Art’s gone Woke and no longer serves the common good

Mona Lisa from the Prado, Pudong Art Museum, Shanghai 2024

The recent brouhaha over an unflattering portrait of Gina Rinehart is emblematic of a much larger problem with Australian democracy. For centuries, art represented the glory of what Thomas Carlyle referred to as the ‘great men’ of history. Sure, there were great women, too, but the term ‘men’ meant ‘people’ until recent times. Interestingly, men can now be women, and while the whole Woke ‘thing’ is not my focus here, it is the backdrop to my argument that art is failing ordinary Australians who just happen to be paying for it.

Unfiltered had this to say about the article:

I love Michael de Percy’s story in Flat White on ‘Woke’ art. As an artist myself, the rapid decline of art in the West has seen ‘modern’ masterpieces share gallery space with literal trash. It has debased itself to the point where satirists have lost interest. How do you insult a blank canvas or a person dressed as a sheep, pretending to eat grass outside the gallery? They insult themselves. As Michael correctly states, ‘It is not organic, it is socialist. Artists flock to the inputs provided by government and they produce work that meets the requirements of government.’ And as we know, collectivists build ugly things.

My latest in The Spectator Australia, Art's gone Woke and no longer serves the common good.