Primrose has been awarded the Queen's Service Medal for services to art. He said the acknowledgment of his work came as a real surprise. "I don't really know how to deal with it. It's only now that it's really sinking in," he said. "There are so many people who have stood by and behind me. Ed and June Hillary are two of those people."Gentle readers, this is Art, in New Zealand, as recognised by our own dear Queen. Never mind that the QSM is usually awarded to unknown heroes and community helpers, this man has been given a gong, despite his art being awful, ghastly even, at times shocking in its mediocrity.
So, what's it all about then?
One might say his work falls into the realms contemporary realism. Craig only works with oils on teak stretched Belgium linen.Or one might say his work fall into the realms "birthday cards for teenage boys," the kind given to them by their grannies. This sort of thing goes down well with the knowwhatIlikes, but to dignify its creator with an award just encourages it. Soon, there will be demands from sporting folk and their trophy wives for Mr Primrose's work be to bought for the nation, to displace all that so-called 'art' in Te Papa. Soon, our Government will be insisting that Mr Primrose and his like must represent New Zealand at Venice. Soon, he will be commissioned to portray our own dear Prime Minister, grinning and dressed in Rodd and Gunn casualwear.
With sell out exhibitions in New York and Silverstone [yes, really] his works are now found throughout Europe, Australia, Asia and America and through selected galleries in New Zealand with a Private Gallery soon to be opened at The Rees in Queenstown. With many private commissions Craig has rapidly become one of New Zealand’s most sought after artists with his work steadily increasing in value..an artist to watch
Me, I think it is all part of a Tory plan to replace art with sentiment, to transform our art galleries into shrines to Leadership and Success. Ahead of us is a landscape of public art made by Mr Primrose, by Weta Workshop and by sundry other non-artists. These men have gained approval from our political and economic masters for the values they represent and the representation of those values. Everything will be shown. There will be no space for doubt or ambiguity; dissent will be impossible. The purpose of art will be to denote, not to connote.
The propaganda for our times will be made by modellers and admen in bronze or with oils on teak stretched Belgium linen. For this they will be rewarded with money and with awards.