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 Reg Mombassa first appeared in Look – the Gallery’s members magazine.
I first visited the Art Gallery of New South Wales shortly after arriving from New Zealand as a spotty 17-year-old and have loved the Gallery since that time, becoming familiar with many of the pictures that have been on more or less permanent display. Lloyd Rees, Brett Whiteley, Peter Booth and Richard Larter have all been inspirational.
The survey shows and international blockbusters have also been of great interest, particularly the Picasso show, the Nolan retrospective, the Otto Dix Great War etchings and the Papunya Tula show. Traditional Indigenous art and culture is arguably the only truly original art style that has been created in Australia. For all the brilliance of the white mainstream artists of the previous 200 years, the styles, methods, themes and movements they utilised or followed originated in Europe and the USA, and to a much lesser extent, Asia. Their pictures are modified and local versions of these European approaches. This is a vague and personal meander through the collections.