‘Gareth Ernst’s work focuses on the intimate and fleeting, on mortality, desire, surveillance, and masculinity. Like the writings of Jean Genet, Gareth Ernst’s paintings, drawings and videos are illicit love letters. They deal with the secret and the underground, touching on the pornographic and the criminal. They are rapid, urgent and complete, revealing secret Worlds parallel to our own.

His studies of the human form are uncompromising and direct. Gareth’s work disrupts the tradition of idealising the male form, and instead uses it as a vehicle for exploring the themes of power, vulnerability and innocence. He often achieves this through unorthodox pop culture inclusions and juxtapositions with medieval memento mori symbols—Darth Vader masks, leaked police surveillance videos, stuffed Pokémon dolls and even nibbling mice dress his works. For his audience, these juxtapositions are destabilising and contradictory, creating tension with the erotic charge of the subject’s exposure.

Gareth completed his Masters in Fine Arts at the National Art School, Sydney Australia.

Porsche Herbert Funk


  • 2023 ‘Kings of Berlin’ Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney
  • 2022 ‘Village’ residency. Berlin
  • 2020 ‘Gravity’, Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney
  • 2019 ‘The Cat and the Horse.’ Berlin
  • 2018 ‘The Drawing Room’, Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney
  • 2017 Master Graduation Show. National Art School. Sydney, Australia
  • 2016 Enter Art Foundation, Berlin
  • 2016 Summer Show, Michael Reid, Berlin
  • 2016 ‘Company of Men’ Gaffa Gallery, Sydney
  • 2015 ‘Undraped’ LOSTSpace Gallery 48 Little Oxford Street Darlinghurst
  • 2015 Open studio exhibition. Sydney Mardi Gras Festival
  • 2014 The Adonis Project. Human Resources, 410 Cottage Home Street. Los Angeles
  • 2014 ‘Home’ Brunswick Street Gallery. Fitzroy, Melbourne. AIDS14 Conference
  • 2014 Open studio exhibition. Sydney Mardi Gras Festival
  • 2014 ‘Schleich animals.’ ESD Gallery Darlinghurst, Sydney
  • 2013 ‘Gorillas’ Prone Gallery, Oxford Street, Darlinghurst Sydney
  • 2010 ‘Honours Exhibition’ National Art School Gallery. The National Art School
  • 2010 ‘GENTS Views of Taylor Square’ Men’s underground toilets, Taylor Square, Darlinghurst. City of Sydney, Art and About Festival
  • 2009 ‘How to draw a truck’ NG Gallery Chippendale Sydney
  • 2007 ‘The Art of War’ Open studio exhibition
  • 2005 Artwork for film ‘Suburban Mayhem’


  • 2017 Masters of Fine Arts in Painting. National Art School, Sydney, Australia
  • 2004-2010 Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drawing (Honours) National Art School. Sydney
  • 1990-1994 Bachelor of Creative Arts. Theatre Design and Animation. University of Technology Sydney
  • 1986-1990 Bachelor of Arts. English, Art history and Philosophy. University of Wollongong
  • 1986 Certificate of Fine Arts. Illawarra Institute of Technology


  • 2015 February 27, Sydney Morning Herald. Domain. ‘Mardi Gras apartment exhibition’
  • 2012 Winter User’s News. Cover
  • 2011 Summer ‘The Professional magazine’. The Sex Workers Outreach Project Men, Sex and Gender Diverse issue. Cover

Prizes and Grants

  • 2014 Art Grant. City of Sydney
  • 2014 Art Grant. City of Yarra, Melbourne
  • 2010 Quick response grant. City of Sydney
  • 2008 Frasers’ Residency. Chippendale, Sydney
  • 2000 Chromacryl Portrait prize.