Adam Cullen Two Idiots, 2004, oil on canvas. 183 x 144cm
Adam Cullen, spent a great part of his life working out of his studio in the Blue Mountains, where he lived and worked prodigiously on his ‘enfant terrible’ paintings. The graphic nature of Cullen’s work which portrayed, bloodied heads of animals, criminals, rape victims and at times explicit vocabulary, largely proved to be contentious. Nonetheless, the Archibald Prize winning artist, (won in 2000 for his portrait of the actor David Wenham), managed to forge a successful career, winning public acclaim and several art awards throughout his lifetime; a life cut short by his own self induced habits that ultimately lead to his untimely death in July 2012, aged 46. Cullen, like many artists, lived life on the edge, it was no secret, and in his case it only seemed to make his work more aesthetically appealing, like the Ned Kelly Series, which Cullen fondly painted, his art much like his character is revered with a’folk hero’ status.