Friday, January 30, 2009

Artifacts-Remembering Martin

Its been something like twenty five years since Martin died-hard to believe sometimes-I still see his face so clearly.
Maybe its getting older, but he's been in my thoughts a lot of late. I was seventeen, maybe eighteen on what was known as a 'Youth Training scheme' in those days, and Martin headed the design dept. I guess he recognized some modicum of talent in me then, and it quickly became one of those things of mentor and student. He introduced me to things like Dada and Pop Art, and a set of skills and dictum's that still stand me in good stead today.

He was also a remarkable artist in his own right, producing a series of silk screened images, that had a foot somewhere between Fauvism and photography. He possessed an incredibly dry surreal wit too, which would spill over into projects like painting over sized crisp packets that he had blown up on an old OHP.
I recall hours of laughter, and we became firm friends, outside the class.He was 29 when he died in that old blue mini of his from France, which he had customized with red tape. Out of all the friends that I've lost over the years, the shock of his death was the most visceral,I guess because it was so sudden and unexpected,and at the time I dealt with it by mythologizing his death, stupidly, naively casting him as my Carlos Casagemas, but his passing was fundemental to me, and
I really miss him sometimes.

Last year, I tried to deal with it, the way I deal with everything-through paint-and had the idea of producing a hommage triptych, which I'd call 'Mentors'-I never got past the first piece(I'd still like to) -but the piece here called simply 'Martin' is the result.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Into the night-David Gough Art at the Ruby Room

Unfortunately, time and the snail pace drying properties of Oil paint, meant that my latest piece will still be on my easel by the time the doors open this evening. Still, even with that minor disappointment, it was really something of a vindication, to walk through the rooms, and see so many pieces hanging last night.
All told, I am truly excited about the installation-I think its a cool and exciting venue-putting me,very much in mind of the CBGB scene that was happening in NY in the late 70's.

Anyway, friends and happenstance's-I very much look forward to seeing you there, and no doubt shall regale the rest of you with how it went in a day or two. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Notes from an easel part three-sex and death working title

Without a hint of irony, my wife and I spent the first day of 2009 in Tombstone. An extraordinary raw place-which left an undefinable mark on me-I shall be making a full picture post as time presents.

With the show looming however, I wanted very much to display the latest progression of the piece- that I'm hoping (wet paint being the biggest factor) to debut at the Ruby Room this Thursday.

Its odd to see the thought processes evolve on the canvas as I go-what began as a fairly pedestrian exposition on sex, death and the religious interplay between the two, has developed into a paradox of imagery: the veneration of the virgin, the symbolic sharing of blood during the sacrament, the aversion to menstruation in some religious cultures, the curtains of the confessional booth, the curtains of Amsterdam, the curtain of blood, the female sex as a symbol of life, the skull as a symbol of death, the whole life, death and resurrection show.

I'm fairly content with how its progressing,but as is always the case with my work, wish I had more time. I'll post final progressions this evening.