As LINZ, an internationally acclaimed and Ironlak-sponsored graffiti writer with a career now spanning 20 years, Harnden’s movements have aligned him with celebrated Australian musicians, artists and sporting personalities. These figures, along with some closer to his heart, form the pith of his work; a realism characterised by the heightened juxtaposition of subject and technique.
There is a brutal honesty in Harnden’s work. While highlighting the rawness of gangland imagery he affords a sentimentalist portrayal of integrity and soul in each of his oil paintings. He achieves a unique exactitude through the medium but also draws upon a tremendous amount of depth, claiming more than a simple connection with his subjects.
Although some figureheads he depicts fall short of the limelight in the popularised mainstream, the romantic undertone of Harnden’s perception is revealed as every character he paints is essentially a hero in his eyes.
In his time and place, Lee Harnden is a catalyst of ‘subterranean representation’. Unfortunate for him as it is for many true artisans, his work will speak volumes much louder in generations yet to come.