Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Adam Cullen / Preview Thursday 29 November 6-8pm
Kaliman Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of Adam Cullen’s new paintings.
Adam Cullen is a vibrant, consistently provocative artist who manifests a perfect mix of relentless honesty and a punk audacity to create in your face art which forces a re-examination of society. He comically addresses culturally prevalent issues of national and gendered identify, in particular those of racial intolerance, sexism, bigotry and hypocrisy.
The artist, who controversially won the Archibald Prize in 2000 with his portrait of David Wenham, has been described as 'too young to be an old master, too old to be an enfant terrible’. By grotesquely exploiting, torturing and sodomizing whores, losers, bloodied animals, public figures and other such monsters, Cullen creates scenes reminiscent of comic strips, porn magazines and 1950s beach movies turned horribly wrong. Thus his carefully planned pieces are characteristically garish, their sharp features shocking and simultaneously threatening a reassessment of the status quo.
They are the stuff of nightmares, yet they engage with us on a familiar, non-pretentious level, drawing for its subject matter on everyday worlds (more commonly promulgated through TV) such as the rodeo, the outback, or the dark alleys of urban wastelands. In his rejection of the contemporary trend to aestheticise art, Cullen cites European masterpieces whose central themes reflect the darkness of human history, war, rape and torture.