Sam Leach’s Fuhrer portrait

March 1, 2008

In a fascinating portrait local artist Sam Leach borrows stylistics from an iconic portrait of Adolf Hitler. An omen of a return of Fascism? A comment on our Culture? Just a portrait of the artist in fancy dress? Or just controversy for its own sake? The Jewish community are having their usual whinge, but some from the community support it and good on the later, I say. It’s being tipped as a favorite to win at this years Archibald and it gets Idea Fix’s vote.

Leach online at The Age claims his painting is supposed to show how our Western culture produced both Nazism (which Leach calls the Pinnacle of Evil – ohh, spooky) and our own culture and that we should be aware of this same Genesis and be aware of our shared roots. This is of course true but it is not the first hermeneutic that springs to mind when you see the painting, but it is a valid one. Oddly, his paintings online (dead animals like swans and dove’s against a pitch black setting) also resemble the fin de Siecle and decadent work of one of Hitler’s favorite artists Franz Von Stuck.

Regardless of the artists intentionality the painting still makes a boldly ambivalent statement.

It also gets the artist a whole shit load of free publicity. Remember struggling artists, filmmakers, whoever out there, you want free publicity…

See here story one and story two, for news of the controversy.

Here is the Hitler and Leach portraits for your artistic enjoyment.


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