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Richard Bell

Author 
Andrew Frost

Richard Bell is an Indigenous Australian (Kamilaroi) artist who lives and works in Brisbane, Australia. Known primarily as painter, Bell’s work appropriates elements of the work of artists such as Jackson Pollock, Roy Lichtenstein, Sidney Nolan and Imants Tillers into pointed commentaries on the cultural relationships between Aboriginal people and white Australians. Bell’s subjects include the art market, cross-racial relationships and other political concerns. Bell’s paintings are often blunt in their text-based commentaries. His painting Scienta E Metaphysica (Bell's Theorem), for which he won the 2003 Telstra National Aboriginal Arts Award, states “Aboriginal art — It’s a white thing”.

Bell has also made a number of videos that mix the artist’s often satirical approach with serious examinations of the Australian national psyche. Scratch an Aussie (2008) portrayed Bell as Sigmund Freud in a faux 19th century sitting room listening to the complaints and problems of a series of patients, gold swimsuit and bikini-wearing youths with blonde hair wigs. 

Date 
b. 1953
Birth place
Charleville, Queensland, Australia
Selected events
Still from Scratch an Aussie, Richard Bell, 2008.
Still from Scratch an Aussie, Richard Bell, 2008.