Chris O’Doherty was born in 1951 in Auckland, New Zealand, but migrated with his family to Sydney’s northern beaches in 1969. He graduated with a Diploma of Art from the National Art School, Sydney in 1977. Chris was a member of the band Mental as Anything from 1976 to 2000, and continues to play in the Dog Trumpet band with his brother Peter. In 1999, Chris travelled to Italy as guest speaker at Milan’s workshop for artists at the Galleria Aiap, and at La Triennnale di Milano. In the same year, he participated in the Mambo exhibition, ‘The Bastards of Baroque’, in London. In 2000, Chris was commissioned by Sydney Olympics to design the Heroes segment for the Closing Ceremony, made up of six huge inflatable figures. His designs also appeared on the Australian athlete’s shirts during the Closing Ceremony. Chris designed a set of coins for the Royal Australian Mint’s Australian Artist series in 2007.
A survey show of Chris O’Doherty/Reg Mombassa’s art, displaying works from the previous thirty years, featured at the S. H. Ervin Gallery in Sydney also in 2007. ‘The Mind and Times of Reg Mombassa’, written by Murray Waldren and published by Harper Collins was launched in Sydney in 2009. Chris participated in the Lyon Biennale, France, in a show ‘Enfants Terribles’ in 2011. In 2012, Harper Collins published Cranium Universe, an e-book of Reg/Chris’s poetry, songs, pictures and interviews.
Chris O’Doherty was appointed Creative Ambassador for 2013 Sydney New Year’s Eve, and in 2014 he was awarded a Fellowship of the National Art School, Sydney.