Born in Sydney in 1965, Adam was raised on Sydney's Northern Beaches. In the mid 1980s he attended the Sydney Art Institute graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1986. The following year he received a Graduate Diploma in Professional Art Studies from the same institution.
In 1999 he went on to gain a Master of Fine Arts from the University of New South Wales (UNSW).
Adam Cullen has raised eyebrows from early on, first gaining notoriety at art school for chaining a rotting pigs head to his ankle and dragging it around until it finally disintegrated. Adding to his reputation as enfant terrible, Cullen went on to collaborate in the children's book “Hooky the Cripple” with the infamous convicted murderer and criminal, Mark 'Chopper' Read.
Already established as an artist of note, in 2000 he won the prestigious Archibald Prize for his portrait of Actor David Wenham. In 2002 he represented Australia at the 25thBiennale de Sao Paulo, Iconografias Metropolitans.
His list of prizes and accolades are numerous, in November 2009 he was honoured with the opening of “The Cullen Hotel” in Melbourne. Such is his stature within the Australian art scene.
Cementing him as one of our national artistic treasures a major survey exhibition “Adam Cullen Let's Get Lost” was held in 2008, curated by the Art Gallery of NSW. This was accompanied by a major catalogue of the exhibition published by the gallery. Considered an incredible achievement for an exceptionally young artist.
This critical acclaim is recognition for one of Australia's greatest artists and one of our most fearless social commentators. Sadly, Adam passed away in 2012.