Brendan Lee’s photographic, filmic and textual works explore the ever-changing nature of Australian cultural identity, and the elusive subject matter of the quintessentially Australian spirit. Drawing from popular culture, particularly mainstream film, Lee’s artworks present humorous and somewhat poignant mash-up narratives of stereotypical Aussies living in the outer suburbs. Specifically, Lee's ongoing project examines the cultural and historical differences between Larrikins, Bogans and Hoons, their approaches to competition, affiliations and filmic references.
Lee’s subject matter goes to the core of the Australian male's competitive nature and looks outside of the mainstream for his references. Games of chance, motor sports and drinking contests are all subjects Lee brings to the forefront in his search for the Australian spirit.
Currently Lee has published two novels Bogan Proof Fences and Ignorant Bliss. Lee is working on his third novel titled High Beams and recently completed a major new series of works as part of his Mid Career Australia Council Grant for new work.
Recent exhibitions include Australia Days at the Centre For Contemporary Photography 2011, Proving Ground, for ART#1, Benalla, 2010 and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, 2007; Between a Rock, Bendigo Art Gallery, 2007; Two Birds With One Stone, The Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2006; The Beautiful Badlands, Crossley & Scott, Melbourne 2006; Shootin’ from The Hip, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA); Takin’ a Shot, The Institute for Modern Art (IMA), Brisbane 2005; …Matter of Time, Gertrude Contemporary Art Space and Video-Spell curated by Blair French, Performance Space, Sydney 2004. He was the guest editor of Photofile 74 and has written for un Magazine and Artlink. Lee is a founding member of Kings Artist Run Initiative. Lee received an Australia Council residency in Los Angeles and exhibited in a major survey of Australian moving image artists at the Tate Modern in February 2009.
In late 2012 Lee staged his second survey of recent works at LUMA titled One of the Blokes and was also included in a major survey of Australian video art, Scanlines: Australian Video Art since 1960.
Brendan Lee is currently unrepresented.