The distinctive works of Shane Gehlert are, by his own definition, "a mixture of surrealism, irrationality and his own warped imagination".
They are iconic, metallic, shining and mechanical, reminding one of the works of the great Spaniard, Salvador Dali. Gehlert takes the iconic inhabitants of the desert, such as kangaroos, gives them a polish and replaces them lovingly in their environment. He draws mechanical rabbits, flying pigs with no heads and melting alarm clocks, all in the context of the desert. Sometimes he takes images that have no place in the outback, such as the Mona Lisa and the Virgin Mary, and re-locates them there. Of late, he has painted industrial nudes with mechanical kangaroos amid bush scenery.
Shane credits his unique style to living in Broken Hill where he began painting. A self taught artist unshackled by the disciplines of academic art education, he draws on the outback to produce his instantly recognisable work. His works are all painted by brush, are predominantly acrylic on canvas, and often contain symbolism telling of socio-political foibles.
He once painted on a $17 million SAAB aircraft, created a work while hovering from a helicopter, and, tongue in cheek, offered the National Gallery in Canberra a painting called Australian Green Poles to baby sit the spot left by Jackson Pollock's famous Blue Poles while it was touring the US.
Shane's work has been exhibited in group and solo exhibitions all around Australia and his paintings are held in private and corporate collections around the world. He works from his studio in Buderim, Queensland, and is a founding member of The Arid Zone Artists, who have endeavoured to bring outback art to the city and push the boundaries of their craft.