Richard Bell (artist)

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Richard Bell
Born1953 (age 68–69)
Known forPainting, contemporary Indigenous Australian art
AwardsNational Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award

Richard Bell (born 1953) is an Aboriginal Australian artist and political activist. He is one of the founders of proppaNOW, a Brisbane-based aboriginal art collective.[1]

Born in 1953 in Charleville, Queensland, Bell is a Kamilaroi man.[1] He lives in Brisbane, Queensland.

Bell came to the attention of the wider community after his 240×540 cm painting Scientia E Metaphysica (Bell's Theorem) won the 2003 Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award. It prominently featured the text "Aboriginal Art – It's A White Thing".

In 2006, the Queensland art critic Rex Butler profiled his work for Australian Art Collector magazine.[2]

Bell caused controversy in April 2011 after revealing that he had selected the winner of the prestigious Sir John Sulman Prize through the toss of a coin.[3]

In March 2012, Bell won a court case against a person who had issued a take-down notice in 2011, for "unjustifiable threats of copyright infringement", and was awarded $147,000 in damages, setting "an important precedent".[4]

In 2013 he presented the eight-episode TV series Colour Theory on National Indigenous Television.[5]

His self-portrait was a finalist of the 2015 Archibald Prize.[6]


  1. ^ a b Bell, Richard (14 June 2014). "The death of Queensland artist Gordon Bennett is a huge blow to the Australian contemporary art world" (Biographical note). The Guardian. Retrieved 15 June 2014.
  2. ^ Rex Butler, Psychoanalysis, Australian Art Collector, Issue 38, October–December 2006.
  3. ^ "The hand of fate: how this painting won $20,000 on the toss of a coin", The Age, 24 April 2011
  4. ^ "Well-known Australian artist receives damages award for unjustifiable threats of copyright infringement", Mallesons Stephen Jaques, 23 March 2012
  5. ^ Colour Theory, SBS International Archived 1 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Me, Bell's self-portrait

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