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The Cullen: the bold artist

Part two of The Cullen: it's time to focus on the bold art of Adam Cullen that awaits you

Words by and photography by: Andrew Davidson & Megan Evetts

To many, Adam Cullen may be a surprising choice when deciding to dedicate a hotel to a contemporary artist. His amalgamation of a grunge and pop style, combined with somewhat confronting imagery, is not exactly the ‘tea and biscuits’ style that one might imagine in a hotel. The works are often provocative, yet it is for this reason (among others), that this Prahran hotel is dedicated to the work of Adam Cullen.

Overall, Cullen’s themes are bold and his subjects, bolder. His artwork shows a strong connection with the Australian outback and, in particular, focuses on the outlaw. The association between humans and animals is drawn upon regularly and, through various themes (often erotic, morbid, spiritual or political), Cullen’s work astutely depicts the very primal features of his subjects. Captured through his use of black outlines, Cullen deliberately depicts the overtly muscular bull or the ever-loyal dog – now seen regularly in the pop style. These images evoke a sense of realism and instill a sense of rebellion that Cullen undoubtedly resonates with.
There is an underlying dark and somewhat evil humour to Cullen’s work that is portrayed through the eccentricity of his subjects.  Contrasting, there is an inherent melancholy in this painters’ work.  His use of dripping paint is consistent throughout his art.  The effect leaves an impression of sadness that would associate with images of melting, rain or tears.  Cullen’s use of such styles do well to highlight the often-harsh realities of life but this hotel manages to represent his style in an edgy and charismatic way without departing from class.

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