top of page

Red themed art and Bull fights

Claude Jones, Bullies, 2015, mixed media on paper, 85 x 141 cm

For this years Hungry for Art festival in Sydney’s city of Ryde, curator Cassandra Lard-Hawrie has put together a red themed exhibition and I am one of thirteen artists involved.  My 2 large mixed media images both examine the controversial tradition of Bull Fighting, highlighting that the real bullies in this game are the humans. The “Red” aspect is of course the matador’s cape – the colour of rage,  not just that of the incensed bull,  but that of my own rage at the very concept of this cruel spectator ‘sport’. Bull fighting seems to me to be something left over from the coliseum days of Rome, mild by comparison, but barbaric nonetheless. To argue for the continuance of such cruel and violent practices based on the importance of tradition, is not an argument that holds up for a second. Take for example Western civilisation’s long standing tradition of slavery or that of witch hunting and burning at the stake – traditions now considered archaic, barbaric, cruel and certainly not in keeping with contemporary ethics. ( by most cultures standards at least).

The exhibition of these two bull fighting  works is rather timely given the tragic death of matador Victor Barrio last Saturday. Seldom do the matadors die at a result of these “fights” yet the bulls are regularly tortured to the point of exhaustion in the bull ring until finally they can no longer put up enough of a fight and are killed by the “brave” matador and his/her banderlleros (assistants).

Just as I  like to turn the tables in my own work to highlight cruelty, contradiction and hypocrisy in out treatment of animals this brief article, tongue in cheek as it is , gets to the point in a similar way:

Not that I wish to make light of Victor Barrios sad and horrific death. It is indeed tragic that this has happened but it is the risk taken – a slim risk given that the odds of winning are well in favour of the matadors and there assistants and certainly do not favour the bulls. The later, like slaves made to perform a dance of death in the Roman arenas, of course have no say in the matter.

Claude Jones, A dying Spectator Sport, 2015, mixed media on paper, 153.5 x 88.5 cm

0 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page