Marty Baptist & Lee Ralph share deep roots in skate culture, a dark sense of humour and an air of existential unease.
Marty Baptist’s paintings are a mix of astute observations and out-loud thoughts. He works a vein of black humour contrasted against existential musings from the sublime to the ridiculous.
Baptist's imagery ranges from oblique pop culture references, to loose figurative observations. His use of text-riffs treads a fine line between sincerity and jest. Often stating the obvious, he creates an air of uncertainty around the simplest of things.
Baptist's work is held in numerous private and institutional collections nationally and internationally and includes commissions for Krooked Skateboards (U.S.A), Cliché (France), Huffer (New Zealand), Misfit and Paramount Hotel (Australia).
Marty Baptist lives and works in the Northern Rivers region of NSW.
Lee Ralph is a contemporary Maori artist from the Te Rarawa tribe of New Zealand’s far north. His diverse body of work ranges from sculptures and murals for public spaces, to graphic design for footwear, clothing and skateboard companies.
Carving has been the major focus of his work and Lee works in a number of mediums, creating sculptures made from hard woods, bone, coral, pumice, wax, Plaster of Paris, Punga, MDF, guitars, skateboards and anything else that comes to hand. Lee has been developing an interest in painting using mainly recycled materials to produce works expressing his social and political views and spreading the Tiki love.
In the 1980's Lee rose to prominence as a pro skater in California, Europe and Australia with a wildly unique style, character and presence, respected to this day as bona fide skate royalty.
Lee has exhibited in New Zealand, Australia and Japan.