David Art Wales

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David Art Wales (born 6 February 1964, Sydney) is an Australian entrepreneur and artist best known for creating satirical cult figure Guru Adrian.[1] He has been involved in collaborations with artist Keith Haring and filmmaker Morgan Spurlock.[2]

Wales has been called "the father of the Noughties"[3] in relation to his role as founder of Project Naughtie, a campaign to name the decade of 2000–2009 the "Naughties".[4]


At the age of nineteen, Wales launched his first business, Nice Enterprises,[5] described as "the world's first mail order flattery service." A year later, he co-published Fatplastiscene magazine, the first issue of which is in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia.[6] In 1986 Wales became a host of the ABC TV show Edge of the Wedge.[7]

During the 1980s he was a frequent contributor to Australian radio station Triple Jay, providing commentary on pop-cultural issues, including a live report from Berlin as the Berlin Wall fell, and a comic strip featuring Guru Adrian for the station's fanzine, Alan.


Wales moved to New York to become a painter in 1989 and spent the 1990s showing at various Manhattan and Australian galleries, including Roslyn Oxley 9 and Sherman Galleries.[8][9] During this time he also worked on content creation projects for MTV, Fox and Disney. Several companies, including Hanna Barbera, Fox Television, and MTV, have optioned Guru Adrian with a view to building a television show around the character; however, each project was eventually shelved.[10]

In 1998 Wales and Australian dancer Catherine Hourihan launched the Red Vixen Burlesque,[11] a popular downtown New York attraction that is now seen as an early progenitor of the burlesque revival movement.[12]


In 1999 Wales initiated Project Naughtie,[4] a grassroots campaign to name the 2000s decade the "Naughties".[13][14] A December 2009 article referred to Wales as the "father of the Noughties".[3]

That same year, Wales became Cultural Forecaster for Toyota,[15] tracking and predicting trends for the automaker's design division.[16] In 2000 he launched Ministry of Culture,[17] a research, strategy and content creation firm.

In 2008, Wales and filmmaker Morgan Spurlock launched the website Cinelan, described by The Hollywood Reporter as a "film content publisher."[18]

More recently, Ministry of Culture has created a viral campaign claiming to resurrect an ancient Welsh temperance movement called Prudent Boozers.[19][20][21]


  1. ^ The Face, Sept 1987 | Save the Wales
  2. ^ Variety, Wed 2 February 2008 | Directors Back Distributor Cinelan
  3. ^ a b A decade for rebellion and unsung heroes
  4. ^ a b Campaign fights for decade to be named the 'naughties'
  5. ^ Sunday Telegraph, 13 November 1983 | It's Nice Work – And He's Got it
  6. ^ National Gallery of Australia | Fatplastiscene editorial sheet [recto] part of Fatplastiscene issue No.1
  7. ^ Stiletto magazine, date unknown 1986 | The Wedge
  8. ^ The Weekend Review, 6 June 1992 | Skeletons for the Human Insect
  9. ^ The Sydney Morning Herald / Good Weekend, Sept 5 1998 | A Job for the Guru
  10. ^ Who, 7 July 1994 | Guru Adrian Wows Hanna-Barbera
  11. ^ The New York Times, 4 October 1998 | Burlesque's Back, a Step Ahead of the Law
  12. ^ "Arts & Books: New York Diary: Post-modernism for perverts". The Independent. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  13. ^ Steve Silberman: Here Come 'The Naughties', Wired 30 November 1999
  14. ^ ABC Radio, 5 January 2000 | Campaign fights for decade to be named the 'naughties' (transcript)
  15. ^ Hunters of Cool Are in a Freeze
  16. ^ Details, Apr 2001 | The Death of Cool
  17. ^ "Ministry of Culture | Good Thinking". Ministry of Culture. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  18. ^ Cinelan | Nonfiction short films get new home
  19. ^ Prudent Boozers: Nurse the 3rd!
  20. ^ PSFK Interview: David Art Wales on Secret Societies | PSFK – Trends, Ideas & Inspiration
  21. ^ ministrymoments (11 March 2009), Moment 96: David Art Wales on Secret Societies, retrieved 2 November 2018

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