He’s gone from Pasquarelli the right-wing political fixer to Pasquarelli the painter.

The man who helped propel Pauline Hanson to prominence is about to stage his third exhibition of Australian landscapes (what else would John Pasquarelli paint?), and in a sign that the old war horse still has some pull, he’s persuaded a contemporary right-wing poster boy to open the show.

The Herald-Sun‘s cultural warrior Andrew Bolt will do the honours tomorrow night at Lynne Wilton Gallery in Armadale, Melbourne. Given that Pasquarelli boasts that his pictures are the kinds of things that would “appeal to ordinary Australians”, a gallery in silvertail Armadale is an odd place to be showing them.

John Pasquarelli took up the brush four years ago at the age of 65, inspired, he claims, by his late Aunt Dorothy, who sent him to art classes as a lad in Brisbane, and the veteran Sydney artist Margaret Olley.

Pasquarelli says he once took Olley on a tour up the Sepik River, back in his days as a crocodile hunter in Papua New Guinea.

He told Crikey he’s already sold three pictures ahead of tomorrow night’s opening. He sent us a few jpeg images, (more here) and while it’s hard to judge paintings on the strength of digital copies, his approach appears straightforward and workmanlike with ploddingly predictable but not unpleasant results.

Peter Fray

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