Adam Cusack

Photo Dee Ferraro


Adam Cusack is an artist whose practice traverses multiple media including drawing, painting, installation and sculpture. His work explores ideas of authenticity and identity in popular culture. Using a process of conceptual development, photography then drawing or painting to realise the artwork, Adam is interested in showing real things in provocative ways; assembling unrelated objects together to bring about relationships that challenge the perception of the original items. His creative approach honours the traditional picture plane utilising simple methods of applying charcoal or pigment on a prepared surface.

that’s no way to leave 2017 charcoal on paper 570x750mm

‘The act of making something ‘look real’ is not what’s necessarily important to the work. However, I have found that spending time on rendering the subject gives value to the idea, which in turn allows the audience to consider its ‘unrealism’ and engage with my practice’

Adam Cusack

tell me what you know about freedom 2015 charcoal on paper 570x570mm
(Finalist – 2016 Paul Guest Drawing Prize)

sculpture and installation exhibitions


free* (sculpture) 2015 mild steel and automotive paint 6m long x 1.8m high
Finalist – Montalto Sculpture Prize. Montalto Sculpture Park, Red Hill Vic
Finalist – Incinerator Art Award. Incinerator Gallery,
Moonee Ponds Vic 

Cusack’s artistic practice is primarily that of a drawer and painter; and typically he creates work that honors traditional principles but challenge perceptions of what an artwork can be. On this occasion, he has explored words found in everyday media and transformed them in their physical appearance and context. 
The artworks shown in the ‘Wordsmith’ exhibition reflect his concern for the misleading use of highly evocative words commonly found in consumer based media. Misuse which continues to diminish and undermine their meaning and value.

A reflection of the spirit of Warhol as a media-savvy provocateur

Appropriated and altered excerpt from; ‘Art & today’ by Eleanor Heartney

Words selected from advertisements, newspapers and glossy magazines form the catalyst for the collection. The art has been meticulously refined using pre digital reprographic techniques to create a perfect template. Each piece is the realisation of a high-end crafted process produced in a variety of mediums – including charcoal, ink, paint, pvc, fabric and steel. 
His intention is that the words used as artworks will be seen for what they truly are.
Attention seeking hype.


The installation/sculptural work, ‘sideshow’ focuses Cusack’s interest in society’s prevailing hunger for celebrity ~ and the images which feed a seemingly insatiable audience. Countless media and news companies procure photographic imagery which is published for profit without consent. What does this mean to the subject’s personal freedom? And what are the implications for a society that participate in such an exchange? 

‘To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom 

This famous quote is often attributed to Socrates.

Conversely, an interesting philosophical exercise would be for the audience to flip it’s focus of attention back on itself. Let the ‘sideshow’ begin.

sideshow 2018 hydrostone, steel and enamel paint 3m wide x 11m long x5m high