acrylic on canvas
152 x 167.2 cm
Michael Reid presents Adam Cullen ~ Product of Compulsion
14 ~ 31 March 2005
Private collection, New York USA
Adam Cullen was born in Sydney in 1965. He graduated from the City Art Institute with a Diploma of Professional Art in 1987 and received a Master of Fine Arts from the University of New South Wales in 1999. Cullen’s practice was broad, producing as he did paintings, ceramics, videos, sculptures, etchings, and a large number of drawings.
Cullen first gained recognition in the art world when as an art student he chained a decomposing pig’s head to his ankle for several weeks. Sydney City bus drivers were not amused.
In 1997 Cullen turned to portrait painting when he first entered the Archibald Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. He won the Archibald Prize in 2000 with his portrait of friend and actor David Wenham. From that time portraits became an important part of his practice.
Of his work Wayne Tunnicliffe (who curated Cullen’s ‘Let’s get Lost’) said;
‘Cullen’s paintings are raw, aggressive and angry with, at times, a narcotic intensity. They are also empathic, melancholic and expressive. In many paintings, beauty can be found in such formal elements as his use of colours, the ways paint is applied to canvas, how people, words and things are arranged on the monochromatic backgrounds. The pathos of his subject matter also has a form of abject beauty, the beauty of the decayed and coming apart, of a humanity that is to be found in failed endeavors, misunderstandings and missed connections.’