Sir Sidney Robert Nolan was one of Australia's leading artists of the 20th century. He was best known for his paintings and prints of Ned Kelly, infamous Australian outlaw. His depictions of Kelly in square-headed armor became iconic in Australian modern art, and his stylized landscapes celebrated the country's outback. Nolan's Ned Kelly series still serve as a symbol of Australian nationalism, created out of the Great Depression.
Nolan carefully curated facts and events to shape Kelly's story, much like Nolan shaped his own. Nolan was notoriously private and dishonest about his life; when asked about even basic facts, he would lie or refuse to answer. A friend deduced that either his ego was outrageous, or "every word that Sidney says is camouflage" for something deeper and darker. Either way, his death in 1992 left us with only Nolan's contrived interpretations of himself and his art, exactly as he intended.
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