Vernon Ah Kee
lives and works
BFA in Contemporary Indigenous Australian Art, Queensland College of Art, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia, 1998
BFA in Fine Art, Queensland College of Art, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia, 2000
DFA, Queensland College of Art, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia, 2007
about the artist
Vernon Ah Kee draws, video-edits, and paints pieces that together present unapologetic testimonials, or rather, earnest sentiments of protest on rampant inequalities suffered by Aboriginal communities in his native Australia. Using charcoal, pastel, acrylic, and crayon, he renders in intricate detail portraits of individual lives that have touched his—on a scale and in a manner that are at the same time imposing and stunning. Ah Kee’s voice is an extremely important one, whether in a local context of Australian politics or extending into the universally deep-rooted institution of racial discrimination; he is tireless and unabashed in his endeavors to rectify public perception of who Aborigines are and what Aboriginal art is. Remarkably active in the Australian arts circle, Ah Kee has participated in multiple exhibitions held at all major museums in the region. He is also a member of the collective proppaNOW, conceived by artists based in Brisbane, Queensland, to subvert exoticized stereotypes of Aboriginal art and artists. Showing regularly abroad, he was invited to represent Australia at the 53rd edition of the Venice Biennale.