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Custom(er) Stories: Surrealist Artist Charles Billich

31 August, 2023

Acclaimed contemporary surrealist artist Charles Billich is one of Australia’s most prominent and prolific living artists, with works hanging in the White House, the Vatican and the United Nations Headquarters. 

We caught up with Charles at his sprawling Sydney gallery and studio, in the Rocks, to discuss creativity, training and the beauty of the unexpected. Here are five of our favourite quotes from the interview.

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"I make a point of not duplicating ideas. I want my art to be totally original."


"Do I think someone is born with creativity? I think the Lord gives it to you. But only partially. He’s very cunning about his methodology. He’s not going to share all the knowledge with you. The hard work is up to you."

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"Life is full of surprises. Sometimes you want to exploit a thing or scene, that yesterday you didn’t think of. It’s part of the process, embracing the unexpected."


"Oil on canvas is the easiest, because you can fix your mistakes. You can always repair or paint over. This is the beauty and the purity of drawing. In my opinion, every artist should be a draughtsman. If you don’t have it in you, you should at least have the rudiments. "


"To a point, formal training is important. But the artist is self taught. No two artists are the same."

For any Billich Gallery enquires, please email


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