Billionaire Baby Gina Rinehart Takes Time Out Of Destroying Planet To Cry About Painting Of Her

gina rinehart

Money can buy a lot of things, particularly if you’ve got billions of dollars a-la Gina Rinehart. But you know what money can’t buy? The removal of an ugly portrait of yourself that is hanging in the National Gallery of Australia.

Rinehart, a mining billionaire and Australia’s richest woman, has demanded that the National Gallery remove a portrait of her — painted by Archibald-winning artist Vincent Namatjira — from their exhibition. But despite being a “friend” of the gallery (meaning she’s donated between $5-10k to the institution), Rinehart’s efforts were unsuccessful.

“Since 1973, when the National Gallery acquired Jackson Pollock’s Blue Poles, there has been a dynamic discussion on the artistic merits of works in the national collection, and/or on display at the gallery,” a statement from the National Gallery in response to her efforts read.

Rinehart has, well and truly, Streisand-ed herself.

The painting is part of the Vincent Namatjira: Australia in colour exhibition, which runs until July 21. The exhibition also features paintings of Queen Elizabeth, Scott Morrison, Cathy Freeman, Adam Goodes and Eddie Mabo, among others.

“I believe in the power of art, the power of the paintbrush. I know that art can change lives — it changed mine — and I hope that art can change the world too,” Namatjira said of the exhibition.

“We present works of art to the Australian public to inspire people to explore, experience and learn about art.”

The painting, which does not paint (literally) Rinehart in a particularly flattering light, may not be her cup of tea, but it has certainly entertained the internet.

However, Olympic gold medallist Kyle Chalmers and Swimming Queensland chief Kevin Hasemann have come to Rinehart’s defence, quickly pulling together a group of 20 swimmers calling for the artwork’s removal.

“Being on the pool deck at the national championships it was definitely the talk of the swimming pool and everyone throwing their support behind our patron that makes everything possible for us,” Chalmers told The Sydney Morning Herald on Thursday.

“I think she just deserves to be praised and looked upon definitely a lot better than what the portraits have made her out to be. Without her sponsorship, we would actually have nothing.”

Hasemann called Rinehart a “great Australian” in a letter addressed to NGA director Dr Nick Mitzevich.

It is worth noting that Rinehart has paid more than $40 million in sponsorships to Australian swimmers. Her company, Hancock Prospecting, literally helps to pay their wages via the Hancock Prospecting Swimmer Support Scheme, so make of this what you will.

Namatjira released the following statement in response to the backlash:

“People don’t have to like my paintings, but I hope they take the time to look and think, ‘why has this Aboriginal bloke painted these powerful people? What is he trying to say?’ I paint people who are wealthy, powerful, or significant.”