|Harry Kent, Brett Whiteley holds court, acrylic on masonite, 73x87cm|
'Brett did have a genius. A genius for self promotion ... That's what his great genius was for --- creating the myth of Brett Whiteley'. [Jeff Makin]
'His great talent was for painting but it was not enough. It was never enough. He needed total attention'. [David Millikan]
James Gleeson wrote of Bett's 'aesthetic integrity being swamped by showmanship'. 'He is an actor masquerading in a cultural charade'.
It was all theatre, the white BMW with BW numberplates, the red camellias he placed under the wipers, the black or white costumes, the sad-eyed addicted wife ... People loved the white suits and the rag-top BMW. They loved the bare bottoms on the beach, the auto-erotic touch, the idea of the artist as an act ... He was mobbed by schoolchildren, recognised wherever he went'. [Hilton & Blundell]
'From early on he was taken up by the glitterati, shallow people who responded. Then came the money-making exercise. It was pretty sad'. [Frank Watters]
all quotes from Hilton, M. & Blundell, G., Whiteley: An unauthorised life, Macmillan: Australia.