Australian Art Success Stories

With such a wildly varying landscape and culture Australia offers it is little wonder that many artists are spoiled for inspiration. Some great artists have emerged from the Australian art world in recent years and are making their name well known. Here are some of the more successful and widely recognized artists and a little about their work:

Ben Quilty – Painter Ben Quilty uses thick layers of paint in blocks of color to reveal figures in anguish and despair, and could attribute his inspiration to his own battle with drugs and alcohol in earlier years. Quilty has experienced the ‘dark’ side of life both in his personal life and in his working as the official artist for the Afghanistan war in which he painted a series of portraits of soldiers. Quilty is widely recognized as one of Australia’s greatest contemporary artists and won the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, one of Australia’s highest art achievements, which was part of one of the biggest art festivals in Australia.

Ben Frost – Pop culture iconic artist Ben Frost isn’t afraid to show the world the hypocrisy and fakeness of society through his unique art works. Frost uses images from entertainment, politics, and advertising in ways that some see as being scandalous and often do in fact cause an outcry, which plays right into his hand. His works encourage viewers to take a more realistic look at what is becoming socially acceptable despite teetering on the edge of being morally wrong. Frost recently revealed that he grew up with a fear of iconic figure Ronald McDonald and that this fear may have partially at least inspired his artistic direction.

Fintan Magee – Dubbed Australia’s Banksy, Fintan Magee is a street artist who has become widely known internationally as well as at home. His paintings adorn large walls and buildings, and often contain figures in different circumstances. Magee doesn’t focus on any one thing for inspiration, instead using everything around him to inspire his work, regardless of whether it is people, architecture, nature or everyday objects. Magee has exhibited his paintings and murals at exhibitions in various parts of the world.

Julie Rrap – Fascinated by how the human body performs and moves, Julie Rrap works in several mediums, mainly photography, sculpture and painting. Her focus on the misconception that the female form should adhere to the impossible standards set by the fashion world seeks to reveal to viewers the error of thinking that everyone should conform. Rrap is a feminist and uses art to convey all her feelings about the objectification of women. Her works show that women are beautiful no matter their age, size, or appearance.

Smug One – With a unique ability to work in huge scale, Smug One is a street artist who creates huge works on walls and sides of buildings. His images are photorealistic and created with the humble spray can of paint. He paints everything from young children playing, to gangsters, and everything in between, as well as classic low riders, and shiny skulls. Smug One is a bit of an enigma but has managed to obtain a reputation for painting artwork that is so realistic it looks like a photographic image.

James Reka (Reka One) – A deep love for graffiti art and pop culture inspires many of the works of Reka One. Reka incorporates great color palettes with precise attention to detail to create crisp abstract images. With a graphic design background designing logos Reka is able to pull together all his knowledge and skill to paint large murals. Reka’s work has been placed in the National Gallery of Australia’s permanent collection, which earns him the honor of being one of the most well-known and respected street artists in Australia today.