If Henri Matisse and Damien Hirst had a love child it would be Ken Done. I think he’s one of Australia’s greatest living painters but he’s generally seen as a sideshow act by the art world. Done sells truckloads of tea towels, bikinis and ties with his brightly colored designs scrawled all over them but that’s just one side of the man.
He also does some amazing painterly paintings filled with life and joy. Some of his coral reef paintings are just downright freaking beautiful. Sure, he does a whole load of crap art too, but what great artist doesn’t produce a lot of crap to get to the gems? I think he’s at least John Olsen’s equal.
Ken Done has a new exhibition up at his gallery in Sydney.
Ken Done – Coral reef I, 2003
Ken Done – Viridian sea garden, 2011
Ken Done – Hot Sunday I, 2001
Ken Done – Early light I Chinamans, 2012
If you can’t make it to see the exhibition there’s more paintings from it online at Ken Done’s website here. His gallery/shop is at 1-5 Hickson Road, The Rocks in Sydney.
Here’s one more Ken Done painting. Just to prove that I really do love his art, this one hangs in my office. It’s very pink isn’t it?
I think it’s called the little studio or something similar. Painted in 2007. All the paintings I buy seem to be very colorful, which is odd as I use very few colors in my own paintings. I guess I buy what I can’t or won’t paint. I wish I could afford to buy more!!