Ben Quilty was born in Sydney, Australia in 1973. He has an Honorary Doctorate from Western Sydney University, a Bachelor of Visual Arts from Sydney College of the Arts, a Bachelor of Visual Communication from the School of Design at the University of Western Sydney and certificate level studies in Aboriginal History and Culture from Monash University. Widely known for his thick, gestural oil paintings Quilty has explored a range of themes throughout his career. From the dangerous coming of age rituals of young Australian men, to the complex social history of our country, he is constantly critiquing notions of identity, patriotism and belonging.
He won the 2002 Brett Whitely Traveling Art Scholarship, the 2007 National Self Portrait Prize, the 2009 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, the 2011 Archibald Prize and most recently the Prudential Eye Award for Contemporary Art in Singapore.
His work is represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, the Art Gallery of South Australia, The Art Gallery of New South Wales, QAGOMA and the Museum of Contemporary Art along with numerous regional and private collections.
Topics Discussed In This Episode:
- Making work about who you are
- Writer's block being a fallacy. How there's no shortage of things to talk about in your artwork.
- Curating your artistic vision
- His trip to Lebanon and following the Syrian border to view refugee camps
- Using writing as a creative medium while traveling
- His love and interest in human rights
- Myuran Sukumaran's story and Ben's involvement with teaching him how to paint while Myuran was imprisoned in Indonesia for drug trafficking. Myuran was later executed by firing squad for the charges.
- The debauchery of young masculinity
- Western cultures lacking rites of passage ceremonies
- The economic rationalization of education
- Contemporary trends in the art market
- Dissection of the survival and / or death of painting
- David Hockney's iPad art
- Spending time with his children
- Australian Frontier Wars
- Vincent Namatjira