I called in to Adam Cullen's latest exhibition Aiding the Bet (with animals) at Gallery Ecosse, Exeter, on Saturday arvo (the above image isn't featured in the show).
Charles Waterstreet (clad from head-to-toe in black, imposing, & looking a lot like what Michael Hutchence may have turned into), friend of Adam's and also his legal backbone, launched the exhibition. He said, astutely, that the life of the Australian artist (whether writer, photographer or painter), is akin to travelling a 'broken highway'. Adam, though dapper in earthy-coloured threads, looked like a man shaken daily by the darkness. He walked sluggishly, failed to smile. Apparently, he takes much medication per day and has been recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
His work, though it can leap off the wall and dance with you, polarised me. I wouldn't have it on my walls, it's too boisterous. One painting, depicting a Tasmanian Devil with seemingly bleeding eyes and face, stirred me, considering how the animals are being battered by facial tumour disease.
Back in July, Cullen was in trouble with the law for firearms possession and driving whilst under the influence. A Taser, shotguns and rifles were among the weapons confiscated. He'd been blowing up TVs and spray cans whilst creating fresh art close to Goulburn. He received a 10 month suspended jail sentence. His arsenal has been destroyed.
I guess we'd say he's a colourful chap.
LJ, December 14 2011.