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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.

Mike Brown and Liz Land in Kitchen, 1993

Francis Reiss

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 30.4 cm x 40.1 cm, image: 26.7 cm x 39.1 cm)

Mike Brown (1938-1997) artist, was a participant (with Ross Crothall and Colin Lanceley) in the 1962 Annandale Imitation Realists exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art and Design, Melbourne. Brown studied at Sydney's National Art School from 1956 to 1958 before working in Papua New Guinea with the Commonwealth Film Unit. After the 1962 show, now recognised as a key event in the development of anti-formalist art in Australia, he continued to make art from found objects and created controversial pop-art style collages that were sometimes banned from exhibition. In 1965 he was charged with exhibiting grossly indecent paintings and put on a good behaviour bond. His long-time agent Charles Nodrum calls Brown's an 'art of contradiction', pointing to a 1972 review in which Donald Brook stated 'no other exhibition in Sydney this week is so bad in such an encouraging way.' Nodrum advises 'Look at each work [of Brown's] in a mood of high seriousness, or you miss the point - but . . . if you don't laugh, then you really miss the point.' Up to his death in 1997 Brown railed against elite art cliques and sought to make art more accessible to the public outside art galleries, becoming one of the few recognised Australian artists to practise graffiti.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2004

Accession number: 2004.31

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Francis Reiss (age 66 in 1993)

Mike Brown (age 55 in 1993)

Liz Land

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

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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.