Simon Kerr, the former leader of the notorious Hole in The Wall Gang, has plenty of content from which to draw ideas for 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."
Kerr has hit the headlines many times mostly for activities outside the law, he has escaped from custody six times. Now, he is garnering press for his naive paintings reminiscent of Basquiat and Nigel Brown. Simon first began painting whilst incarcerated and claims he did not study the work of any other artists but his tutors were astonished at his abilities, and he has developed a style of his own. He accredits his mother Raewyn, a watercolourist, as being the source of his gifts. He has always had a creative bent and was inspired by the books the guards would give him on Ned Kelly and Jesse James.
"I'm passionate about telling my story and view of the world but I've never trained as an artist.”
Through art, Simon has been able to transform himself from a career criminal to exhibiting artist and a cultural icon of sorts.
Simon has developed a strong collector base and his work is held in many private collections.