An image of Bondi

Garry Shead

(Australia 1942 – )


Not on display
Further information

Co-editor of the publication 'Arty Wild Oat' (1962) with Martin Sharp, Garry Shead is one of the central artists of the Sydney cultural scene of the 1960s, which included Brett Whiteley, John Firth-Smith, Richard Larter, and Albie Thoms. Experimenting with mediums as diverse as printmaking, film, cartoons and painting, Shead's significant output of cartoons, mostly satirical reflections of upper-middle class suburban life, appeared in the 'Bulletin', the 'Sydney Morning Herald', 'Honi Soit', and 'Oz', which he co-founded with Sharp.

A great admirer of D.H. Lawrence, an appreciation he shared with Whiteley, his parodies of life in the Sydney suburbs had close affiliations with Pop artists of Britain and the United States. Like the anecdotal assemblages of American satirist Ed Kienholz, Shead protracts human memory through the application and manipulation of discards such as photographs, girly magazines, torn bits of fabric, cigarette packs, even plastic dolls, which he scavenged for use in relief paintings such as 'Bondi'.

In 1968, Noel Hutchinson reviewed Shead's exhibition held in Sydney at Watters Gallery, at which 'Bondi' was shown for the first time:
"Shead paints with the attitude of that onlooker who is always around in parks and public places. Looking to see the obscene, Shead finds, and celebrates it. He is a moralist, and yet salivates over the joys of human exposure. 'Bondi' [encourages] an attitude of shocked love for lewdness. The prudish are confronted and decimated by their own guilt complexes".

Australian Art Department, AGNSW, 2001

re-worked 1998
synthetic polymer paint, collage on board
216.5 x 137.5 cm stretcher
Signature & date

Signed and dated l.r.corner, white oil "Shead 68".

D G Wilson Bequest Fund 1999
Accession number
© Garry Shead. Licensed by Copyright Agency