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I don’t mind people thinking I’m being too direct, even simplistic… even at ELAM I didn’t want my work to be sophisticated

In this episode of Cultural Icons New Zealand painter Nigel Brown returns for a second interview, this time with author/curator Richard Wolfe.

Here Nigel discusses at length his fascination with kiwi iconography and a parallel, if somewhat humorous, admiration for local souvenir shops. He talks about his early encounter with the force -both physical and psychological- of the atomic bomb, and his constant observation of the dualities at play in the New Zealand psyche.

He discusses repetition of motifs in his work and the similarities he sees to the art of tribal peoples both locally and in Australia. His yarn is peppered with post-colonialist sentiment, activist fervour and a disdain for the status quo making it a lively insight into one of New Zealand’s most seminal painters. Nigel here waxes lyrically and un-pretentiously about the good, the bad, and the ugly of what it means to be from New Zealand.

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