine and show once again how cool we are, because we get Nick Cave'.

Overland magazine 2009 published The Monarch Of Middlebrow by Anwyn Crawford in similar opinion:

'it is largely this ubiquity that makes me despise Cave and his work now with the passion that perhaps only a former fan can muster.'   and
'he has become determined during recent years to shape for himself ... a legacy in the country that he left behind nearly thirty years ago. 
In this at least he has succeeded very well: it is hard to overestimate Cave’s continued influence on contemporary Australian music, from ‘literate’ bands such as Augie March to any number of young post-punk revivalists looking to borrow a little bit of his old Berlin glamour. 
Add this to his revisionist – and widely seen – filmic Western of colonial Australian life, The Proposition, the various national institutions holding exhibitions in his honour, the near-universal critical praise that greets his every album, and the man begins to feel damn near ubiquitous.'
The Howard Arkley is hanging in Canberra at The National Portrait Gallery, the photo portrait of N. E. Cave in a blue wig, by his Melbourne Scene contemporary Polly Borland.

Citizen Kave has not yet got The Nobel Prize, or the cover of  "Australia's biggest selling"  Women's Weekly, and this Powditch portrait is only hung, and has not yet won The Archibald, but give him time.