Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Notes from an easel-work in progress-the Valley stage seven by David Gough

After a weeks sabbatical from the new piece, I was hungry again. There is something transcendental about the almost imperceptible pace of working the minutiae, I imagine it to be the closest thing to the repose of meditative prayer, for myself at least. Still a long road ahead to my final intention, but I do see a light at the end of my own corridor.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Object D' Art-Tomi Ungerer-Agent Provocateur

'My anger is essential to my work,-Humour is a defense mechanism against the evils of society.'
Tomi Ungerer

I first became aquainted with Tomi Ungerers work, upon discovering his dark little tome-Testament-in an even darker corner of a Liverpool library in the very early 1980's.
The naive, fluid economy of brittle line drawings, belied the psychological and political depth of his renderings-from the protest posters of the 60s, to the flabby skinned,
pearls and fur draped caricatures of high society,stiffing one another with a leer, or the Belsen style corpses humping sadomasochistic machines (when not fleecing swine tied to kitchen furniture,that is), the stark expressionistic monochrome of his sardonic humor, cut through the dung like the knife carving blood trails on the jacket.

A popular children's illustrator and broadsheet cartoonist in the US during the fifties and sixties-Ungerer-seeing too many parallels between the Nazi occupied township of his childhood, and the war in Vietnam, became incensed and returned to his native Europe in 1971, growing more subversive in the approach to his craft.

Recast as 'agent provocateur' no stone of modern malady was left unturned and tossed in vitriol, be it a world choked by greed, overpopulation and industrialization, the sacrificial bloodletting and bomb stockpiles of the warmongers, or the alienation of sexual perversion-now more than ever-his work peels back the thinly veiled skin to reveal the stark bone of societies distemper beneath.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Notes from an easel-work in progress-the Valley stage six by David Gough

Hours are dedicated to the piece a day, and yet it feels like I'm working at a snails pace, so diminishing seem the returns-its the ultimate game of endurance, and I'm gritting my teeth all the way to the end-somewhat ironic when you consider the subject matter.

You can't tell from the photograph, but I've subtly begun to fill in the marble effect on the walls-I was undecided up until this point whether I was going to replicate the hallway in the Whaley house completely, because it seemed that marble had a conotation of 80's sheen. It struck me however, that as death is indiscriminate, regardeless of ostentation or ghetto, so should my approach, and so it stuck.

Showboat-Faith and Formulas at Thumbprint

Temperatures soared at San Diego's hottest art venue -Thumbprint last night-not only because the collected throng there, was a veritable barrel of Chile's for the city's hottest outsider talent and eye tamales, but because the temperatures for a September evening set just below the point where paint begins to melt.

Despite the heat of the night, attendance was healthy, and my thanks as always to Johnny Tran and Nomad for hosting the event, as well as all those people who came along to view the art and say an enthusiastic hello. My very gracious thanks to
Dan Allen and Brian Dombrowsky who are fellow collaborators from the video game, and who made a special journey to visit and meet me in person.

Here are a selection of photos from the event below:

My gorgeous and endlessly patient wife-Lani-loved this piece:

Long shot showing the work of featured artist-Mofo. Johnny Tran just gliding out of view in the foreground.

Its all for one, and one for all-Dan, myself and Brian from the Dark Vomit video project.

Encouraged by Mister Tran, I took an hour out to do some live painting, on a canvas which will be a collaboration with other artists attending future events- the results of which are as thus-I think I'll call it Endgame.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Faith and Formulas show at Thumbprint gallery, by David Gough

1. Tonight is the Faith and Formulas show at Thumbprint gallery, here in San Diego. Having seen the artists installed, I think this show promises to be the best one yet. Doors open at 7pm and runs until midnight-driving directions here: 3925 Ohio St, San Diego, CA 92104
Hope to see some of you there.

2. I had the real pleasure of seeing the demo for the online video game for the first time yesterday. The game elevates the genre from a standard shoot em up, by placing the universe in a series of rotating galleries, all represented by the cream of 'San Diego surrealists'. Its a very exciting project to be involved with, and already has marked interest from art periodicals such as Juxtapoz. Much credit and thanks should go to Producer- the incomparable Dark Vomit-whose work deserves a post all of its own. General release isn't until October 1st from- www.interactiveartshow.com but you can see a short reel demo, in the youtube link below. My dungeon gallery (with decapitation,) shows up at around the 2.02 mark.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Notes from an easel-work in progress-the Valley stage five by David Gough

I made a concession and took a break from the intensity of the rooms angles, and concentrated on the skull yesterday. The backlight gives it an almost cinder quality-I think this is my best deaths head to date.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Notes from an easel-work in progress-the Valley stage four by David Gough

I've never worked so meticulously before-but the precision of perspective and angles requires nothing less-my concentration so acute that at times I have to remind myself to draw a breath.

The image haunts me, and my mind finds itself hearing Bowie's 1972 rendering of
My Death by Jaques Brel for some bizarre reason-particularly the lines 'whatever lies behind the door...'

The performance of which has never failed to move me, particularly at the denouement where Ziggys final lines are eclipsed by the audience cries.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Artifact-Talesof an Antiquarian-Ship of fools

El Barco De Tontos-or Ship of fools-like Death and the Maiden-followed a very European tradition in Art. From Bosch to Durer-there are examples littered throughout art history. It also had its origins in the satirical medieval German poem (Das Narrenschiff) warning against over 100 vices and follies, which later became the basis for a tarot of the same name.

For myself-in the fall of 2006-folly was something that I felt my artistic career path had fallen victim to. Continually stiffed by a series of bad licensing deals, the diminishing returns and production line mentality of selling on Ebay and the alienation of what I considered was the cultural vacuousness of living in California for the first year, I felt I'd reached a nadir creatively and integrally.
In truth, I despised everything I had painted over the previous five years, which seemed bogged down by the flotsum and jetsum of symbolic embellishment, ultimately trying to imbue the cultural trends of a certain Hot Topic audience with some depth of meaning.

So, ever one for the posturing of melodrama, I proclaimed that El Barco De' Tontos would be my final ever piece,and that on the eve of my 40th Birthday, it was time to give up the lifelong dream of being an artist and disapear into the anonymity of a faceless institution. I had probably read Bukowski too much, because, that was exactly what I did, taking a mundane day job at a post office box in La Jolla-one of the most vacuous places in southern California.

As my swansong, I was sending a representative cast of my own familiar characters-clowns,grim reapers, demons pirates and lepers-helmed by a harlot muse, into the endless horizon of an inevitable vanishing point.

It would be six months before I would paint again,and not until I had relinquished an audience,contractual obligations or any expectations of myself.