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Tommy (Yannima) Watson

Untitled - 2005

synthetic polymer paint on canvas
120.0 x 200.0 cm
Price Realised: $10,370.00

MP #418


Red Sand Art Gallery, NT Cat No. RSTW031
Tjala Aboriginal Art, Sydney, NSW
The Mike Chandler Collection, NSW


accompanied by a certificate of authenticity, working photos and an image of the artist with the work.

Pitjantjatjara elder Tommy Watson gained wide acclaim in an astonishingly short amount of time. His debut at the 2002 Desert Mob show in Alice Springs was followed by his participation in a series of domestic group exhibitions in which his reputation gained momentum. Tommy Watson’s prominence was ultimately cemented when, in 2006, he was commissioned to create a permanent installation in the new Musee du Quai Branly, in Paris.


Grounded in his paintings are rockholes, mountain ranges, and creekbeds, however we see these transmitted in waves of light. Many of his paintings are, in fact, evocative of nuclear shock waves, light waves, and explosions.

Notably, his transition to stardom was actually far from contrived, or even self-driven. This is perhaps why the description of art star was so incongruous when applied to Watson. He preferred not to enter into art dialogue at all, a fact that was helped by his almost total reliance on his first language, Pitjantjatjara.