In The art that made me, artists discuss works in the Art Gallery of NSW collection that either inspire, influence or simply delight them. This selection by artist Vernon Ah Kee first appeared in Look – the Gallery’s members magazine.
Although his work strikes its own distinct chord, Vernon Ah Kee is an artist whose artistic forebears – among them Kevin Gilbert, Trevor Nickolls, and Gordon Bennett – have had profound influence on his own practice. It was through encountering their work that he first recognised what being an Aboriginal artist might mean.
‘Australian art is just filled to the brim with lots of dead white men who have no relation to my existence really,’ he says. ‘The choices I’ve made here are artists who I kind of have a connection with. I can see my own life and history in these works.’