About the Artist
Reko Rennie is an interdisciplinary Australian artist who explores personal and political narratives through the lens of his Aboriginal (Kamilaroi) heritage, alongside broader cultural themes around power, identity, memory and history. Rennie’s distinctive visual language negotiates a hybrid form of contested binaries ¬– visible and invisible, public and private, urban and traditional – to provoke discussion of cultural and social visibility in a contemporary environment. A commitment to lush, bold colours, refined technique and slick presentation grounds Rennie’s practice in the present, confidently affirming the ongoing presence and self-determination of Aboriginal identity.
Informed by 1970–80s American graffiti culture, Rennie started his practice as a teenage graffiti artist, finding his voice on the surfaces of Melbourne’s city buildings, trains and laneways. Since his first solo shows in 2009, Rennie has exhibited extensively in Australia and internationally, including in the United States of America, China, France, Italy and Germany. He has been included in many important curated museum exhibitions and biennials in Australia such as MY COUNTRY, I STILL CALL AUSTRALIA HOME: Contemporary Art from Black Australia, Queensland Art Gallery (2013); Sovereignty, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2016); Defying Empire: 3rd National Indigenous Art Triennial, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra (2017); and 2022 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Free State, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide (2022). In 2020, Rennie received the ACMI + Artbank Commission, creating a three-channel video installation titled What Do We Want?