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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Reg Mombassa aka Chris O'Doherty, 1995

Greg Weight

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 40.4 cm x 50.4 cm, image: 30.8 cm x 45.3 cm)

Chris O'Doherty, sometimes known as Reg Mombassa, is an artist and musician. The O'Doherty family came from New Zealand to Sydney in 1969, when Chris commenced study at the National Art School. In 1976 he became a founding member of Mental as Anything, one of Australia?s most successful pop bands. All the band's original members are visual artists including O'Doherty's brother Peter, with whom he formed the band Dog Trumpet in 1991. From 1976 Chris O'Doherty designed prints for the surfwear label Mambo, devising the flatulent dog, demons and incarnations of 'Australian Jesus' in distinctively Australian settings that also recurred for many years in his paintings. His work Bush Suburbs was printed on the lining of the Australian team blazer for the Sydney 2000 Olympics, and several of his creations featured in the closing ceremony of the games. Over the past two decades, he has participated in many group shows and held many solo exhibitions at Watters Gallery, Sydney, becoming well-known for his evocative landscapes and views of workaday dwellings.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Patrick Corrigan AM 2004
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

Accession number: 2004.145

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Greg Weight (age 49 in 1995)

Chris O'Doherty (age 44 in 1995)

Donated by

Patrick Corrigan AM (123 portraits)

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Interview with Chris O'Doherty video: 2 minutes
Interview with Chris O'Doherty video: 2 minutes
Interview with Chris O'Doherty video: 2 minutes
Interview with Chris O'Doherty video: 2 minutes

Chris O'Doherty (Reg Mombassa)

Self Portrait with spots and veins

Portrait story

An interview with iconic Australian artist, Chris O'Doherty (otherwise known as Reg Mombassa)

Marilyn Darling AC, 2010 Anne Zahalka
Marilyn Darling AC, 2010 Anne Zahalka
Marilyn Darling AC, 2010 Anne Zahalka
Marilyn Darling AC, 2010 Anne Zahalka

Support Crew

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2011

Portraits of philanthropists in the collection honour their contributions to Australia and acknowledge their support of the National Portrait Gallery.

Self portrait with Spots and Veins, 2003 Chris O'Doherty
Self portrait with Spots and Veins, 2003 Chris O'Doherty
Self portrait with Spots and Veins, 2003 Chris O'Doherty
Self portrait with Spots and Veins, 2003 Chris O'Doherty

Mental as everything

Magazine article by Diana Warnes, 2006

Chris O'Doherty, also known as Reg Mombassa, is best-known for his Mambo imagery but he also paints a lot of self portraits.

We would like to thank our partners.
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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.