DAVIDGOUGHART

Monday, October 2, 2017

The La Bodega years



Just added a new gallery, comprising the period between fall 2014 and early this year HERE.
To be honest, I hadn’t really envisioned those years as a self encompassing body of work. Because of the nature of group shows, it’s niggled me that since producing Purgatorium , I’d been unable to invest my vision in quite the same way-that the work had felt somehow scattershot or constantly compromised and manicured to fit within the restrictions of an exhibitions chosen theme.
It only occurred to me very recently however, that looking at most of the paintings produced during my time at La Bodega gallery, seemed in retrospect as consistently composed as any of my former series.
This may have something to do with the environment I worked in. In fact I know it was, driving every day as I did beneath the Coronado bridge, emblazoning huge colorful murals, both in scale and historical reverence. One cannot be affected by the social injustice and cause of the Chicano community, especially when they embrace you as one of their own so readily. Lest we forget that this happened within the context of the soon to be leader of the free world, casting the entire population as rapists, drug dealers and murderers, or the doomsaying editorials within the self appointed SD ‘art media’, constantly warning of white gentrification.

Would this monster make a man (2014) 36″ x 48″-Oil on canvas
My own conceit had me promulgate the piece La Noche Triste, with its towering Coyolxauhqu over the murderous Hernan Cortez, as fitting tribute for a proposed mural, before the council and trustees of Chicano park.
Naturally, I was turned down.
Oh, how my own Anglo Irish truculence shrivels now in light of my audacity.
La Noche Triste -9″ x 12″ | Ink on card

Its within that framework then, that I now recognize that my world view had widened, gazing further as I was than the fluff in my naval. And that along with a stance that was more socially conscious, was an approach that contrived to marry my love of Otto Dix,Van Der Weyden and the brilliant primary colors of the Chicano murals themselves, and set them within alt historic and esoteric allusion. As close a relative as I will ever get to being Pop surreal, it was enough to finally gather the attentions of one of its former champions, Greg Escalante. (See Post Here)

The Devil-36″ x 48″| Oil on canvas (2015)

And though I shall always be grateful for my time there, the two hour commute to the studio no longer being feasible or a welcome prospect, the work represents an evolution in my art that stands alone, but stands in solidarity with the spirit of those years.

Aztec Ghost Groove -Oil on vinyl |12″ x 12″ (2016)

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Prints of Darkness


Samhain is upon us again, the witching hour, the feast of the great beast, hobgoblins and hubble bubble, or something like that.
There was a time not so very long ago when I bristled with resentment at being lumped in with all that. It felt so tacky, I mean every superstore in every mall has an aisle band wagoning rubber scare fare, plastic tombstone and inflatable gargoyle creature feature, and for thirty one days of the year I could look forward to being part of the self same novelty act.  De rigueur by proxy of my penchant for painting skulls and all manner of hellish progeny.
A side note, after complimenting my technique, I was once asked at a film festival by a woman of advancing years, if I painted anything less dark. The film festival in question was for horror movies.  On a similar train, I’ve lost count over the years, how often my work has been sought by a gallery, only to be featured as part of some Halloween showcase.
How I’ve laughed and died a little inside. I am a serious arteest after all.
The thing of it all is, I need not have recoiled at feeling so nailed down. After all, a cursory look at my bookshelf and film collection will reveal more than a passing interest in the macabre, weird and hellion. I am the fully formed product of the 70’s hauntology that my upbringing afforded me. And no one is more delighted to revel in the schmaltz on display at Michaels and the like this time of year.
All of this, is a roundabout way of me telling you that if the executioners black cap fits, then so be it, to which end, there’s a 30% off on signed prints and books in my online shop for the month of October, with the carrion call BOOO17 as the coupon code. Click the following link.
If you must bring demons home for All Hallows, then its generally better if they aren’t made in China.
Support living artists painting the dead.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Vault plug

Altar Ergo, 16" x 12" mixed media on aquarelle paper-$250

At varying degrees throughout the five decades of my life, I've kept a sketchbook in some form or other. And although the well leafed contents have varied from scratchy and barely legible scrawl, to what are now almost anthropological, meticulously rendered explorations of my process, it only struck me very recently, that what I had considered mere morsels before getting down to the meat and potatoes of the main event, consisted of some fairly interesting nuggets of head toffee. 

Pudding as an appetizer then.

Trying on a different skin. 9" x 12"-ink and wash on aquarelle paper-$65


To that end, and needs must as they are, I figured I would open the vault and make some of the archive available to purchase. 

What doesn't kill you. 10"x13"-Biro on paper-$150


Affordable for the bargain hunter and in some cases unique from my usual cannon of works, here then is a small collection of what is a growing vault of renderings.

Poe loses his head. 9"x 12" Ink and wash on aquarelle paper-$65


More to follow, so don't miss out.In the meantime see more HERE

Abraxas whipping up and omelett. 9"x12"-Biro on paper-$65

Friday, September 22, 2017

Sentinel



10″ x 10″
Oil on panel

Done for the upcoming annual Perfect 10 group show at La Bodega gallery, here’s an appetizer between the main course, but still something to chew on.
No, its not pheasant, it’s a symbolic manifestation of the Canannite owl god Moloch- that towering monument at the Bohemian Grove, where world elites convene each year to watch a man in robes perform a ritualized “mock”child sacrifice, while chanting an invocation called the cremation of care.
Everyone needs a hobby I suppose.
Opening tomorrow, September 23rd, from 5 to 10pm, the show runs until the end of the month.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Greg Escalante

1955-2017
I suppose that its the natural order of things, that the older one gets, the more depleted the inner circle becomes. As Flaubert once remarked “A friend who dies, is something of you that dies”
Still it sucks.
In the case of Greg Escalante, it really fucking sucks. And whilst I can sadly never claim to have been ‘tight’ in the chumminess league, for the short breadth of time that I did know him, I got the sense of someone who was genuinely altruistic, someone who was as cool as a latter day beau Brummel, but didn’t brandish any of the icy heirs and graces, one might expect within the art scene.
A few of the short stories of immediate reminiscence I have then.
Though we’d been introduced once in passing many years ago, like a lot of aspiring artists I’d hoped to get on his radar, but for whatever reason, nothing had really stuck.  Hopes dashed then, and just as I’d all but called ‘time gentleman please’ on any  future aspiration in that regard, fuck me if the man himself didn’t wander into La Bodega gallery one day, and spying my art through the window, make a beeline for my studio.
Looking around at the art lining the walls, with that rare kind of awe you can only hope to imagine a doting parent might exact, he stopped short to see me sitting gobsmacked in the corner, before extending a hand with the humble and self-effacing introduction -‘Hi, I’m Greg, and I’d love to put you in my next show’.
Later, after he’d left to go next door to the Mexican restaurant ISalud,  he returned to rave about the tacos, and show me a video he’d taken on a recent trip to Galway, because he remembered I’d said I was homesick.
In the weeks that followed he sent me a video message, turning the pages of the promotional spread in Juxtapoz for the show, Dark realism/dark surrealism. I was thrilled and honored, and in the background, he made a whistling sound like a firework ascending. Which is kind of apt when one thinks about it, because he certainly put a rocket through the post Rothko/Pollock dribble that dominated the white box, until low brow shone a beacon like a neon diner on a midnight highway.
And now he’s left the diner, before pudding some will say, but still he paid the bill and even left a generous tip.
He’s on the road to the next destination.
His fedora and his many other hats will be sorely missed. I certainly doff my cap to him.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Paradise Lost and Found


Yes-yes, it’s been over a month I know.
So where have I  been?
Hitting the books and burning them. Misfiring in every direction. Having an existential crisis every five minutes.
The usual then.
Maybe its the albatross of turning fifty, the inevitable dulling of the flame, time waiting in the wing, impending nuclear war, this humidity, or maybe I just suck-I don’t fucking know-but for two months, scrawl as frantically as I might, page after page-nothing jibed for the new series.
So it’s true to say something felt amiss in Paradiso-like discovering an angry wasp nest in the garden. No really, I’m not being metaphorical when I say that. It hangs beneath the awning outside the bedroom window, growing bloated and more angry like a festering boil daily. It’s mere presence a blight in my peripheral minds eye, to the point that every few hours I  relieve myself from what I am doing to check it’s progress.
It’s been like the buzzing in my head, an insectoid creepy crawl beneath the skin. Every corpuscle telling me to its time stir up the hornets nest, regardless if I get stung.
Also, did I mention this fucking humidity?
Abandon all hope then. Or at least the last two months.
Time to shed moleskine, sharpen pencils, start afresh.
If only because one should be naked and unadorned when being reborn in Eden.
So what you are seeing is the first seeding, a gollum emerging from the mud-or at least the burnt umber.
Now if we could just do something about this humidity.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Wrath



Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword.”
Revelation 6:4

Wrath
Oil on Canvas
36″ x 48″
And so a bloodied harbinger, one of John of Patmos’s magic mushroom induced four. Like a butchers castoff wrenched from the pit of Hades, gallops the crimson steed stripped of its artifices. Give it up then for deaths own points man, here to cleave empires into ferocious war and division. Hooray!
Here he is, sporting the latest fall fashions- jodhpurs and jackboots, along with a swordfish head resembling a Klansman’s hood or a papal Mitre: a false crown for hell’s Borgia general: the preferred head dress of demagogues and blood thirsty zealots. There’s enough in the capes fountain to quench them I believe.  And if there’s any doubt as to which festering dark stable unleashed our Mr (D)Ed, then a blind, rabid diamondback coils from the animated corpses cold dead fist – Gadsen’s relic co-opted as every risible little bumper sticker-now waving into view like Satan’s own spewing cock.
If after all of that, you missed the carrion call of our horseback messenger, the lightning bolt clutched aloft also trebles as a Sig rune, cross and spear of destiny. Talk about the unholy trinity of Swiss army knives eh?
No prizes for guessing what fireworks awaits at the finish line, but I’d wear sunblock if I were you.
Yes, I realize I’m posting this on Independence day, but look-I began this one on 12,21,12- the Aztec dooms date-so  this piece was forged for these end times.
So here we are, July 4th baring down upon this once great nation like funerary pallbearer-one more last supper culminating in a glittering firecracker of whizz bang and char grilled offal.
How depressingly apt, eh?
Two plus millennia that includes a historical cannon of almost mythological prowess-names like Washington, Lincoln, Kennedy echoing through the grand halls of history, all diminished by the wet, shrill, reverberating fart of a coiffed, bloviating, bowel, tweeting in an ill fitting suit. An ignoble and all too fitting end I suppose, if only because the American dream has become a nightmare.
Nostrovia Comrades.
If we’re all still here come November, it’ll be on view at Copro’s upcoming Underworld group show.