Posts Tagged ‘Australia’

Artist of the moment………Jeffrey Smart


Jeffrey Smart was an Australian artist renown for his photorealist paintings. Jeff Smart was born in Adelaide, Australia in the year 1921.

Smart was well schooled and first studied at the collegiate level at the Adelaide Teacher’s College and the South Australian School of Arts and Crafts. Smart attended the La Grande Chaumiere located in Paris, France. Smart also studied with famed Modernist and Cubist painter Fernand Leger.

At the beginning of his career Smart worked as a drawing instructor and art critic.

Smart spent much of life based out of an area located about one hour from Tuscany,  Italy.

The artist retired in 2011. Smart influenced many Australian painters of today’s modernist painters.

In many of his works there is only one solitary figure. This helps to give the viewer a sense of scale in his work and also a wonderful element to the design. In many works the artist has included a self portrait.

Jeff Smart passed away in 2013.

A short biography and montage of works by Jeffrey Smart:

Price range information: Works range from $10,000 for a print up to $1 million dollars for an original oil painting. The artist also worked in gouache and watercolors.





Artist of the moment……..Michael Staniak



Michael Staniak is a wonderful contemporary artist who reminds one of colorists painters and artists including Mark Rothko. In fact his paintings are similar to Rothko’s work, but contain much more variety in surface.

Michael Staniak was born in Melbourne, Australia in the year 1982. The artist attended college and graduate school  in Melbourne earning a M.F.A. from the Victorian College of the Arts.

Price range information: Sorry none available.

In this clip we visit a show from 2014:

In this clip a brief interview with the artist telling us why he paints:

What a great artist!



Artist of the moment…..Numskull


Numskull is a fantastic street artist from Australia. Most of Numskull’s street art can be found in Sydney, Australia. Numskull works in a comic book style with an emphasis on typography and strong visual patterns.

Numskull is not only an outstanding painter, but a wonderful sculptor as well. Numskull is very business savvy having produced many print editions and has also worked with video as a medium.

Price range information: Sorry none available.

The artist calls himself Numskull as it was a comic strip the artist enjoyed.

Numskull recently won a residency and here we view the artist at work during his residency. A great one on one interview with the artist:

Below a link to the website of Numskull:


Artist of the moment……….Street Artist Be Free

Be Free is one of the many exciting street artist from the city of Melbourne, Australia. Be Free uses stencils and also collage materials in creating her art.

Be Free is known for pouring buckets and drips of paint.

Price range information: Sorry none available.

I enjoy the artist’s use of black and white and color imagery.

Below we see some works by Be Free from the street:

Some of my favorite women street artists include my favorite Swoon. She uses art to help people, such as rebuilding Haiti. Excellent drawing and painting skills and she uses wheatpaste’s for much of her work. Another awesome artist is Faith47, both have already been profiled here and are worth checking out!


Artist of the moment……..Street Artist Rone

Rone is a fantastic street artist from Australia who is renowned for his paintings of people. Rone was born in Australia in the year 1980.

Rone has his favorite subject matter which includes skateboarding and video games.

In this clip we view a show from 2011 that featured Rone and other artists painting live! Other artists are featured but Rone is shown painting using a stencil on canvas at 40 seconds into the clip:

Price range information: Sorry none available.

Rone works in the field of graphics design.

Like my favorite street artist Swoon, Rone also uses wheatpastes when he doesn’t have to paint images. He works in the daytime as his work is very detailed and he prefers to work in full light. The artist also uses stencils in his work.

In this clip an interview with the artist:

Another highly successful street artist!

Artist of the moment…..Shannon Crees

Shannon Crees is a street artist working out of Sydney, Australia. Crees was born in       . With a background in graphics design and illustration the artist is taking street art to fantastic heights. In college Crees studied Fashion design and photography. Crees work is an outstanding example of realism and surrealism. Crees is a very successful commercial artist having even designed a bottle dealing working with Absolut Vodka.

price range information: sorry none available.

Began exhibiting her art in shows beginning in 1997.

Part of Banksy’s cans festival 2 which took place London, England.

Crees has exhibited her art at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art.

In this clip we take a look at a mural painted by Shannon Crees via time lapse photography:

Here we view another mural via time lapse:

A link to the website of Shannon Crees:!gallery/c10n1


Artist of the moment….photographer Adam Fuss

Adam Fuss is a painter and a photographer born in London,  England in the year 1961.  His father owned a company that made dresses and his mother was a fashion model from the country of  Australia. His father had a stroke and since Fuss was only 2 years old required the constant care of a nurse. His father passed away when Adam Fuss was only 5 years old.

He moved from England after his father’s death to live with his “mum'” in Australia. Eventually the artist would move to New York City and take various odd job. His first experimentation with a camera was a “pinhole camera.” These works made up the artist’s first successful shows.

After this came his most sought after works by museums, his works with the photogram. First Fuss places objects of a surface and with concentration on what happens the moment the two surfaces meet. An example is the baby hitting the water and the shapes the ripples of the water make. A similar incident happens with an eel moving through the water or the ripples after a rock is thrown in the water. The title of this series is the “Ark series.”

The artist enjoys images that are familiar with everyone including infants, dresses,  the petals of flowers and droplets of water.

price range information: Works range from $3,000 to $30,000.

In this clip we visit a show from 2010 and the Chem & Reid Gallery. This show deals with the serpentine figure seen often in artist’s work.

In this clip we visit a more recent show from 2012. A brief interview with the artist is included.

Works of Adam Fuss can be found in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Whitney Museum of Art in New York City, the Israel Museum, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

price range information: Works range from $3,000 to $90,000.

Artist of the moment……Gloria Petyarre…

Gloria Petyarre comes from a huge family of artists of Aboriginal descent. Gloria was born in 1945 and is renown for her paintings of bush leaves that have wonderful movement and a great use of color. The artist is also known as Gloria Pitjara.

In this clip we watch Gloria Petyarre at work on a large canvas while it lies on the floor.

Considered the most well known and highly collected of the living Aboriginal female artists. She is renown internationally for paintings of the bush leaves.

Great selection of work by Gloria Petyarre in under one minutes time!

Her career exploded into the realm of success after winning a coveted art prize at a gallery in New South Wales. The piece was a large bush leave work for which she has become famous.

She is from a very small town in region in Australia called Utopia. It is reachable only by a dirt road, so it is not reachable at all times during the season.

Her aunt was probably the most famous Aboriginal female artist ever and her name was Emily Kame Kngwarreye, she passed away in 2006. Her aunt had some of the same abstract patterns appear in her work as Petyarre. Here is a work by Kngwarreye that is probably her most famous Big Yam Dreaming.




As with the Inuit peoples a small group was formed of the best artists. The group became a collective which brought profits and sales to all those included. Very similar to the way the Inuit peoples do their annual print shows. She and her aunt were founding members of this collective.

price range information: Many works priced $2,000 to $20,000. Her record is $74,000 in aussie dollars.

Was commissioned to do a mural at the Kansas City Zoo in the United States.


Artist of the moment…..Betty Mbitjana….

Betty Mbitjana hails from Australia and was born in 1955. In her artwork she uses symbols and colors associated with her Aboriginal background. She was born in the Northern Territory of Australia. Her mother was also a famous artist named Minnie Pwerle. Pwerle was born in 1922 and passed away in 2006. An example of Pwerle’s style below. I love the way Aboriginal painters emphasize color in their art. Many works are painted are very dark black background, when color is added it JUMPS off the page!


In this clip we see some very large works by the artist.

Mbitjana works in acrylics.

When looking at the work of Mbitjana many artists come to mind.  When looking at her very large works there is a shape repeated over and over that reminds me of footprints. When looking at these in particular I am reminded of the great artist Keith Haring. Though you may dislike his work or dismiss it as too cartoony, Haring’s works contain movement in their line quality. The figure could be a stick figure, but with Haring even stick figures had movement. Mbitjana’s circle shapes also seem to move and vibrate. Below are some great examples of Keith Haring and his style of art. Notice he usually doesn’t put in little details such as the eyes, nose, or mouth but its very easy to grasp the emotion of his figures.

Another artist that comes to mind when watching Mbitjana painting is Vance Kirkland. Kirkland started painting in a realistic style, then switched to an abstract method in which he hung from the ceiling in a hammock like product he made himself. He painted with his canvas flat on the ground, much in the same manner Mbitjana produces her artwork.

I enjoy Mbitjana for her creative mixture of abstraction and I would call a primitive version of Op- Art. Another interesting idea is the fact that art colonies exist in much the same way they did centuries ago. Take the Aboriginals of Australia and the Inuits of Canada, both have seen the demise of their lifestyle due to urbanization and economic factors of their home countries. Both peoples continue to churn out great works of art and also families that have multiple generations of working artists.

price range information: Many works are priced from $500 to $3,000.


Artist of the moment…..Ron Mueck

Ron Mueck is an Australian artist known for sculptures that capture the emotions of the human face. He is known as a hyper realist artist. I love his use of exaggeration when portraying the human figure.  Ron Mueck was born in Melbourne, Australia in the year 1958. Many times the human body is portrayed larger than in real life adding to the curiosity of Mueck’s works.

He worked in entertainment industry for many years. Similar to Sesame Street, Ron Mueck was the creative director and voice of many puppets for a popular children’s show titled Shirl’s Neighbourhood. It was ran from 1979 to 1984.

Other jobs in the entertainment field include working with Jim Henson and his Muppets and also a film titled Labyrinth.

Mueck lives and works out of London, England.

Mueck then started his own business creating props and large animated creatures that looked animated rather than like robots. The company was based out of London, England. The company was a challenge for the artist, but his props were usually only meant to photographed from one side or a certain angle. Mueck longed to produce finished works of art that looked finished from all angles.

Has made collaborations with his mother-in-law  another famous artist named Paula Rego. Rego is a famous author and painter and here is a great example of her expressive style of painting.


His mother introduced him to mega art collector Charles Saatchi and this helped launch his career to the next level as Saatchi purchased works and commissioned works by the artist.

Below is a great clip that shows an exhibition given by the artist. Many different works are shown and the artist’s brilliance at capturing emotion in his faces is displayed.

When looking at Ron Mueck’s body of work I am reminded of the great British artist Lucien Freud. Freud was known for his use of very thick paint applied with his hogs hair brushes. The artist enjoyed drawing people from odd angles and many times his works appear more lively than other stiffly and more accurately painted pictures. Below is a great example of Freud’s artwork.  Freud was born in the year 1922 and passed away in 2011.


Price range information:  Ron Mueck has broken the one million dollar sale mark with a work titled Big Baby which sold for $1.35 million back in 2008. Smaller works that are cast out of dental plaster are the cheapest starting around $80,000.

Other great hyper realist style sculptors profiled on this site would be John DeAndrea and also master sculptor Duane Hanson, both profiled here already!


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