Pro Hart - The art Mafia doesn't like me
This week the Australian artist Pro Hart died
, so there has been quite a bit about him in the media. Most reports seem to highlight the fact that he was never collected by any important art museums in Australia.
My personal opinion is that Pro Hart should of been happy with the commercial success he had. He painted quirky, folksy type popular images of times past. Old Australian bush scenes that verge on the corny were how he became so popular. He knew it too, and repeated himself to become a reasonably wealthy man.
I couldn't find any decent collection of his paintings online, but a Google image search brings up a few Pro Hart paintings.
Alan Dodge from The Art Gallery of Western Australia told the Australian newspaper "He is one of the most delightful illustrators of the Australian folk idiom, but let's not use the word art anywhere. He's incredibly popular and there's nothing wrong with that."
He probably deserves some kind of slight mention in the history of Australian art, but a very minor one (no pun intended - he was a miner before becoming a painter). He was a folk artist and that's how he should be categorized. It's not a good or bad thing, it just means he's not in the same room as other Australian artists like Brett Whiteley, John Olsen, or Fred Williams.
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