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Artist finds success as black lesbian ex-convict asylum seeker

Colin Staid, a white, middle-aged artist, has taken extraordinary steps to get his work accepted by the art world.

Colin submitted his work to exhibitions and galleries for many years, without success. Over time, he realised that the judging panels seemed to favour work by minority artists. So Colin decided ‘if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em’.

Colin reinvented himself as IWR Jesmond, a black, gender-fluid and part-time lesbian with considerable jail time, mental health issues, a nomadic lifestyle and a visceral hatred of birds, slavery and door knobs. In his new persona he updated all his earlier art works, scratching away paint, adding graffiti with felt tip pen and aerosol paint, and sticking on fruit pastilles (to represent, apparently, colonialist oppression). His most famous works appear to present a deliberate challenge to art critics: two apparently identical pieces called ‘Arse’ and ‘Elbow’.

Colin’s creative rebirth has been enormously successful, as IWR Jesmond’s work has been accepted into exhibitions and galleries across Europe and as far afield as Guatemala, Colombia and the Torres Strait Islands. The work was hailed as challenging, thought-provoking, difficult, angry and iconoclastic. Collectors moved in, and the value of the art works soared.

But Colin has now been exposed and the art world has been rocked with the disclosure that IWR Jesmond does not exist and that IWR stands for ‘I’m White Really’. Art critics remain unfazed. Many say that they knew all along, that their words of praise were ironic, post-modern and, in some cases, post-post-modern. They have re-evaluated the art works as naive, juvenile and primitive.

Owners of Colin’s early work are now keen to have it ‘improved’ in the style of IWR Jesmond, in order to increase its value.

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