“In the studio he wields his brush over the fibers of his canvas with the precision and authority of a magistrate’s gavel… Weaving tapestries of man’s wonderment at the terror he poses to the world around him, and the terror he poses to himself.”
Kicking off the first day of the new year-in what hopefully is a shape of fortunes to come-I’m honored by having been chosen as Featured Artist for the month of January, in what is a beautifully eloquent article over on Rogues Gallery.
You can read the full article from the link below:
I know, it’s a cheerless title from a dismal song , but its been churning around in my muddy head for the past few days like a mantra.
Here we are at the denouement then, 2017 as a summary in paint, and I have to ask, was it a year well spent I wonder?
Don’t answer that.
Looking at it now, it could be an existential map of this annus horribillis, a veritable schizoid hell-spawn of conflict, angst, disembowellings, and death. It was certainly instilled with the spirit of these times we live in. I mean, one of the last pieces I did was a fetal man, digging his way out of the dark using a horn, growing from where his third eye would be. Talk about no shit Sherlock.
On the bleeding face of it, not my most prolific year perhaps, although it doesn’t account for the months of preparatory study and the two huge paintings I’m currently working on for the next show.
I’d almost pronounce 2017 -‘the calm before the storm’, if I hadn’t already been sodden by the reign.
” I have of late—wherefore I know not—lost all my mirth”
Oil on canvas study 9″x 12″
And so, here we are then, at the turgid fag end of my 50th year. A lamentable passage of twelve months that has seemed overshadowed by the burden of financial hardship, bereavement and personal sleights of effrontery.
So more of 2016 then.
Birth, Death and taxing.
One could be forgiven for thinking this small study-painted during a week that began with sweeping fires in California, several days without power and concluded with my cars transmission taking an unruly shit- all seems to hit a little close to home. Rag and bone, man.
Lest we forget the ongoing Trumpster fire that was 2017. I mean, go on-try! The ass you cannot wipe.
I know, I know, its all doom and gloom from here on in, but looking down the barrel of a Christmas, that promises to give Bob Cratchets measly stipend a run for his shilling, one can’t help but wonder as an artist what is the fucking point? Why continue adding to the mire of seeming indifference when the rewards seem so diminutive. More wood for the fire dear?
And given that, how does one look ahead with a vestige of hope?
Is there no more haste to the passage of years end than the hope that next year promises some respite from that? I mean, what moronic vainglory and delusion. “And the next day, and another day….”
I don’t have one iota of an answer to be honest. Year in year out, the only constant remains. The continuing blind foolish compulsion to bring some semblance of meaning to the burgeoning chaos. Some way to fill the banality of black mediocre existence, though never the coffers, by elevating it all with moments of creative eloquence and epiphany. How better should one fill their time? Actually, don’t answer that.
Art, the folly of dunces- I know. A clod that continues to reach into the fire with charred fingers, but as a stoic and no doubt cigar chomping Churchill once growled, without art, what the fuck are we fighting for?
To that end, there is preparation for a solo show in the offing which I will be announcing shortly. Likely my penultimate one before the one which will be my very last.
Perhaps by then I’ll have learned my lesson after all.
Until such time, don’t darken my door again 2017, you bastard.
“…most men and women will grow up to love their servitude and will never dream of revolution.”
― Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
Another painted sketch, flexing the painted portrait muscles, while I busy myself for the next series. In this picture,Huxley reminds me of a cross between Jarvis Cocker and myself in my early 20’s . I think that’s around the time I first read Brave New World. Then of course, it was still a work of fiction, or at least a cautionary tale. Like Orwell’s 1984, I suppose its become a sort of manifesto for the contemporary morass we live in. The Deltas intellectual malaise that is now the modern idocracy. The cultist anathema of the solidarity circle, now the evangelical right wing and the indignant Trump supporter. Somas sleepwalkers….well, name your poison.
Dark days indeed.
The book had enough of a seminal impact on me to title one of my pieces after it, back in 2014 for my series Purgatorium. I’ll be making an announcement about its follow up series in the new year.
In the meantime, I’ll bung up the portrait in my store if nobody bites.
You can take a gander at whats currently available here:
You know, a long time ago being crazy meant something. Nowadays everybody’s crazy.
“Something Witchy” (2012) Oil on canvas, 11″ x 14″
So Charlie-the self proclaimed “God of Fuck”-has finally left this mortal coil. I’ve already said everything I thought I had to say in that regard, but I guess I ought to share my thoughts since so many comments were curious what those where now he has passed.
Whether one wants to believe that Manson was a mind-controlled, puppet messiah, programmed to terminate the hippie dream, or a patsy prophet, he certainly shouldn’t be lionized or vindicated, regardless of how ultimately complicit he was in snuffing the lives of Stephen Parent, Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger, Wojciech Frykowski, Sharon Tate, Paul Polanski, Leno LaBianca and Rosemary LaBianca.
One thing is certain, Manson was an able and charismatic grifter with the gift of the gibber gab. A pontificate who stoked a climate of paranoia, hatred and apocalyptic level fear to a group of gullible and disenfranchised cult disciples, who would go on to do something truly diabolical in his name.
For myself, it is a welcome reminder to be mindful of parallels, of false prophets who profiteer, because it seems no less apropos, that Manson dies in the era that he does.
You can see the entire series I produced for the 2012 solo exhibit at Hyaena Gallery from the following: