Friday, December 31, 2010

"Don't threaten me with a dead fish"

"I have of late,--wherefore I know not,--lost all my mirth, and indeed, it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory"
And a plague on both our houses-Lani and I are still sick, head colds having now relocated to the southern hemisphere of Chesterton, as we nestle like two bags of old washing around a barely adequate air heater.
A good a time as any to crack open my annual New Year double bill-'Withnail and I' and the 'The Man who fell to Earth' then.
Perhaps I should cover myself in deep heat and protest dramatically that 'My head is numb'
In fact, any number of eminently quotable soundbites from the former could sum up the years end.
"The greatest decade in the history of mankind is coming to an end and as Presuming Ed here has so consistently pointed out, we have failed to paint it black."

"Even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day."

"Look at my tongue; it's wearing a yellow sock."

So-2010-what a year...fifteen shows-four featured.
Eighty six paintings-twenty of which are some of the best things I've ever done.
A veritable year in paint then.

And the best of it? Visiting England in the Spring, holding my grandchild for the first time. Standing by a waterfall in Yosemite and watching fireworks from a boat on the 4th July with my wife. Spending time with friends and meeting people who came to my shows.

Peering through the fog of Benedryl, I'd rather not recall the worst, but the Raw show, almost cutting off my hand with a hedge trimmer, the entire month of August and losing our beloved cat Pepper are particular low-lights.

Looking forward then-I'm a couple of weeks from putting my book 'Dead Ends' to bed.
And whilst I shalln't be doing anywhere near as many showings in the coming twelve months, my appearances shall be more prestigious.
Then there are the new works which I am beside myself with excitement about.

So Happy New Year to you all, and In the final words-this time from 'The Man who Fell to Earth'...
"I think perhaps Mr. Newton has had enough, don't you?"

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Cold Comfort

A friend stopped by the studio yesterday, and purchased the sculpture- 'Is there Life after Death?' He'd been compelled to buy it, following a family bereavement, It was genuinely moving. He proudly displays it as a token reminder, alongside the Yosemite piece I painted.

Such things are hugely vindicating- worth more than pieces of gold, and all the column inches I could ever hope to inhabit.

It's belting down like the 'Long Rain' in 'The Illustrated Man', and I'm battling the beginnings of a cold. Lani is too, so it looks like New Year festivities will be subdued from the comfort of our home-TV and hot toddy's.

I can't think of a better way to see out this year frankly.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Cool Yule

May it be Bacchanalian and exquisite, stocking stuffed and lap landed,sequin filled and ribbon wrapped, doe eyed and mince pied, turkey stuffed and paper hat, mistletoed and irish cremed.

Every Happiness this Christmas to all.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

X-mas Carol

Several years back, I hit upon the brilliant notion that I was going to do my own interpretation of Dickens classic-A Christmas Carol.

Of course, there have been a multitude of interpretation's over the years, perhaps to the point of obsolescence, but mine was a sort of mixture of Kafka meets Roald Dahl, in that it looked like a 1920's Expressionist horror movie told in rhyme. I also called mine X-mas Carol.

I must have sent it out to a hundred publishers without receiving a single response-it could have been because of its cultural ubiquity or that it was probably just crap, but whatever it was the unfinished manuscript sits collecting dust with all the other projects that have been ignored through the years.

Maybe one day I'll have the time to self publish it, or just put them out one year as Christmas cards or something, but it being the season, I thought now would be as good a time as any to post some images, along with a sample of the script here for all to see.

Happy Holidays.

"Beckoned-behold this winters tale,

and peer beneath deaths darkest veil,

to chronicle mans wretched plight,

through tribulations-one bitter night.

Unfolding upon bedlams tenements below,

from the thoroughfares to the festering row.

Amongst the specter of lugubrious throng,

the avaricious gentry, to the wretches song.

From the plying harlot, to the back street butcher,

and the shabby urchins, without a future.

Meander through these squalid streets,

and find a vestige more deplete,

than the cavern of the impoverished soul,

An empty hollow in a fathomless hole.

From Byzantium to the Moulin Rouge ,

there’s none so nefarious as Ebenezer Scrooge..."

Bob Cratchett

Tiny Tim

Marley's Ghost

Ghost of Christmas Past

All Art and content copyright David Gough Art ©. No image can be reproduced in any form without express permission of the artist. All rights reserved. All art created by David Gough and is the property of the author and artist of its origination.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Banksy rolling

I finally got around to seeing 'Exit through the gift shop.' I've always felt like Banksy's work was a little too polished, a little too contrived as if it had been designed by some committee in a Canary Wharf agency boardroom.
Anyway, The film is supposedly a clever, clever, mockumentary that turns the tables, in that as opposed to being about Banksy, it is instead a biopic about the French filmmaker who follows our eponymous hero from guerrilla graffitist, to contemporary cult.

Except the documentary maker is nothing more than a hobbyist, and though I shalln't reveal the gag, (oh how I laughed) at the eleventh hour, the whole thing tries to cack-handedly make some high brow statement about the nature of contemporary art.

That Modern art is a con and any charlatan can make it-really? What a revelation.I had no idea.

It's a sort of Spinal Tap for artists if you like.

I didn't.
I mean, even as parody, is there anything more depressing than seeing a rich collector ebulliently talk about adding a Banksy to their Picasso's and Klee's? Some would argue the point-that the joke is on the collector, that it's holding up some sort of distorted mirror, but I believe in fact that the joke is on the artist, because ultimately what you get
isn't smart, just the equivalent of a dumbed-down Twitter sound byte, about the sorry state of it all.

I rather hope the ghastly street scene returns to where it belongs, defacing the gutters as opposed to any legacy future artists can hope to aspire to.

Monday, December 13, 2010

San Diego Art Link Fundraiser Showboat

Fridays fundraiser was a fun if somewhat subdued affair-all the usual suspects in attendance, Johnny Tran spinning the decks.

It was grand to see our little community again,and I'm realizing more and more that there is a healthy art scene here, if only someone with clout and money would foster it and place it in a proper gallery setting.

I've not been to the 57 Degrees wine bar before, and shalln't again quite honestly. Exorbitant corkage fee, $10 a glass of plonk for zero charm, in a warehouse that used to be a Pier One.

Still it was for a good cause, and with art ranging between $35 and $99, it was a steal for any prospective buyers out there.

Thanks to Jeff,Cynthia and Diana and all the folks who run San Diego Arts Link.

Pictures courtesy of Jenni Cohen and David Goff

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Goughic Darkitechture

Crazy busy again, and so between commissions and online Xmas shopping, I managed to bust out this new Ghost piece today, for the fundraiser tomorrow.

It struck me I could call these works a kind of 'Goughic Darkitechture'.

Priced at a $100, all proceeds go towards the San Diego Art link, which is a splendid little organization with its sights on promoting the arts here. Details from the link.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Fairies, Shepard Fairy and Demoneaters

Recently, I was sent a photo by a fan, of a tattoo they are having done, featuring the ubiquitous 'Fairies do it better'.

I'm always genuinely blown away when anyone considers my work worthy enough to have permanently engraved on there skin, but I'm genuinely humbled by the re imagining of this one-I know it couldn't have been easy-thank you dude.

Caught up with my Netlix list and saw Beautiful Losers the other day. Aaron Rose's post script to the artistic underground circling the Alleged Gallery of the 90's.

Much back slappery ensues throughout from all the usual suspects, indie darlings and Shepard Fairy-a veritable gloss then without any real center-a reality show for kiddy craft hipsters.
Little wonder the art scene is in the dire state it finds itself.

Someone who is a volte face to the current dirge, and a breath of fresh air at that, is my friend Christopher Ulrich.

I had the pleasure of showing with this young master a few years back,and predicted great things for him then.
Quite rightly he has gone on to become a fixture at the La Luz De Jesus, where he recently showcased his second series, the 'Illuminator'- the successor to his 'Demoneater's'.

Suffice to say that the gentleman's mastery of singular vision is astonishing in scale and detail, and had I not been sequestered through October on my own 'journey' as he calls it, I would have had my nose pressed at every one of his canvas's to unravel his secret.

Having barely stopped for breath, he is already deep in dark study, projecting the third in the series for an eventual showcase in 2012 at La Luz.
Anyone who is an artist knows that envisioning a show costs a huge amount money-materials, frames and hours in artistic contemplation-all an investment of faith from the artist towards bringing a vision to fruition. To that end, Chris is requesting a similar investment of faith from anyone who wants to donate a sum towards helping the realization of his next project, through Kickstarter.com.

This young man is the next big thing, and deserves to be,so,you know-support living artists.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Artifact-Transition-pulling back the veil

Transition-Pulling Back the Veil (2004)
12" x 16"
Acrylic on Panel
Signed Art Prints

"Transition-pulling back the veil", explored the notion of transient fourth walls that exist in society,between this life and the next-that existence is merely a construct, a set piece of performance art.
From the deaths head Harlequin calling the shots, to the fallen, battle scarred muse, the hybrid fish man who longs to return to the azure sea, to the boy staring between the torn curtain and his monochromatic life, it revealed an undercurrent sense of being immobilized in a no mans land filled with lies and artifice.
It's still one of my favorite things I've ever done, and is a pivotal work, because I'd found my feet as well as a set of symbols and subtexts that would inform my work indefinitely from that point.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Chip off the Old Block-the Art of Emma Gough

My daughter Emma, has an exhibition featuring some of her work this coming week, full details below:


Fractured Vision:
Art exhibition featuring the work of Simon Sherry & art work from Wirral Met College and Ashville Lodge
At the gallery, Birkenhead Park, Wirral CH41 4HY
Opening Tuesday 23rd November 2010- Tuesday 30th November
to be opened by Mike McCartney, The Eye Fund Patron.


As one might imagine, I am hugely proud and excited for her, and wish I could be there to see the works in person, because the pieces she is displaying are very strong.

The exhibit is in aid of the Eye Fund charity, so if you are part of my English contingent and happen to be on my old stomping ground, then please go and attend and support some great up and coming talent and a great cause.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

William Burroughs Portrait by David Van Gough

"Artists to my mind are the real architects of change, and not the political legislators who implement change after the fact"
William S Burroughs

The Poe piece I produced around Halloween was so well received, that between completing the sculpture and working on my book, I thought I'd continue the theme in a few spare hours this afternoon.

So Bill Burroughs-agent provocateur extraordinaire-the minds eye projecting a living corpse,dandy in the underworld, smacked up and shacked up in some seedy insectoid-alien infected apartment, writing virulent, insane prose and re assembling it in a wild turkey fever.

The myth of the man is all the more compelling in that he left the kind of exquisite indelible stain on literature that even the sterility of a shiny new Kindle could not erase.
And then there is Naked Lunch- a murky descent into the grotesques of the mind and the psycho sexual horror of a homophobes, crab infested nightmare, more in keeping with a Surrealists manifesto than any Beat generations wanderlust.

Of course I went on to read Nova Express, Wild Boys, The Soft machine and all the others, but the mercurial oddness of that book has stayed with me, which is why Mr Mugwump is the subject of this latest portrait.

It's also notable in that he has always reminded me of my old friend-John Liddy.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Coast News, article about David Gough at OMA

My recent outing at Oceanside museum made the local press there.

Unfortunately I must apologize in advance,since the article features a photo of what must be my most unflattering mugging to date, so I'm posting a better angle where you can barely see my face to compensate.

Below are some of the highlights,but you can read the full write up Here:

"David Gough painted live in the second floor gallery. Gough said his images of medieval scenes, skulls and human figures are inspired by televised extremist idealism and fear bating. “I moved from Ireland to the U.S. and was confronted with Fox News’ terrifying revolutionism,” Gough said. “It’s unlike the BBC that televises rational news in a nonpersonal way.”

Gough said his work also reflects his thoughts about his own mortality after three of his close friends died within 15 years of each other. His work on the theme includes 24 paintings, including three that were on display. “I’ve been working towards this for 25 years trying to find the rationale of why I’m doing it,” Gough said. “You’re always revisiting what you did previously.”

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Showboat-Oceanside Museum

704 Pier View Way
Oceanside, CA, 92054

Here are the full details for Friday-I'll be live painting on a new Steampunk themed piece, as well as showcasing some of my art .

A carnival of wonders awaits you at the next Art After Dark where industrial meets Victorian in a circus of oddities and artistic inventions. Oceanside Museum of Art will create an alternative world at Dr. Steampunk’s Art Extravaganzaon Friday, November 5, 2010 from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction where steam power and Victorian era Britain collide in fantastical inventions, ironic sculpture, and technological developments.

Enigma Fashions will present a Steampunk Fashion Show with the latest designs by Diana Drake. Kim Moody and Lisa Hutton will display site specific Steampunk inspired videos, and artist David Joseph Gough will be painting live.

Be the first to see the Steampunk Art Exhibition featuring new work by Greg Brotherton and other local artists. DJ's, Robin Roth & Danny Massure, will be spinning steampunk inspired tunes to fire up our engines. Get creative in the activity room where you can design your own Steampunk sculpture. Enjoy handcrafted beer from the Lost Abbey Brewing Company, specialty wines, and tasty hors d’oeuvres from The Fish Joint with specialty chef's Loren Waite and James Montejano!

Admission to Art After Dark is $25, or $20 for OMA members and includes admission to the exhibitions, Steampunk Fashion show, live music, art activities, video art and complimentary refreshments. Make your ticketless reservation by calling the museum at 760.435.3720, or pay admission at the door the night of the event. Oceanside Museum of Art welcomes guests 21+ to Art After Dark

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Notes from an Easel- Tell Tale Art-portrait of Edgar Alan Poe by David Van Gough

6" x 9"
Acrylic on Board

Usually at this time of year, I am like the Crypt Keeper incarnate, thumbing through Vault of Horror back issues, or reliving my adolescence, ogling generous bosomed, lesbo-vamps from my Hammer DVD collections.
This year, it's felt a bit stale if I'm honest.Lani has been busy conjuring a cornucopia of creepiness however, and so I've gotten off my act, and painted this yesterday.

Poe, of course is the master of mystery and macabre, the Raven alone would secure his permanence way beyond the footnotes of cultural obsolescence, except he also wrote amongst others, Pitt and the Pendulum, Murders in the Rue Morgue, Masque of the Red Death, the Black Cat and my personal favorite-The Tell Tale Heart.
Perhaps syphilitic and loaded when he died, its hard not to caste him as the archetypal alcoholic scribe, sneering at the tragic barbs of life, and stumbling through muddy puddles in Maryland, but I daresay the reality is not as colorful.

It never is.

Here is Chuck Jones animated version of Tell Tale Heart, with the voice talents of James Mason-it's a fascinating, weird, little, piece, which has always had a huge influence on me-the art in cartoon certainly.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Art Booking Trend

Spent most of the day at Borders for research, flicking through the arts and culture sections,either immersed in magazines or trying to convince myself I don't need another sketchbook.

I think I may have a serious problem in that regard, since I caved and bought myself a pocket sized Moleskine-they were on sale.

I have around a dozen sketchbooks on my studio shelf already, at various stages of completion, much to my wife's bemusement.

Its an odd quirk I have, the need to start a new one before I've completed the last, as if I were having some sort of external reboot on my creativity, or capping a certain point in time.

The research was for my book, which is coming along nicely. It features around twenty of my most recent works, complimented by biographical anecdotes and annotations, and all being well, I'll have it done in time for Christmas. I wish I could post the cover, because it's awesome, but I'm wanting to keep it under wraps until it's available.

Writing biography is oddly disconcerting, a counterpoint to what I do with painting, using metaphor as camouflage-and I so don't want it to be down, more laden with irony, so I'm taking my cues from my dog eared stalwart-Salvador Dali, the unspeakable confessions of. I've read the book once a year, ever since discovering it when I was sixteen-it's eminently quotable, completely batty and salacious in the way every good biog should be, although my own shall probably have closer allusions to the parochial Alan Bennett.

I'm also working on rearranging my studio to maximize the space, lugging the monster office table that was here when we inherited the property and removing the massive closet doors that never worked. I realize its the wrong month for a spring clean, but as you can tell, I'm feeling like a fresh start.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Traveblog-Irrelevancy in Yosemite

I'm returned, though in what capacity I'm unsure.

I was unplugged, off the grid, out of my skull, roughing it in a tent and living off the fat of the land for a week.

That's not strictly true, there was no cultivating of crops going on since Lani and our co hostess-Lauren-
who I like to refer to as; Amazonian, warrior woman due to her impressive stature and dexterity with a tomahawk, packed enough provisions for a small army.

Instead, I cultivated an understanding.

So, all the weight and ambition of the world, compacted and obliterated to irrelevancy when diminished by the spectacle of standing on a cliff and peering into the valley below.

All the pressures of trying to be relevant dissipating when peering into a bottomless night sky with a million lights emanating from a million years ago.

All the hollow questions lost to the burning embers of a woodfire, when with wine and women
A time to re-evaluate, a time for perspective.
So spiritually rejuvenated, the shows are behind me, because I realize that if I stepped away from it all tomorrow just to exist, it would be more than enough meaning, if only because trying so hard to be someone means so little.

Like watching a kettle boil, the water doesn't heat any quicker if you will it.
The shows are up for another two weeks, whether I make a bean or end up with enough wood to make a pyre is immaterial at this point.

There are things that are so much more important than convincing people of ones worth through paint on a wall.

I'll continue in vein, but not in the same vein-I'll see the series to the bitter end, finish the book of 'Dead/Ends',but in the end I really couldn't say what will happen.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Upon a Midnight Dreary-an article showcase of David Gough at the Hive Gallery by Dahlia Jane

If I was a little wilted upon returning from Monterey-then I was welcomed with the spirit, lifting herald of this tremendous featured write up on Dahlia Jane's wonderful blog-uponamidnightdreary. I had the pleasure of talking at some length with the lovely Dahlia, last week at the Hive, and I've not read anything so perceptive about my own work before-certainly I don't believe the stalwarts Juxtapoz or Hi Fructose could have done better, so rather than have my own limited words fail me, here are some of hers:
Add Image

"At first glance, David Gough’s paintings seem to be about death. Human forms stripped of their skin, hollow eye sockets and sinister grins against an apocalyptic sky challenge the viewer. But, after speaking with him I realized that his paintings are actually about the experience of living in a profound way. David uses death as a window into life the same way that Bowie used outer space as a metaphor for inner space. By exploring and demystifying the symbolism of death, David opens up an avenue for us to confront the way that we live."

You can read the full article from the link here:

Uponamidnightdreary David Gough artist profile

Thank you Dahlia. x

The Alternative Cafe gallery-Twilight Journeys with David Van Gough

I'm back from majestic Monterey-a journey that unravels some of the most beautifully, bleak landscape, America has to offer.

If the endless, rolling sun baked plains and hills seemed like grandiose distraction from the mundanity of eight hours on the road, then I suppose Fridays show at Alternative Cafe, was something of a subdued affair by comparison.

I'm forever grateful of the people who do make opening nights what they are,and this time around the trickle gave me ample opportunity to walk attendees through each piece at my leisure-something the short shrift of a deluge doesn't.

So my undimmed thanks to you all, gallery owner Scott for a grand showcase, the wonderfully imaginative decal border lining the walls, the patrons who hang on every syllable, the dogs and children who kept us entertained and barista's who kept my whistle wet throughout.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Twilight Journeys, Alternative Cafe gallery show Details

Here are the full details for Fridays show-or what is the second part of my very own Octoberfest.

The Alternative Cafe
1230 Fremont Blvd.
Seaside, CA

The Alternative Cafe is proud to present the Art Show "Twilight Journeys" at their gallery. Please join us for the grand opening of this exhibit, for it'll be a good one! These three artists send their works from Germany, Ireland and our own San Diego. An absolutely brilliant selection for this season.

David Gough
Dean McDowell
Michael Hutter

Friday, October 8 · 7:00pm - 10:30pm

There will be hors d'eurves served, along with beer and wine as well as coffee drinks available for purchase.
Guest DJ will be spinning tunes through out the night.
This event is free, and you won't want to miss it.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

From Hell at the Hive gallery, picture post of David Van Gough's featured show

Three hours of crawling traffic on the five, and the kind of heat that could fry an egg in its shell, did not alter the fact one iota, that last night was tremendous.

My feet may feel like that scene in Midnight Express-you know, the one where Brad Davis is hoisted upside down, and beaten on the soles with a paddle-but my soul is full to the brim.

A veritable whirlwind of so many strange, talented,cool, sexy, bright, beautiful young things, hungry for my words and the work hanging on the walls. I am unfathomably grateful to the following...

The King Bee and curator himself-Nathan Cartright

an angel in Hell

Talking Art and Religion with some patrons and artists

Meeting the delightfully, darling Dahlia, who runs an awesomely cool blog called uponamidnightdreary-check it out!!

My wife Lani and her awesome cousin Dave and his wife Amber

Particularly as they came bearing gifts-'I love scotchy, scotch, scotch.'

Can't celebrate too much though, I shall have barely enough time to recover before I have to do it all again for Monterey's show at the Alternative Cafe next week.