Flemish painter Sir Anthony van Dyck’s final self-portrait usually resides at The National Portrait Gallery in London. Painted circa 1640, the painting is one of only three self-portraits that the artist is known to have painted in Britain and is of huge international importance.
Last month, the painting started on what will be a three-year tour. The painting will travel across Britain to places such as Margate, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle, Edinburgh and London, giving art enthusiasts a chance to see the painting first hand.
Between 24th June and 1st October this year, the painting will reside at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh. The exhibition, which is titled ‘Looking Good: The Male Gaze From Van Dyck to Lucian Freud’, contemplates the theme of “male image, identity and appearance” from the 16th century to the present day.
The exhibition comprises of 28 works of art, including paintings from London’s National Portrait Gallery and the National Galleries of Scotland, as well as photographs, drawings and sculptures. Featured alongside Sir Anthony van Dyck are:
- Scottish nobleman and influential military leader James Hamilton; the 1st Duke of Hamilton.
- 19th century Scottish painter Sir David Wilkie.
- 17th century Scottish poet William Drummond of Hawthornden.
- 17th century Scottish architect Sir William Bruce of Kinross.
In today’s modern world, the chance to celebrate the successes of the native, Scottish man can only be a good thing, right? Well, it appears the “privileged” white man hasn’t been let off the hook just yet.
“Dead, Random, White Dude”
Despite the exhibition’s focus on the identity of successful and talented white, European men; the National Galleries of Scotland asked predominantly black, Edinburgh-based hip-hop group, Young Fathers, to make a film to promote the above-mentioned exhibition. The film features on YouTube and, according to the Twitter account of Young Fathers, will also be played on loop at the actual exhibition.
The film, which I have featured below, lasts around four minutes long and features a half-naked, angry black man jumping around the exhibition, hurling insults at the paintings and pretending to punch them.
Our protagonist says things like: “You’re dead. Dead, random, white dude.“, “What’s so special about you?” and he calls the people in the paintings “A long line of inbred spawn soon to die out themselves.”
Perhaps not surprisingly, comments were recently disabled on the YouTube video after it received a high number of ‘down-votes’ and negative feedback.
Update: The film has now been removed from YouTube (01/08/2017).
Taxpayer Funded by Scottish Citizens
The problem here isn’t with Young Fathers. Despite their best intentions to ignite some fire in the belly of the viewer, the only feeling that is obtainable from the film is jealousy. That is, jealousy of the accomplishments of the native, Scottish man. Perhaps, as white people, we’re not supposed to get it. Or perhaps their complete lack of respect towards Scotland’s ancestors means we just don’t care.
What we do have a problem with, however, is the National Galleries of Scotland. This exhibition is free as it is funded by the Government, meaning it’s funded by the taxpayer. This means that native, Scottish citizens are essentially funding a campaign that attempts to abuse and ridicule their heritage. It’s understandable in art that there will sometimes be disagreements about what’s good and what’s not, but this is just downright abhorrent.
It’s certainly not a new concept for our institutions to be rife with anti-white fever, but nevertheless, it’s not something that we should allow to become the norm, and it’s certainly not something that we should tolerate. The Scottish Government are expecting their taxpayers to pay for an angry, non-European man to jump around in their own gallery and celebrate their replacement.
Are we going to do anything about this?
Thank you to my good friend Dead Younger for providing the information above.