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Demetrios in the studio, 2004. He lives with his partner Lee-Anne (also an artist) and "the Hub", the pet budgie. 
(... the little feathery guy was euthanased by a vet on 28 June 2006. He was suffering from gout - which for budgies is indicative of kidney failure. I have since found that his  gout was treatable, however the vet insisted  the bird only had one option. It is so quiet now.)

the" Hub"
.... master of the ambush, below, his idea of a bird bath....

Verist of the improbable.

Demetrios Vakras was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1962. He has been painting with oil paints since 1977 and has never wavered from his elucidation of the bizarre, fantastic and surreal. He is self-taught and his earliest influence was the work of the surrealists: Dali, Magritte, Bellmer.

Vakras' current imagery of dismembered human forms recombined with animal skulls, jaw and pelvic bones, stem from his earlier so-called apocalypse series. In these earlier paintings the individual is imprisoned by, and part of, the machinery purpose-created to ease existence, machinery which for the term of an individual's existence requires constant maintenance against its dissolution by entropy.

In his current works the philosophical line has been largely abandoned. Although the pictorial elements remain the same they generally serve no purpose other than the fantastic. Forms metamorphose into unlikely recombinations. He sees veristic illusionist fantastic art as an ongoing theme in western art which includes within its historical repertoire Hieronymous Bosch, Grunewald, Blake, Fuseli, the symbolists, the surrealists, the artists of the Vienna School of Fantastic Realism,...etc.

Illusionist fantastic art predates surrealism. Surrealism is now part of the inheritance of fantastic art to come.


pdf: PDF Flyer on the art of Vakras

pdf in the Greek language: PDF Flyer on the art of Vakras

Although my early art was influenced by the surrealists it has continued to diverge from what are considered to be traditional surrealist principles. I reject the idea that random accidents make for good art (essentially Lautreamont's famed encounter of an umbrella with a sewing machine on an operating table). Unless these accidents are refined and articulated they remain accidents. This therefore takes my work out of the surrealist ambit. My art is closer to what might be defined as fantastic art rather than surrealist. I suspect it would be best described as being closer to a form of 19th century symbolism which however has learnt the lessons of 20th century surrealism - a kind of "surrealised symbolism".

Photographed at age 17 in 1980 wearing a T-shirt proclaiming "atheism shall prevail". 

In the Australian state of Victoria, the blasphemy laws of the "religious tolerance act" mean that any negative statement made regarding any religion, or the citing of any objectionable religious passage to criticise it, regardless of whether it can be demonstrated to be the truth, is illegal if that information is likely to cause contempt or hatred for that faith. This state law which is illegal under GC34 of 2011 (to the ICCPR), is enforced with gusto by the country's mindless judiciary who believe they have "god-given" powers, "Dieu et mon droit". What I am writing here is illegal.

This surrealist legislation deems it acceptable to incite violence and hate in the context of the practice of a religion.

Thus, if the hadith call for the genocide of Jews (as the hadith do), or a Koranic passage calls for suicide killings, a preacher citing those passages to call for genocide or suicide killings is not deemed to be inciting hatred under the law. This idiotic law will instead prosecute the critic of the imam for doing so. Apparently, to point out to others what the religion entails will cause the public to form "serious contempt for the religion" which can be penalised with a stint in jail.

Much of my art intends to debunk human delusions... Religion, and its concomitant belief that we are an imaginary god's creation, is the most pernicious of humanity's delusions. It has caused inestimable suffering throughout history...An explanation of the art can be found: HERE

Unfortunately for all of us religiosity is as vigorous a force as it ever has been, and continues to compel followers of particular faiths to commit acts of violence against others not of their own faith. In 2001, for example, followers of the religion of violence, Islam, committed acts of terrorism in the United States, acts which though consistent with the exhortation of their sacred text the Koran, were instead attributed (by some) as actions by men acting outside that religion's teachings. Indeed, as recently as the Muslim terrorist train bombings in Madrid, the Christian consensus was, as expressed by the Archbishop of Madrid (25/3/2004), that "the terrorists will have to answer to god for their crimes". Thus a fundamental ignorance of the message of the Koran which promises divine reward for those who kill on behalf of god, elicits surreal and bizarre responses... 

There is a failure to realise that religious guidance is deemed morally good solely on the authority of a religious text - on its own say-so. Thus if violence  is demanded by a religious text on behalf of God the corollary is that committing violence is morally good. When the kind of moral and religious guidance of a "holy" book orders the pursuit of violence as does the Koran, eg The Cow 2: 216 "Fighting is obligatory for you, much as you dislike it. But you  may hate a thing although it is good for you..." you have a situation in which terrorism is itself an act of good as it is demanded by a holy book.

...thus we hit the pinnacle of madness that is the divine.

When Islam is criticised, for its violence, as it was by the former archbishop of Canterbury (27/3/2004), the response of Muslim leaders is one of outrage ... One suspects it is Islamic al-taqiyya  at work:  the moral right Muslims claim to have which permits them to mislead non-Muslims. As long as there is denial that Islam is a religion of violence then these responses of outrage serve only as an apologia for the violence Muslims commit and thus reinforces the Muslim self-delusion of being wrongly and unfairly targeted...: victims. As long as they maintain the delusion of victimhood Islam's predisposition to violence can only be exacerbated not resolved. 

(Pious Muslims follow the teachings of the Koran .... and the Koran demands that its followers commit violence against the unbelievers - wherever they may be found and that the faithful who do not commit acts of violence against unbelievers will suffer divine retribution! Refer: Koran, Sura (chapters): 9:123; 61:10-12; 9:41; 9:38; 47:5-6; 8:60, etc.,etc. 

The Christian New Testament isn't quite the book of peace it is claimed to be either: Matthew 10 : 32-34, Luke 22 35-38, although this is tempered by other passages calling for restraint and disavowal of the pursuit of violence.)



"Man (or woman) it's cold!!"  

Demetrios grimacing on a late Chicago morning as the temperature hovers at around 3 degrees Celcius (or 38 F), with the wind making it all that much colder, 27 October 2002. 

It only gets this cold in Melbourne sometimes, in the middle of winter, in the dead of night!! 

But what would the point be of visting anywhere if it was the same as home! 

(Demetrios was in Chicago to attend the opening of Echo Gallery's  Halloween Exhibition 2002 in which some of his works were featured, along with works by Dan Ouellette, and many others.)


Surrealism in Australia tends to be disparaged. Criticism generally dismisses it with contempt. Take as an example this excerpt from a review in the Sydney Morning Herald 23/10/1993 by Age art critic Robert Nelson: "It must be the year of the surrealist Phoenix...I hope it does not sow a generation of unconscious painters."

I have never known of the unconscious to paint....! This was supposed to be a review on a monograph on Australian surrealist artist James Gleeson...instead it was a personal attack on the artist because, as the critic made obvious, he despises the genre.

...This predisposition to stilted criticism is not limited to any one "art reviewer". Other critiques demonstrate just as emphatically the shortcomings of the intellect behind the critique. For instance the reviews by the Australian's art critic, Robert Rooney (again on Gleeson's work*), made constant references to science fiction:

" while some of his images might seem to be Alien-like, he is not an illustrator in the science-fiction or related genres." (W.E. Aust. 24-25/9/1994) ...

which sounds much like what he had written 3 years earlier:

"I heard them dismissed as being too much like science fiction illustration"(W.E.Aust. 26-27/10/1991).

Even in reviewing another surrealist artist's work, in this instance the work of EM Christensen, Rooney wrote: " the science fiction illustrations her paintings sometimes resemble." .(W.E.Aust. 19-20/8/1989)...

Either Rooney attends such exhibitions (in 1989, 1991, 1994) with (coincidentally) the same people or those that he "heard" dismissing the art as science fiction are an invention. I have been to several Gleeson exhibitions and never heard any such comments.

By describing as "science fiction" or alluding to its appearance as "science fiction" any art of the imagination is reduced to low brow populist  illustration - ephemera.  I suspect the fear is that great art is elitist - that is, very few have the talent to produce it. Most post-Duchamp garbage is "egalitarian" - anyone can be an artist by labelling anything art and simply calling themselves an "artist".  "Art" then is expression unencumbered by technique, ability, or even the need to say anything at all..... It is all about pretensions to grandeur.

*note: James Gleeson is pretty much the only artist of the imagination whose work is reviewed by the mainstream Australian media and is Australia's only "successful" artist of the genre. Hence reviews on him are plentiful.

An aspect of art appraisal that fascinates me is the categorisation of any work by an unfamiliar artist as being similar to, influenced by, or in imitation of, the style of another. In days past the only surrealist artist popularly known in Australia was Dali. Consequently my work was "like Dali's"! Now I'm apparently just like Giger*!

(* mispronounced by anglophones as "Geiger"!)

And this is not limited to the general public's perception of art; Robert Hughes (former art critic for Time magazine), in his book titled The Art of Australia, 1966, dismisses the work of James Gleeson (again) as nothing more than the work of a Dalí imitator (though there is some truth in Hughes' claim).

*additional: vakras contra gleeson

Many artists have had an influence on my own work, from Dalì and Magritte to Bellmer. So too have the works of lesser known artists such as one painting by Pavel Tchelitchev, Cache de cache (hide and seek) 1940-42, and a painting by  another artist, Mitsuyoshi Haruguchi (Transmigration of soulsbelow left), which I saw reproduced in the book 20th Century Masters of Erotic Art, Bradley Smith isbn 0-517-542366. The influence of Haruguchi's painting can bee seen in my painting Visceral symbiosis (below right). 

Mitsuyoshi Haruguchi, Transmigration of souls, tempera on board. 1978

When I added this image, many years ago now, there was no information availbable on this artist on the internet. He now has a website:

Haruguchi, art:

His website provides both a different title and year of creation for this painting: reincarnation - a bird, 1974. (Of course, it could be a different versioin). Haruguchi has an entire series of "reincarnations" of which I was not prevoiously aware (1 Jun, 2009).

Visceral symbiosis, oil, 1993



This is the great tragedy of Australian art: it is the artists who pander to the national psyche... and illustrate national folklore and myths that are the ones acclaimed and celebrated. Art, like sports, must serve the national interest to succeed.... Essentially it is national propaganda that of the Boyds et al, which is therefore celebrated.

....... As Jeffrey Makin, art critic of the Herald Sun recently wrote in his obituary on Arthur Boyd:

"Boyd, more than any other Australian painter peopled our outback with accessible motifs that helped form our national psyche and self image...he will be sorely missed." (Herald Sun 28 April 1999)

So "Australian" was Boyd that he lived in London....not Australia when he died...

This is, I suppose, symptomatic of a nation with no identity which, in endeavouring to create an identity, celebrates populist and mindnumbingly obvious ho-hum symbols.

My view is hardly unsupported:

"The late 1940s and on into the 1950s saw the perennial testing by Australian artists of themselves on the European [British] scene...Drysdale and Nolan (and subsequently Arthur Boyd) in particular were exhibiting their Australian imagery and achievement on the international [British] stage and, for better or for worse, not without success. For others, not so stridently identifiable in their Australianness, this was not always the case."p. 219 A Story of Australian Painting. Mary Eagle & John Jones, Macmillan Australia.

Gleeson's work was never "Australian" enough...his paintings sell for around thirty thousand Australian dollars. The very "Australian" Boyd, however, sold his works for well over five HUNDRED thousand Australian dollars...Ironically Boyd's works are worthless internationally.

On 21 June 2000 the Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, made a speech at an Australia Council opening. He quoted from a report which studied how to best promote the arts in Australia. The following is part of the transcript:

"...the report found [that] the great majority of Australians saw the Arts as an opportunity to express...what we think it is to be Australian, what the essence of Australianism is and the values that we hold as Australians. And that very strong identification between the Arts and our national identity is always something that I believe has resonated very strongly in the Australian community." (my italics)

The  great tragedy is, that realising that they are merely Englishmen (& women) displaced , Australians have tended to try to create an identify separate from England. The landscape then becomes an obvious motif as a point of difference.

It is not coincidental therefore that artists such as Nolan, Boyd, Drysdale, are ethnic English, who went to their motherland at the conclusion of the second world war where they were celebrated as greats simply because their Australian landscape did not look English...and who upon their return were celebrated as greats in Australia on the basis of this recognition in England. Australia has always looked to the "superior" dictates of its ethnic motherland...

Unsurprisingly, w hen given the choice, Australians voted to keep the Queen of England as their own head of state rather than have their own president in the referendum of November 1999.

And if art is merely the vehicle for expressing myopic parochial and nationalistic visions then it is no different from the art of Stalinist Russia, Nazi Germany, or the state sponsored art of Saddam Husein's Iraq.

the photo, left, taken at the Old Melbourne Goal, is of the "death mask" of Ned Kelly with the armour worn by his brother Dan Kelly beside it. The Kelly brothers were members of a gang of bushrangers (outlaws). They made the armour depicted and had a shoot-out with police in the nineteenth century. Ned Kelly (wearing armour similar to  Dan's) was captured alive and hung. It has become the stuff of legend... And 'Australian' artists (read: Anglos), whose work is surprisingly taken seriously, have painted entire "Ned Kelly Series" of paintings. Somehow American depictions of the "wild west" are culturally passé, ... but the equally passé Ned Kelly theme is the stuff that makes for great art here! You'd be embarrassed to call your self Australian .. you would think?

In 2002 there were a number of Ned Kelly exhibitions in both Melbourne and Sydney; there was a film on Ned Kelly; and a novel which won an international writer's prize..... Oh dear.

 At this stage however, it is worth pointing out that the current trends in Australian art are also dictated by art fashion. New York is almost as influential as London is. To be cultured is to be aware of the current art fashion trend. And so, like the Pokemon phenomenon amongst their children, the adult connoisseur, not to appear a moron amongst his/her peers, can name all the Pokemon characters.... metaphorically speaking. And the last thing you would want to do is discredit your well-earned reputation, by praising the work of an unknown artist.

It does, however, remain a prerequisite in Australian art that artists still somehow demonstrate their "Australianness", as the crisis in identity is not an issue yet resolved in this country.

Demetrios' photo-self portrait in Sydney 6 December 2002.

Sydney is Australia's largest city. Alas it is not a place in which art counts if you go by the kind of superficial art criticism that appears in that town's broadsheet the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH).  Probably the worst critic I have come across in recent times is Peter Hill, who writes for that paper. Unfortunately for Sydney he is also a lecturer at the University of NSW College of Fine Arts. As an example of the views he propounds is the following: 
"A list of internationally renowned artists who grew up in the provinces could read like this: ...Leonardo, Duchamp, Dali....El Greco... Piccinini..." (Metro section, SMH, Friday 4 April 2003)

Piccinini?  Piccinini is an "artist" who Peter Hill is aware does not create her own work. Although she claims her works to be a "collaboration" the finished product is attributed as being her sole creation; no attribution is made to any other artist other than her. Works attributed to her are created by others best able to fulfil her brief, who create on her behalf, what she herself cannot. Thus, it is up to the "collaborator"(sic) to actually make her ideas work, someone else's creative ability to make them a reality.

(...Just imagine the kind of damage Peter Hill's students will inflict on the Sydney art scene in the future.)

It is worth noting that her husband, Peter Hennessey, is a board member of the Australia Council, a government body which gives grants to artists (refer: "new media arts" - accurate at April/May 2003). In Piccinini we have the example of an "artist" who does not create what has been attributed to her, who Peter Hill celebrates as an equal to incontrovertibly important artists. One wonders whether Piccinini's success (she is, for example, to represent Australia at the Venice Biennale in 2003 ... ) is attributable to the contacts her husband has?  ... a kind of sick symbiosis ...? (It does beg the question of why Piccinini receives the accolades and publicity at the expense of the actual creators of the works attributed to her who remain essentially unknown ... and why other bona fide artists who create their own work are overlooked and ignored). In Australia it is who you know, not what you know, or whether you have any ability that will influence whether you will succeed...

SYDNEY REDEEMED: ... Australia has a new art magazine published in Sydney and edited by John McDonald: Australian Art Review (its online presence can be found: A robust magazine it will irk as many in the art scene as it will please as it challenges many of the pretensions of the Australian sycophant... The cultural intelligentsia (and not just of this nation) inhabit a world in which they don't know much about art, but know what pretensions make them appear that they do... This magazine presents alternate analyses to those found in newspapers and other art journals in which reviews often sound, suspiciously, like the artist's own press-releases. 


The success Piccinini has achieved as an "artist" is the defining phenomenon of the Australian art scene in the formative years of the 21st century. Her success is a corollary of the incestuous uncritical sycophantic nature of the cultural intelligentsia of this country. Art 'critics' seem more intent in demonstrating their awareness of cultural fashion and scramble to outdo one another in the praise they lavish on an already critically acclaimed artist irrespective of whether that acclaim is justified) rather than provide any clear critical analysis of the artist in question.  Uncritically, they pass off what seem to be Piccinini's press-releases as matters of fact. This is not criticism at all.

"...artist Patricia Piccinini, five times named by this publication as one of Australia's 50 most collectible artists, has achieved another career milestone with her selection as Australia's representative at the world's most prestigious art fair, the Venice Biennale."

So writes Michael Hutak in Australian Art Collector (ISSN 9 1328-9586)  issue 24 April - June 2003, a magazine which features "Undiscovered artists" and "Australia's brightest new art stars". Hutak's article on Piccinini  attributes "mixed media" sculptures Game boy Advanced 2002 & The young family 2002 to Piccinini. They were however not created by her.  As Piccinini stated on Channel  9's  Sunday Show 16/2/2003:

"I couldn't find a way to depict these new ideas in oil and so it meant I had no skills. And then I thought if I can't do anything, I can do everything if I work with other people, and that's when I started collaborating."

"Collaboration" has an altogether other meaning for Piccinini. The actual creator of these sculptures is Sam Jinks (Sunday, Channel 9 16/2/2003). Why does that make her the artist? 

Piccinini is the "it" artist(sic). She has not only been featured in Australian Art Collector and Channel 9's Sunday Show, but also in Photofile (magazine) issue 68 April 2003 (ISSN 0811 0859) in an article by Alasdair Foster; Natalie King's article in the, Australian Art Monthly, March 2003, No 157 (ISSN 1033 4025); numerous articles by the SMH critic Peter Hill (e.g. 25-26/1/2003); articles by: Anne Loxley, SMH, 28/8/2002; Jane Faukner, Age, (newspaper) 27/11/2002; Gabriella Coslovich, Age, 25/11/2002,18/12/2002 AND 21/12/2002; Lara Travis, Age, 27/10/2001; Susan McCulloch-Uehlin Weekend Australian 27-28/10/2001..... and this list is certainly not exhaustive! Somehow whether deliberate, or because of their intellectual laziness, these critics behave something like co-conspirators in an artistic fraud... 
And in the process Piccinini has achieved success without actually having either the skill to create anything and without having created anything at all ... !  
In summary, the bankruptcy of the Australian arts intelligentsia is expressed thus by Juliana Engberg Artistic Director of ACCA (Australian Centre for Contemporary Art): 
"Patricia embodies what we want in an artist." Sunday 16/2/2003. Now how can you top that?

...(above) in the city of Bendigo (Victoria, Australia), which I visited Sunday 20/7/2003 to see the travelling exhibition of works on paper by Max Ernst on show at the Bendigo Art Gallery. This exhibition featuring Ernst's collages and frottages included examples from his 1929 "graphic novel" La Femme 100 tetes  (the one hundred headed woman) which had redefined the idea of collage.

...Of particular interest is the parallel in Ernst's oeuvre with what is termed "digital art" by a contemporary audience.

A generation which has in its stupidity come to describe "physical", "mechanical" and "chemical" processes as "analogue"(!)....  needs to be reminded that the process of creating collages and photomontages (whether physically or on the computer), is irrelevant, and that the idea of the collage is not a consequence of the advent of the computer. Ernst never required a computer to create his collages. A computer cannot make up for the lack of an imagination ... Ernst's practice, as is evident in this exhibition, bears similarities to my own. His collages show  the same relationship with his (early) paintings as do my photomanipulated images to my own paintings. Essentially my paintings are a mental collage hand drawn... I never required a computer to compile them ...and it goes to show  that a computer is not a substitute for a lack of an imagination.

"The papier colle technique which the French Cubists had developed was based on formal unity. The Dada collage is based on the incongruity of the various picture elements." p. 19 Surrealism, Uwe M. Schneede. "The principle underlying all of his [Ernst's] work is collage. Ernst has defined the collage technique as the 'systematic exploitation of an accidental or deliberate meeting of two unrelated realities on a plane that is related to neither - and the spark that is kindled by the coming together of these realities.' (Cologne. Wallraf-Richartz Museum. Max Ernst. Exhibition, 1962-63; Zurich Kunsthaus, 1963. Catalogue, second ed., Cologne, 1963." p. 19 Surrealism, Uwe M. Schneede

...which brings us to contemporary computer artists... who create virtual garbage (which looks like the wallpaper Kurt Schwitters created manually nearly a century earlier) ... with computer image programs which provide 'fudge tools' (filters) to disguise the absence of an idea that has come to be the definition of digital 'art'.

... drawn to the Bendigo Art Gallery by the Max Ernst exhibition, I was struck by a notification placed at the Gallery's front desk advising of the Gallery's purchase of an artwork attributed to Patricia Piccinini: "The Young Family" ... even though, as is known, Piccinini doesn't create what is attributed to her: the piece in question is one instead created by Sam Jinks .... Oh dear. Bona Fide artists  can't get their foot in the door, yet what is essentially an artistic fraud* is given credibility and the fraud perpetuated by one of the state's cultural institutions. (*note: If Piccinini's claim is that the work exhibited as hers is a "collaboration" then there should be attribution made to the co-creators, those she collaborated with ... this however is missing in all cases which means that exhibiting it as her solitary creation is a deception, a fraud.).

....And the Piccinini fraud continues its momentum! Her work(sic) has gained an international audience... The attention she receives provides a demonstration of the degree of bankruptcy in the art world and the utter inability of critics to arrive at independent assessments on art. Convinced of her veracity as an artist, because works attributed to her are being exhibited at the Australian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, Piccinini is interviewed by Chloe Kinsman in tema celeste contemporaryart 98 issn 1720-7541 pp.58-61. There is no mention that the work in question is solely the creation of others. The interviewer asks: "Your creations in Still Life with Stem Cells and The Young Family have a compelling veracity; their skins look as if they would be warm to touch. What role does the hyper-reality of your aesthetic play?" Piccinini, in her answer, does not attempt to correct the interviewer's assumptions; she neither makes the claim that the works are a "collaboration"... nor do we get to find out that the hyper-reality she is complimented on is instead someone else's work.



.... It is impossible to overstate the significance of cliques as an ingredient to success in Australia.

Philosophy: philosophical argument describes one means of argumentation as the "argument by authority"; that is, that the argument is supported solely on the authority (qualifications) of the person making it. Ultimately though, even an authority has to, at some stage, explain how their conclusion was arrived at.

.... In Australia the "argument by authority" is applied almost universally and is not limited to arcane philosophical debates. It is an essential constituent of the clique. Only an acknowledged authority can declare someone to possess a skill, talent, or ability. Without an authority accrediting your ability in Australia you simply don't have the skill. I might have been able to learn Flash and build this website, but for the Australian mindset I do not have any appropriate qualification, and therefore in that context I lack the skill to actually be capable of building a website, even if the evidence (that I have built the site) contradicts the lack of official accreditation. Eighteen months of failed job applications in the field is testimonial to this phenomenon. This is not isolated to website building. This process ensures that a conservatism is instilled in the process of qualifying ... It forms a continuity . It also means that those in the position of being authorities aren't ever challenged because they will select those that are least likely to challenge them. This is leading somewhere.

My most recent attempt exhibiting was a proposal I made to the CCP (Centre for Contemporary Photography). The proposal was to exhibit my recent photo-manipulations. It was rejected (letter postmarked 1 September 2003). There could be any number of reasons ... one being that my work may not be good enough. (As their letter stated the standard of applications was particularly high which means that mine was obviously not.) In the context of the Australian mindset, rejection by CCP makes sense. I have no formal qualifications... I can't paint because I am self-taught. I can't think because I never completed a university degree. I can't take photographs because no institution has given me a piece of paper to say that I can. I suspect that the objective stated in my exhibition proposal possibly influenced my being rejected. My proposal read (in part):

"The claim that photography is a means of artistic expression has been largely overstated . All one has to do is understand light, see a pattern or composition in what is already there, aim the camera and click a button (It helps if you have a good camera!). That does not mean there have not been some beautiful photographs taken... But how much of the credit should the photographer receive for something that was already there? Does framing something that is already before oneself, in which one has had no say in creating (say a nude or a landscape) constitute art? And, when all was said and done in photography what was left? the photographing of male genitalia by Mapplethorpe.... a demonstration of the absolute failure of photography to raise itself to any artistic or intellectual height. ...With the computer however, the photographer is no longer limited by framing what is found before them. Now the photographer can reframe the subject, reframe what they have photographed, in an altogether novel way. That makes the photographer an artist."

I suspect that for someone without formal qualification or education as a photographer, or as a digital manipulator of photographs, I cannot comment on photography or art as they are outside my area of expertise/ authority. I am not qualified to critique the shortcomings of photography. It must be difficult for a photographer to accept that they are no more an artist than any other technician, say, a radiographer who takes x-rays.... Even Man Ray was dissatisfied with photography as art & experimented with "rayograms", solarization, and a number of techniques to convert the simple photograph into an artwork. But what would I know? I don't have the qualification to make any comment... And, it must be difficult to accept criticism from someone who should not comment because they can't know what they're commenting on because they lack the credentials.

In a curious irony, CCP publish a magazine, Photofile ... which, as mentioned earlier, featured an article on Patricia Piccinini (one of several articles on her which have appeared in previous editions of that magazine)....And, although Piccinini does not have the skill to produce any of the work attributed to her and instead commissions others to create them on her behalf, her bonafides are unchallengeable; she has formal artistic qualifications, I don't. In Australia it really is that simple.

misplaced angst generator, 2003, photomanipulation. © d vakras. "Misplaced Angst Generator" was to be the title of the exhibition proposed at CCP which was rejected.

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