A controversial Brisbane artist believes she can win the coveted Archibald portrait prize this year with ‘‘arguably my most controversial and political work yet”.
Sue Ridge has devoted her creation, Right Wing Nut Jobs, to the two men she believes have done more than anyone else to make Australia the place it is today – former Prime Minister John Howard and former Australian and now American citizen and the world’s most powerful media baron ever, Rupert Murdoch.
“I simply don’t think this nation of ours could ever have become so inward looking, so mean-spirited, so self-centred, so selfish and so uncaring of people less well off without the efforts of these two,” she explained.
Australia’s most acclaimed art prize for portraiture, the Archibalds has been postponed until later in the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Ms Ridge admits the inspiration for her work was based on her mistaken belief that they were called the Archiballs.
“Nevertheless, I think the end result is the logical progression of my ‘body of work’.”
In fact, this is the first time Ms Ridge has used conventional artists’ materials for one of her works. Right Wing Nut Jobs is a mixture of oils and acrylics on a board of stretched white Speedos.
The Bug has previously featured her work as a pioneer in the use of excreta in art and for quite some time, she painted using nothing but human and animal faeces (pictured).
“So in some ways my latest creation is still all about complete and utter shits,”she joked.
The artist also caused enormous controversy early in her career when she painted using only her own menstrual blood to highlight women’s issue and she still looks back fondly on what she calls her period period.