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An artist’s impression of Peter Thiel at an artist’s exhibition
An artist’s impression of Peter Thiel at an artist’s exhibition

MediaDecember 13, 2017

The Art of the Thiel: Peter Thiel* reviews exhibition about Peter Thiel

An artist’s impression of Peter Thiel at an artist’s exhibition
An artist’s impression of Peter Thiel at an artist’s exhibition

Super-wealthy internet tycoon, Trump-booster and ordinary Kiwi geezer Peter Thiel was spotted this week at an exhibition in Auckland based largely on his ideas. Who better to review the show than Peter Thiel*?

Hello fellow New Zealanders. I mean, Kiwis. That’s what we call each other, right? I mean, I know we do, because I love it here, cobber. And not just for its distance from a potential nuclear stand-off and a certain nation filled to the brim with arms being torn apart by a culture war inflamed by a man I gave money to and campaigned for. I also love New Zealand’s flora and fauna. I’ve seen a lot of it in the dozen or so days I spent here before your government generously handed me citizenship over all those other much-poorer people who actually wanted to live there pre-apocalypse. (I haven’t had time to use my investment skills to help your our economy much yet, that will come, I promise, but thank you for using your tax to make my profitable investment in Xero essentially risk-free, I really appreciate that.) All of which is to say that the grass on the hill over my underground bunker/mansion in Wanaka (soon to be the subject of the first non-fiction book by your market-approved author Eleanor Catton) is lush and green.

The Founder’s Paradox is at the Michael Lett Gallery on Karangahape Road in Auckland until December 22. Peter Thiel’s attendance cannot be guaranteed

Regrettably I couldn’t have my citizenship ceremony in your our country. But please know we had a nice time in Santa Monica drinking the blood of super fit 19 year-olds Pinot Noir. It was definitely Pinot Noir and not young blood. I was told our fellow freedom-loving countryman Samuel Neill made it. Thank you Samuel.

Anyway, I’m in town at the moment, and heard there was an exhibition in my honor by local artist Simon Denny, who had previously made artwork about Kim Dotcom (bad – the man, I mean), government surveillance (bad – governments, I mean), and my new New Zealand passport (good – why doesn’t everyone buy get one?).

So on Saturday I found myself in the subterranean vault of an old bank looking at a painting of me, ordinary Kiwi Peter Thiel, except I was called ‘Lord Tybalt’ and instead of a questing hero for liberty and immortality in the real world, I was a questing hero for liberty and immortality in a fictional tabletop role-playing game called Ascent: Above the Nation State.

It’s, uh, actually a work of phenomenal detail. I look good. Those oil painting factories in Xiamen do a great job. I can’t imagine why anyone would bother painting any more. These guys to a better job and for less than you’d pay for a couple of tubes of oil paint.

And I love that he’s based this whole thing on one of my favourite books, The Sovereign Individual, written by my good friends James Dale Davidson and William Rees-Mogg who used to own a big tract of land here as well (which was very partially owned by some guy Roger Douglas who, I’m told, is a universally adored hero in this great nation of yours ours).

Obviously, freedom and democracy aren’t compatible (don’t get me started on the impact of giving women the vote), so obviously the only other options is that we all become Nietzschean supermen, sovereign individuals who aren’t beholden to thieving governments and pesky laws. If someone wants to become a slave on a man-made island island economy, who am I to stop them. Surely one only ever becomes a slave because one has made a rational economic decision to do so. I mean, why else?

Donald Trump with the actual Peter Thiel, the man upon whom the not actual Peter Thiel is loosely based. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Anyway, the game looks great. Better than that other Game of Life one that makes it look like a good idea to go to Stanford. Ridiculous! Don’t stay in school kids. Oh, and there’s another one about me and my friends moving to New Zealand before we can go seasteading and then move to the moon and then to Mars, leaving Earth and its pollution to all the poor people who were weren’t entrepreneurial enough to earn a ticket to Mars on one of the Rocket Lab launches in a couple of decades (forget Space X – Elon’s lost his way since he got off the Trump train). That one’s good too.

Don’t talk to me about the works on the ground floor though. Were they made by the same person? There’s a lot of text in those too, mostly, I’m told based on a book by Maximilian Harris, who is apparently not rich and has no plan for immortality. It’s all about love and politics and community and government and “helping people”. Give me a break. It’s not the government’s job to help people. Protect my property rights and then get out of the way of progress, Kiwis.

There’s a Jenga game and a version of Operation as a self-portrait of the artist (which is funny, I guess). And a pile of tools. There’s lots of references to decolonisation, which is presented in the positive, but I don’t think they’ve considered what I’m planning. As a wise man once said, “Madness is rare in individuals — but in groups, parties, nations, and ages it is the rule.” That’s what’s wrong with society these days. No one’s interested in individualism. I’m not out here in New Zealand with blankets and muskets, I’m trying to colonise the sea and Mars, to liberate, to advance. And what’s wrong with that?

* Editor’s note: This is not by Peter Thiel. As a digital media publication that is eager not to be bankrupted by a Peter Thiel funded lawsuit we would repeat: this is not Peter Thiel and nor is it Hulk Hogan. It’s made up. Invented. Parody. Spoof. It is cock and it is bull. A fabrication. Not true. Not Peter Thiel. Not by Peter Thiel. 

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