As with every country in the western world, Australia experienced a generational shift that began in the 1960’s and extended through the next two decades. Music, fashion, politics, feminism, art, poetry, cinema, television all changed very rapidly – and those of us who were in Sydney at the time thought we were at the cutting edge of the world. During the sixties, Ken was in London and New York working as art director for the J. Walter Thompson agency, but when he returned to Sydney and became a full-time artist in 1975 he understood immediately what was different about this city. He created a series of iconic paintings that twinned a stunning harbor with our own (recently completed) opera house, skies sun-drenched with chrome yellow that captured Sydney’s skyline and lifestyle, and so for the first time we felt no cultural cringe toward the grown-up artists of Europe, but started to understand we had something special of our own to celebrate. Sydney’s pitiless summer sunlight creates an intensity of colour that Ken was the first artist to successfully communicate directly with Sydneysiders. We knew there was something special about a city where you could wear beach shorts and floral shirts among the skyscrapers of George Street, but Ken put it into pictures for us. Jade Opera, yellow sky is a later work from 2000, but when I saw the painting it brought back memories of Ken’s earliest graphics of the Bridge and the Opera House. Those early graphics were a sensation because no previous artist had managed to capture Sydney in shorthand – we immediately recognized our city in the colours and the T-shirts told the story. Jade Opera, yellow sky goes with me around the world and right now it’s in Los Angeles.