Whiteley was born 1939 in Sydney, New South Wales, and grew up in Longueville, a harbourside suburb in north Sydney. By the age of seven had won his first art competition. He was sent to boarding school at Scots College, Bathurst and in 1956 was awarded first prize in the Young Painters’ section of the Bathurst Show. He left school mid-year and took night classes in drawing at the Julian Ashton Art School in Sydney while holding down a job at an advertising agency.
Brett Whiteley is one of Australia’s most revered artists. His lyrical expressionism and lack of inhibition placed him at the forefront of Australia’s avant-garde art movement. He won many prizes and awards and his work hangs in numerous galleries, including the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, the Tate Gallery in London and the Museum of Modern Art in New York