The artist Niall O’Loughlin has an interesting take on the Brian Cowen picturegate controversy. He says:
“I personally think what the artist did was a step too far, the painting itself IMO was very poorly executed which I know is irrelevant, however I worry about the long term repercussions of what he did.
Artists are very well treated in this country, lets just hope the government doesn’t form the opinion that we’ve nothing better to do than sit around all day drawing silly pictures of our political leaders and then sneaking into art galleries to hang them up. Enjoy your 15 minutes of fame whoever you are.”
I’ve always assumed that artists were freethinkers, that they pushed boundaries to the limit, acted outside the box, acted and worked with the intention of shocking, enlightening, educating, leading and encouraging the general population to see reality from as many perspectives as possible.
I suspect that Mr. O’Loughlin’s stated fear of possible government reprisals against artists indicates that he’s a comfortable artist, very well established, enjoying considerable monetary favours from the State and is very worried that his less well established and more radical artist colleagues may make things uncomfortable for him.