Why Antoinette Lattouf is defending Gina Rinehart

A portrait of Australia’s richest person has hit headlines this week after she made a private plea to have it removed from an exhibition.

The painting of mining billionaire Gina Rinehart, by Archibald Prize-winning artist Vincent Namatjira, is hanging in Canberra’s National Gallery of Australia. It’s alongside 20 other influential people, including Queen Elizabeth II, former AFL star Adam Goodes and former prime minister Scott Morrison.

The NGA website describes Namatjira as a “celebrated portraitist and a satirical chronicler of Australian identity”.

The Briefing’s Antoinette Lattouf explains the relationship between art, society and our own vanity. 

Someone who can empathise with Rinehart in this instance is The Briefing’s Antoinette Lattouf, who also sat for a portrait and didn’t love how she was depicted.

“I can sadly, I can’t empathize with her bank balance because we are a little bit different…I sat for my portrait to be to be painted for the Archibald’s.. And at the, at the beginning I was like, ‘oh wow, this is, you know, it’s quite lovely to be to be deemed worthy of your portrait painted.'”

She accepted the invitation, and the painting will be included in this year’s Archibald Prize.

“And then when I get it back, it’s like emo sad girl, Millennial sad girl.”

“I think particularly as women, you’re quite self-conscious about your portrayal in the public eye, women, their outfits, everything. They say everything they do, everything they don’t do gets picked apart. And this is just another iteration of how it’s difficult to be a woman in the public eye.”

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