The not so funny side of the Bald Archy Prize

Bald Archy

Why do we find it impossible not to laugh at the outrageous and sometimes shocking images found in the Bald Archy Prize.

But what are we really laughing at?

Mostly, the paintings in the irreverent Bald Archy Prize are politicians. And rightly so you say because they are the easiest targets due to their actions and statements. Every year we get a few new political faces, who have made the same old goofs and bloopers, and occasionally a politician who has been dumped, arrested or just plain embarrassed themselves.

Again, I ask, what are we laughing at?

We elected these people and they almost all turn out the same, a terrible disappointment. Much more than that, they rarely seem to make progress with anything, due to the structure of how they do things. I keep hoping for a politician that will do the right and smart thing, but they can’t be found. Like Diogenes, I am most others are out there wandering around with a lamp looking for one honest politician.

More sniggering and head shaking takes place at the Bald Archy Prize than any other exhibition in Australia, even during the contentious Archibald Prize. It gives us great delight to laugh at those silly people who we elected. But we keep electing the same type of people every few years, so who are the silly ones?

The media and commentators wet their pants when a political scandal breaks. Like it was something new, they run endless reports of the politicians every move. Most news coverage begins with political stories and for some stations, that's all they cover. Yes, politics is important as it guides and rules most things, but the non-stop coverage of political events becomes mind numbing and turns people off.

The Bald Archy Prize is more than just politicians

Fortunately, there are exhibitions like the Bald Archy, which are not 100% wall-to-wall pictures of politicians. Musicians and celebrities all get their heads hung in the Bald Archy if they have been bad, and sometimes, good enough.

Sports people are regulars in this exhibition, and some make great characters. I do wish that there were more artists painted and hung though. I like to see the mirror of self-reflection pointed at the people who do the recording of others. It makes for great interest.

The Bald Archy Prize is currently on at the Watson Art Center in Canberra. 10 February to 13 March, 2017. It then tours to several galleries around Australia.