As the former leader of the notorious Hole in The Wall Gang and infamous for escaping custody six times, Simon Kerr is an unlikely candidate for an artist and yet his life experiences have influenced the narrative found in his paintings. “My art is two things – a narrative of my personal journey and the other part of it is my observation of the world along that journey.”
Simon didn’t start painting until his last prison sentence, served at Northland Region Corrections Facility from 2011 to 2015 and although Simons work is reminiscent of artists like Basquiat, his lack of formal training, or even knowledge of such painters, has meant that Simon has developed his own style.
Simons journey from a career criminal to an exhibiting artist is an interesting narrative, but as with all our artists, the resume only takes you so far. The work itself is what matters and Simons invigorating work sits well with the gallery collection.