Darren Cullen (artist)

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Darren Cullen
Darren Cullen

EducationGlasgow School of Art
Known forVisual art, satire

Darren Cullen (born 1983 in Leeds, England)[citation needed] is a British artist and political cartoonist whose artwork satirises topics ranging from the insidious nature of advertising,[1] from the culpability of the "Santa lie"[2] to armed forces recruitment propaganda.[3]

In 2014, his anti-army recruitment comic 'Join the Army' was added to the Victoria and Albert Museum permanent collection.[4]


Cullen came to prominence as a student in 2005 when his plan to erect a billboard that attacked the commercialisation of Christmas was scrapped.[5] Cullen says his 2012 work Baby's First Baby was about "the way these toys intrinsically train girls to have and care for children while they are still only children themselves".[6] In 2014, Cullen opened a shop installation called 'Pocket Money Loans' in Finsbury Park at Atom Gallery.[7] A payday loan shop for kids, which appeared to give children an advance on their pocket money at 5000% interest. In 2015, he took the work to Banksy's Dismaland, opening the shop in a portacabin next to the children's play area.[8]

In 2015, alongside Veterans for Peace UK, he released a series of films called "Action Man: Battlefield Casualties".[9][unreliable source?] Directed by Price James, featuring Matt Berry and written by Cullen, the films parody '90s Action Man toy adverts to draw attention to the possible outcomes of military service through three short 'adverts' for PTSD Action Man, Paralysed Action Man and Dead Action Man.[10] They were part of a campaign by Veterans for Peace UK to raise the British military age of recruitment from 16 to 18, in line with other European and NATO countries.[9]

In a protest against the Kreuzpflicht law, in 2018 Cullen sent out dozens of crucifixes to Bavarian state buildings, having altered each cross that the hanging hook was on the bottom edge, forcing the crucifix to be hung upside down. The packages contained instructions and a letter designed to look like official Bavarian state communications.[11] This was funded and assisted by the non-theistic Satanic Temple's UK chapter.[12][unreliable source?][13]

In 2019 he opened a Museum of Neoliberalism in Leegate Shopping Centre, Lee, London, which he co-curated with art historian Gavin Grindon.[14]


Cullen played drums in the bands Shitdisco and Age of Consent.[15] While a member of Shitdisco, he worked with the Japanese idol group 80_pan to compose and arrange the song "crazy", released on the 2008 album DISCO BABY.


Cullen co-wrote a monthly satirical 'horoscopes' column with Mark Tolson for The Skinny magazine until 2017.[16]


  1. ^ The Independent. "Payday loans that are marketed at kids? Why not?", The Independent
  2. ^ The Guardian. "Student's anti-Santa poster scrapped", The Guardian
  3. ^ The Skinny. "Darren Cullen: Unto the Breach", The Skinny
  4. ^ "Your Search Results - Search the Collections - Victoria and Albert Museum". collections.vam.ac.uk. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  5. ^ "Student's anti-Santa poster scrapped". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  6. ^ "Baby's First Baby: Artist Darren Cullen's Disturbing 'Pregnancy Action' Doll (PICTURES)". The Huffington Post.
  7. ^ Editor, Sara C. Nelson Senior; UK, The Huffington Post (29 October 2014). "First Payday Loans Shop For Children Opens In London*". HuffPost UK. Retrieved 10 July 2017.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  8. ^ Schwab, Katharine. "Welcome to 'Dismaland': A Theme Park by Banksy". Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  9. ^ a b Action Man:Battlefield Casualties. Retrieved 19 July 2021.
  10. ^ "Spoof Action Man: Battlefield Casualties ad is hilarious and very chilling". 6 July 2015. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  11. ^ Matirko, Jack (2018-05-31). "The Satanic Temple-UK Helps to Mail Upside Down Crucifixes to Bavaria". Patheos. Retrieved 2018-06-01.
  12. ^ "Details of the projects". Darren Cullen. The project was funded and assisted by The Satanic Temple, London & UK (TSTUK)
  13. ^ "Campaigns". Satanic Temple International. A satirical artist, along with help from members of Satanic Temple International sent dozens of crucifixes[...]
  14. ^ Inside the museum of neoliberalism , Prospect (11 December 2019). Retrieved: 19 July 2021.
  15. ^ Berlin Beat "Interview: Age of Consent", Berlin Beat
  16. ^ "Comedy Opinion and Features - The Skinny". Retrieved 10 July 2017.

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