N is for Nationalism
The argument has died on the vine along along with a lot of other art theoretical sour grapes, but there was a time where art about New Zealand and art about the world were at loggerheads. It really should have stopped in 1968 at the moment Jasper Johns painted his global local redux American flag. As it was, our stags locked horns (it was mostly stags) in the eighties fighting it out under the harsh New Zealand light, abstract butting against pictorial, United States hard up against united regionalists. All gone now, and through it all our flag remained unchanged. Salut.
Illustration by Pippin Barr