Erik Jensen’s Adam Cullen; Art’s Confrontation with the Law
The article discusses art and aesthetics in Erik Jensen's biography of artist Adam Cullen, Acute Misfortune. Jensen's work is highly literary in style and the discussion of art emerges through literary technique rather than critical reflection. The article shows how the fusion of the literary style of new journalism with biography brings one of Australia's most colourful characters in the world of art into a sharp focus. Cullen thought his work was breaking apart the comfort of a middle class bubble when in Jensen's depiction it actually does more to affirm that comfort. The article argues that against Cullen's own interpretation his art is best understood as a testament to the human relations Cullen formed, despite his best attempts to lose friends. Ultimately Jensen's biography shows Cullen as more human than Cullen would have openly admitted.