The Age | Problematic or romantic? Why self-taught artists don’t quite fit

Samraing Chea, Economic Recovery, 2011; greylead and colour pencil on paper, 25 x 33 cm.

If you ask Julian Burnside – the venerated lawyer, human rights advocate and art collector – why he bought the work of Samraing Chea, there’s a pause. “Well, Samraing’s drawings spoke to me in a way that was interesting,” he explains. “He showed me an idea of the world as he sees it – and I think that’s important, that artists can show you the world as they see it.”

Burnside encountered Chea’s work two years ago, and now has three of the artist’s signature pencil drawings. Curiously existential, they show scenes of mob mentality, hobby hunting and bio-medical security, often delivering a repetitive slew of people undertaking a repetitive slew of actions. They bend time to feel simultaneously outdated and futuristic, where both the everyday monotony and the sublime magnitude of life is made humorously, and tragically, apparent.

Continue reading the full piece at The Age.

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