Morales-Lee was taught by the painter John Virtue and graduated alongside friend and peer Antony Micallef. During the last few years, he has exhibited in a number of shows, selling work to a handful of well know collectors and exhibited alongside artists such as Antony Gormley, Jeremy Deller, Gavin Turk, Sarah Maple, Anthony Lister, Shepard Fairey, Vhils, FAILE and many more.
In 2020 he won the Galerie Heimat & NG Art Creative Residency Art Prize 2020, judged by Kate Bryan and Laura Gascoigne. While also appearing on Sky Arts, Portrait Artist of the Year in October 2020, he has also been shortlisted for the new self portrait art prize, The Sequested Prize, where winners will be revealed in late 2021.
"Strong, thoughtful and unsettling work.
An age-old search for artistic truth, in modern dress."
Laura Gascoigne, Arts critic and commentator
My work deals with the idea of identity, from being fostered at the age of three I was constantly aware of my surroundings and the need to fit in growing up. Looking back, I recognise those feelings as universal and the work looks to explore the ‘human condition’, specifically what makes people do what they do to have a sense of belonging – from the everyday to the extreme.
From the schoolyard to being an adult, we constantly look to define ourselves by trying to fit into a group. Aspiring to be one of the ‘cool kids’, aligning yourself with a religious faith or football team, fashion, music, brands and celebrities: the sense of being in a tribe is all around us.
The work looks to showcase snapshot scenarios – a soft narrative to a given situation, process or ceremony. These scenarios could be, on the one hand, unsettling or odd, but to others comforting and familiar. Often the figure depicted is within a ceremony of sorts, a lot inspiration is taken from the Christian ceremony ‘Communion’ the idea of transformation, taking on something new, be that the belief of the ‘action’ being the body and blood of christ. I call this ‘active belonging’, the idea that people will participate physically and mentally in an action, a ceremony to show to themselves, to show to others that they believe, that there is meaning in the process, that they aren’t alone, they belong to something, giving a tangible meaning to their own life.