Brett Whiteley was one of the greatest Australian artists of the 20th century, an intense and prolific practitioner who worked across an impressive spectrum of media. He was a draftsman, printmaker, sculptor and writer, but ultimately flourished best at that which in his deepest conscience most cared about: being a painter. Through his various and evolving influences he developed his own distinctive style and discovered that painting was an adventure, a risk, an opportunity to explore his inner world as he saw and felt it. A bit of a surrealist, his portraits stretch and elongate the figure while transforming the head and face into nightmarish smears that would make Francis Bacon jealous. The landscapes of Whiteley are also vast, empty, and mystical, with large washes of color akin to Matisse’s Red Room. When he wasn’t painting his muse, his wife, himself, or the environment, he took to painting animals, birds, eggs, and reveling in their inherent symbolism, recognizing that we, too, are animals that roam this earth, but cursed with the journey for our own meaning and purpose, which Whiteley captured in his visual works of art.

More ArtWork

  • Fuilles Vertes

    This piece was about the posture of the person and how it connected to a natural element like green leaves.I elongated the neck to give the figure a bird-like quality and softness. I enjoy letting the watercolor bleed and move on its own and then I go back in to add structure. Shereene Fogenay was born […]

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  • Can’t Help Falling in Love

    A “holy” portrait of being a modern day artist and performer in Las Vegas. Over the course of the nearly 11 minute video loop, Heidi transforms in and out of being Elvis from inside a neon shrine. The sculpture is about identity, performance, transformation and the labor that goes into being an artist.

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