"He is a leader in contemporary realism." Sir Elton John

Sir Elton John and Ross Watson
Sir Elton John and Ross Watson, Melbourne 2012

"Having known Ross Watson for a long time, and been a collector of his art, I had the opportunity recently to visit his gallery, which reconfirmed my belief that he is a great talent. I never tire of his paintings - he is a leader in contemporary realism."
Sir Elton John

Ross Watson and Sir Ian McKellen
Ross Watson and Sir Ian McKellen

"Ross Watson's paintings are obviously the work of a master of technique. The conjunction of modern naturalism and classic works makes it hard to believe one's eyes.

His newest work is irresistible because it has been inspired by the generous nature of a concerned citizen. We admire him and wonder."
Ian McKellen

Stephen Fry and Ross Watson
Stephen Fry and Ross Watson

"Oh goodness, your works get sexier and sexier and more and more accomplished - lost in admiration."
Stephen Fry


The gallery is viewing by appointment unless an exhibition is current.

465 Nicholson Street
Carlton North, 3054
Melbourne, Australia

Forthcoming Exhibitions


Preview WorldPrideNYC

26 January - 10 February 2019

Ross Watson Gallery


New York


16 - 30 June 2019

Rogue Space | Chelsea

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall

World Pride logo
Ibiza Tarmac II, featuring Jamieson and Harry

Ibiza Tarmac II, featuring Jamieson and Harry
57 x 61 cm / 22" x 24"
Oil on board

Sir Ian McKellen's Speech

ELECTRIC! Portraits that Pop!
National Portrait Gallery

ELECTRIC! Portraits that pop!

Ross Watson's portrait's of Ian Roberts and Matthew Mitcham are included in the must-see exhibition ELECTRIC! Portraits that pop! Celebrate the Gallery's 20th birthday with the collection exhibition featuring a mix of bright, bold and colourful paintings, prints and photographs, and buoyant video portraits. Current until Monday 22 April 2019

Watson Editions gifted to Terrence Higgins Trust


Christie's Mayfair will auction a superb large edition print by Ross Watson in April 2018.

The Terrence Higgins Trust in London recently received a set of Watson's new edition prints for fundraising, to help make a difference to the lives of people living with and affected by HIV.

In 2016 the Christie's auction of artworks, including Sir Howard Hodgkin and Francis Bacon raised a staggering £401,258, and in its history the event has raised over £3 million.

"Ross Watson has created another dazzlingly provocative, witty and enchanting take on a classic painting. The generous support of Ross Watson is hugely appreciated by the Terrence Higgins Trust, for it allows you to show your support too by owning prints of this unique, striking and inspiring work."

Stephen Fry signature Stephen Fry

Joy at Sotheby's

Marcia Hines with artist Ross Watson and Stephen Morgan
Stephen Morgan, Australian entertainment icon Marcia Hines, and Ross Watson recently at Sotheby's where a Watson Edition sold helping to raise $10,000 for GLBTI JOY Radio.

Portrait of Stephen Fry

stephen fry
Stephen Fry (after Vermeer, 1670)

"Ross - I am completely astonished by this wonderful work. Firstly, your generosity in terms of talent and time for the Terrence Higgins Trust is a gift so supreme it cannot properly be expressed. Secondly, for me to be involved, to be inside a colour and texture world so perfectly rendered, so wittily transformed to suit me, and so accurate without being cruel, is an honour I shall never forget."

Stephen Fry

Portrait of Tina Arena in Museum

Painting of Tina Arena

Available as a Limited Edition Print

Ross Watson's superb portrait of singer Tina Arena now resides in the permanent collection of the Gold Coast City Art Gallery, a public museum in Queensland, Australia.

Arena, who is one of Australia's highest selling female artists, has previously declined to pose for painted portraits, but told Watson when she first saw his portrait of Stephen Fry, she knew the time had arrived.

The singer joins Watson's high profile subjects including Matthew Mitcham, The Hon. Michael Kirby, Jake Shears and Francois Sagat. Arena is celebrated in France, having been awarded a Knighthood of the Order of National Merit by President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2009.

A Superb Book Untitled# ROSS WATSON

This handsome hard cover fine art book superbly illustrates Watson's finest paintings and photography, from numerous series spanning 15 years. Foreword written by Mark Henderson, Art Historian, formerly of the J. Paul Getty Center, Los Angeles.

The book includes a fascinating interview with the artist by former High Court Judge, The Hon. Michael Kirby.

This is an essential addition for collectors of fine art books and followers of the artist's career.

"An absolutely remarkable publication! This book is wonderful documentary evidence of Ross Watson's diversity as an artist. It is much more than a coffee table book - this is an edition for collectors."

Professor Martin Comte OAM, PhD


Limited Number of Signed First Edition Copies of Untitled# ROSS WATSON
Available Exclusively at

Please let us know by email to whom you would like the book dedicated.

AU$175 CAD$220 US$180 €160 £135
Signed First Edition Price Including Postage and Handling

Pages: 224,
Size: 26 x 34 cm / 10.25 x 13.5 inch,
Format: Hardcover with dust jacket
Colour: full colour
ISBN 978-3-86787-149-5

Click here to pre-order a copy signed by the artist.

visa mastercard AMEX

Client Comments on Untitled # ROSS WATSON:

"Ross' magnificent book arrived here in Edinburgh at lunch time today - very impressed that it left Melbourne on 15 September and it is here on 20th."
Brian and Rob

"I just received my signed Untitled # ROSS WATSON book in today's mail... positively stunning!"
Paul Russell, Havre de Grace USA

"The book arrived in four days - I'm astonished, so many beautiful paintings I'd not seen. Thanks Ross for signing it to me. I will cherish it."
Quentin Foy, New York City USA

"Wow, it really is an exceptional book! It arrived two days after I ordered it. Thank you so much."
James Harper, Sydney

Reviews of Untitled # ROSS WATSON:

Melbourne's broadsheet The Age gives a more than complementary review of Untitled # ROSS WATSON.

Read the whole story here.

Artwork Features on Book Cover

sex before sex
Ross Watson's artwork, Untitled #12/09 (after Caravaggio, 1603), features on the cover of Sex before Sex, published by the University of Minnesota Press.
Will Stockton and James M. Bromley

Sex before Sex makes clear that we cannot simply transfer our contemporary notions of what constitutes a sex act into the past and expect them to be true for those who were then reading literature and watching plays. The contributors confront how our current critical assumptions about definitions of sex restrict our understanding of representations of sexuality in early modern England.

Painting Stephen Fry

ross watson and stephen fry
Stephen Fry and Ross Watson

Stephen Fry sat for a painting in Wellington, the result of which was included in Watson's London exhibition in September 2012, in aid of the Terrence Higgins Trust. The actor, writer, Prince of Twitter and self-confessed 'techno-geek' was excited at the prospect of being depicted in a painting complete with his iPad, after being introduced to Watson's art by Lance Corporal James Wharton. Fry later hosted Stephen Morgan and Ross Watson to an extraordinarily witty and memorable lunch.

The following day, the artist and his partner were invited to Fry's Wellington home for his 'returning to London brunch' after 3 months of filming Peter Jackson's 'The Hobbit', in which he plays the greedy and grotesque 'Master of Lake-town'.

At the party, they met the Welsh actor, Luke Evans who relished playing a leading role of Bard in 'The Hobbit'. Watson and Morgan later had dinner with the handsome Evans, whose career has the trajectory of a rocket, recently starring in 'The Raven' and 'The Immortals'. Evans posed for a painting which resulted in one of the most popular artworks in the recent London exhibition.

london exhibition
Ross Watson, Sir Ian McKellen, Luke Evans and Stephen Morgan, at the London Exhibition Launch

Sam Sparro Portrait Collected by Sir Elton John

sam sparro

Sir Elton John has purchased a set of Watson's 2012 photography, including this striking portrait of Grammy nominated singer-songwriter, Sam Sparro.

Sparro has returned to the forefront with his new electro-soul album "Return To Paradise", and a tour of Australia and the United States.

Sir Ian McKellen Co-Signs Edition Print

Ian McKellen

Ross Watson and Stephen Morgan recently had the pleasure of meeting with Sir Ian McKellen at his London home. He co-signed an Edition Print featuring Olympic diver, Matthew Mitcham. The exclusive and prized Edition Print has been gifted for fundraising to Stonewall UK.

The Hon. Michael Kirby

"Beautiful subjects. Brilliant details. Wonderful light. At once classic and challenging."
The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG

michael kirby and ross
The Hon. Michael Kirby, who opened the Classic De Novo Exhibition in Sydney

The Hon. Michael Kirby was one of the seven Justices of the High Court of Australia until February 2009. He has also served in many international and United Nations positions including Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations. Highly respected as a judge and lawyer, Michael Kirby is openly gay, and is well known for his insight, warmth and intelligence.

In 2010 he visited the Ross Watson Gallery, sat for a painting which explored the theme of mentoring, opened Watson's Sydney exhibition, and interviewed the artist for his most recent book, Untitled# ROSS WATSON.

View Michael Kirby's website:

Ecole du Louvre analyzes Francois Sagat Painting

ecole du louvre

The prestigious Ecole du Louvre, established in 1882 and located in the Louvre Museum, is an institution of higher education dedicated to the study of art history, archaeology and anthropology. Watson's now iconic painting depicting Francois Sagat as a saint, was analyzed at a lecture conducted by Maximilien Durand, which specialized in 'Saints and Homosexuality'.

Australian Ambassador Visits Cologne Exhibition

Peter Tesch and Ross Watson
The Australian Ambassador to Germany, Peter Tesch, and Ross Watson at the Gay Games VIII exhibition in Cologne.

Master Painting of Matthew Mitcham

untitled 21/09

"Isn't it marvellous! I'm incredibly flattered to have been depicted like this in such a stunning scene."
Matthew Mitcham

The National Portrait Gallery's Curator, Dr Christopher Chapman, says that "the National Portrait Gallery is very pleased to acknowledge Matthew Mitcham's contribution to sport and to the gay community by including his portrait in the collection. The painting is terrifically dynamic and is immensely popular with our visitors."

ross stephen matthew
Ross Watson, Matthew Mitcham and Stephen Morgan at the Sydney Exhibition

matthew mitcham
Matthew Mitcham signing Edition Prints at the Sydney exhibition.

Read Professor Martin Comte's fascinating insight of the Mitcham Painting

Ross Watson's recent painting featuring Australia's Olympic Gold Medal diving champion Matthew Mitcham is based on The fall of Phaeton by Sebastiano Ricci.

In the painting by Ricci, Phaeton, son of the sun-god Helios (or Apollo according to which version of mythology you favour), is falling from the sun chariot, as represented in Watson's painting by the falling horses. Watson has cleverly placed Matthew Mitcham in the bottom foreground of the painting – not in his usual pose of diving down, but this time rising up: perhaps to catch the falling Phaeton? It is a brilliant move by Watson to turn Mitcham 'upside-down' – that is, right way up! A lesser artist might have portrayed Mitcham as Phaeton himself. But no – Phaeton is falling and not diving: unlike Mitcham when he descends head-first, Phaeton is not in control. Watson introduces Mitcham as a new element that does not appear in Ricci's original work.

No representation of Watson's painting can capture its vibrant colours – particularly the background turquoise. Is this Watson's acknowledgement of the water in which Mitcham is triumphant? Or is it to represent the notion of cool water in opposition to the heat of the sun?

In Watson's painting we have the progeny of the sun-god falling into the arms of a 'water-god': a wonderful juxtaposition of opposites. It is Mitcham and not Phaeton who shines in this work.

Professor Martin Comte OAM, PhD

Berlin Vernissage

berlin vernissage

Click here to see more photos from the Berlin Vernissage

Painting Jake Shears

Jake Shears and Ross Watson
Scissor Sisters front man, Jake Shears, relaxing with Ross Watson after modelling for new paintings and photographs.

"Ross' work masterfully encapsulates realism and desire."

Jake Shears

ohlala mag

Classic De Novo - Ross Watson

'Love conquers all; let us all yield to love!': In his second reference of Caravaggio's 'Victorious Cupid', Watson's superb feature-painting for his upcoming Berlin exhibition explores the notion of the disposable and the sustainable in today's society. Depicted life-sized, contemporary German model Marcel holds a digital camera and stands in the foreground of the 17th Century scene. Watson produces just one painting of this size and calibre each year.

"On my many visits to the Gemaldegalerie I have felt a strong connection with Carravaggio's paintings, being struck by the almost photographic naturalism of his technique. The candid expression of cupid here is a perfect example. In Caravaggio's era everything was hand-crafted, cared for and kept, unlike so much today including many digital images which are discarded. I decided to paint Marcel lifesize to increase the level of realism".

This painting after Caravagio 1603 (Oil on board, 75 x 85 cm / 30" x 33") was sold to a private collection in London for US$21,500. Paintings included in the forthcoming Berlin exhibition may be pre-purchased, and will be available for shipping ex-Berlin July 1.

More Ross Watson on OhLaLa

the age review

Melbourne's broadsheet The Age has a full page article on Ross Watson and his art.
Read the whole story here.

MÄNNER Magazine Germany February 2009 Issue has a double page feature on Ross Watson.

elton john aids foundation

Sir Elton John was thrilled to receive from Ross Watson a complete set of photographs from his current Melbourne exhibition - Catalogue XXVII Photographs.

Elton has bought three large photographs from the series for his private collection.

Gifted to the ELTON JOHN AIDS FOUNDATION and valued at AUS$30,000, the photographs will be auctioned at Elton's 2007 White Tie and Tiara Ball.

Ross and partner Stephen Morgan, introduced high profile AFL footballers, Brodie Holland and Paul Licuria, to Elton at a back-stage party at his Melbourne concert Sunday 3rd December.

Ross' 2006 London exhibition received the greatest number of visitors, editorial coverage and commissions of any exhibition to date.

The classical references in the paintings caught the attention of the Libraries and Archive Department at The National Gallery in London, who have requested related artwork for their historical records.

Untitled #17/04 Selected for NGV Cover

australian football cover

Ross Watson's painting Untitled #17/04 (after Jacques-Louis David, 1784; featuring Brodie Holland) has been selected for the cover of Issue 1 of the quarterley journal Australian Football. It is this edition that will be used as a souvenir for the National Gallery of Victoria's "The Spirit of Football" exhibition.

Untitled #9/03

The National Portrait Gallery exhibits Untitled #9/03 (after Coypel, 1709 - Ian Roberts), the museum's board having approved the painting for the permanent collection, which includes portraits of famous Australians - from Cathy Freeman to Kylie Minogue. Featuring Australia's most famous gay man, ex football star, now NIDA Drama Academy graduate, it is the first painting depicting Ian Roberts in the museum's collection.


  • National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia
  • National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
  • National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, Australia
  • Sir Elton John Collection, United Kingdom
  • Sir William Dobell Foundation, Sydney, Australia
  • Charles Cholmondeley, London, United Kingdom
  • Robert Woolley, Sotheby's New York, USA
  • Allens Arthur Robinson, Sydney, Australia
  • The Von Engelhardt Collection, Geneva, Switzerland
  • James J. O'Donnell Collection, New York, USA
  • Sir James D. Wolfensohn, President, The World Bank 1995-2005, Washington DC, USA
  • David Stevens Collection, Boston, USA
  • Abbott Tout Russell Kennedy, Sydney, Australia
  • Pancontinental, Sydney, Australia
  • Dave Clark Collection, London, United Kingdom
  • Ian Roberts Collection, Sydney, Australia
  • Grant Hackett, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
  • Professor Andrew Kaye, Melbourne, Australia
  • Russell Mulcahy, Sydney, Australia
  • Leslie Walford AM, Sydney, Australia
  • The Hon. Petro Georgiou M.P., Melbourne, Australia
  • The K. Adams Collection, London, United Kingdom
  • Dr Brett Archer Collection, Melbourne, Australia
  • Timothy Chow Collection, New York, USA