For me the jury has always been out on John Olsen.
When I first came across his work in the early 1980’s in the art gallery of NSW i was intrigued by his frogs and the splatter landscapes that were both new and surprising to the eye of a 19 year old who’d only seen collections in the Tate (now Tate Britain) & The National Gallery.
But as time has gone on and the only time i see an Olsen is usually a rapidly worked watercolour or print in the window of Shapiro auctioneers on the corner of Queen & Ocean streets as another Eastern Suburbs matron or financier heads to the graveyard or crematorium
Is / was his work wanton appropriation or a real understanding of the Australian landscape. I’m never sure
He did know how to wear a beret though,
Here he is back in the day busy arting away
He also has children who live off his reflected fame, run galleries and all that sort of stuff