Gordon Bennet And Racial Stereotypes

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Gordon Bennet includes a representation of values, identity, history and culture into his work as he explores indigenous background through abstract art. Bennet has been influenced by his background as his mother is Aboriginal and this has carried on for generations, however his father was English. He had described his childhood as “overwhelmingly Euro-Australian, with no knowledge of my Aboriginal heritage,… My identity was shaped by the historical narratives of colonialism with all its romantic illusions and factual deletions” expressed by Gordon Bennet. (National Gallery of Victoria, 2015) Gordon Bennett’s art challenges stereotypes and “labelling of Aboriginal Australians. He works illustrates the suffered of Aborigines, using a rich visual…show more content…
As his artworks deal with political and social issues. His background has influenced him as when he was in college, he studied advertisement design and illustrations. When he was given a Sambo figurine by one of his peers, the SambO figurine is a racial representation of black slavery, as this led him to investigate African American advertisements and racial stereotypes. This changed the way he viewed society and he started to paint works that integrate the racial ideas of African Americans. “Stereotypes have evolved, I’m trying to deal with present and past stereotypes in the context of today’s society” notes Charles (Art21 - PBS, 2001). In Michael Ray Charles Forever Free – Buying Black! The text illustrated ‘Buy Black!’ explains how African Americans were sold to be slaves to white people. Additionally, in the image then there is an African American face that represents a Sambo, with large red lips. Due to this during the 1808 people exaggerated the red lips similar to a clown, as this was a symbol of how black society was categorised. They portrayed the black people as worthless and as a ‘joke’ as seen in other of Charles work they are dressed with bright patters such as stripes and colors, similar to a way clown would dress. Or they would be drawn as if they were performing as seen in (Liberty Bros. Permanent Daily Circus) The Family of Seals, 1996, they are dressed as clowns and are posing like seals. Though his work it creates powerful emotions as to a white person they might feel the guilt of what they have done compared to a darker person who might feel the pain and suffering of what they went through. As this created the stereotypes that categorised African Americans to be slaves and highlighted the political and social
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