Tony ALBERT: artist

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Not On Display

About the work

Tony Albert’s velvet painting “MISUNDERSTANDING” responds to the devastating detonation of explosives by mining giant Rio Tinto in May this year which destroyed two scared [sic] rock caves at Juukan Gorge, north-west of Tom Price in the Pilbara which dated back more than 46,000 years.

Albert’s velvet series draws on his collection of Aboriginalia: domestic and tourist artefacts that include images of Aboriginal people, their cultural objects and designs.

Common in the 1970s, velvet paintings by white Australian artists were sold to tourists as souvenirs or as ‘paint by numbers’ kits. Albert appropriates the paintings by inscribing them with text and imagery, taking the stereotypical and racist images and giving them an Aboriginal context.

“Through his practice and collection of Aboriginalia – featuring the voiceless and the nameless – Tony Albert reveals the many voices and stories behind the objects, and reinforces that the conversations and connections they involve will always be complex and nuanced, time after time” (Sally Brand). (Artist statement 2020)
Artist/Maker and role
Tony ALBERT: artist
acrylic spray paint on vintage velvet painting
36.0 x 26.0cm
Production place
Brisbane, Queensland
Credit line
Purchased through The Art Gallery of Western Australia Foundation: TomorrowFund, 2020
The State Art Collection, The Art Gallery of Western Australia
Accession number

This is one of the paintings in our collection.