Saturday, April 30, 2011

Dead/Ends Announcement : David Buckley

For those who have been inquiring about my book-'Dead/Ends' which was originally scheduled for online release today, there has been a small delay of a month or so.

One of the reasons is because we are now going to be fortunate enough to have a contribution by none other than David Buckley, who shall be writing the foreword.

For the uninitiated, David is a tremendous writer and biographer, whose credits include 'R.E.M. - Fiction: an Alternative Biography', 'The Thrill Of It All: the Biography of Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music', 'No Mercy: the Authorised and Uncensored Biography of the Stranglers' and the wonderful 'Strange Fascination: David Bowie-the definitive story'-the latter being what I consider the uncontested authoritative work on the Thin White Duke. As if that isn't enough he is also a regular contributor to Mojo magazine as well as writing the official sleeve notes on major Bowie reissues such as 'Ziggy Stardust', 'Diamond Dogs' and 'Young Americans', and currently he is working on a bio "Electric Dreams- the Human League, Heaven 17 and the Sound Of The Steel City", scheduled around the time of the 30th anniversary of "Dare"

A full bibliography is available to read and purchase here:

David Buckley Amazon List

As well as sharing a mutual regard for all things Bowie related, we also both grew up in Liverpool in the Seventies and so this is very exciting and something we are hugely appreciative of.

More news about the official release date for Dead/Ends coming soon.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Naked contemporary

Here's a quick nude study in oil I did today just for fun. I think that I could spend my days in painted contemplation of the human form, I suppose it's the transcendence of adulation, the depth of just merely relating or some such wank.

Talking of playing with yourself, Huff Post had an article today entitled Top Ten Artists to watch. Unsurprisingly, Bruce Helander almost creams his gussets with genuflection,over a selection that wouldn't look out of place in a Home Depot skip or Fukushima landfill.

David Ellis-'True Value'

Notably in the list, was the only figurative piece by artist Peter Buechler, although it's hard to actually label the piece figurative, since he has chosen to decapitate the study leaving an empty featureless, muddy gray background.
Which on reflection, is probably as near a testament to the whole sorry travesty of contemporary art as one can get. I dare say he wasn't thinking that when he painted it, just cynically playing to the gallery no doubt, but with dross like Will Ryman's 'Roses' endorsed
as a yardstick by the White House National Endowment for Arts, what hope is there for the future of Art.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Who watches the watchmen

It's the 25th Anniversary of Chernobyl today, so one could be forgiven for thinking that this study was painted as a response to that.

In actuality, it was more generally about paranoia, the notion that depending on one's belief, something all knowing, omnipotent and powerful sits forever on the periphery watching our every move. It could be God, Big Brother or Extraterrestrial depending on your preference.

As a nice aside, My wife thought it looked like the cover of an old pulp novel, so I threw together a quick comp, just for fun in Photoshop.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Osmosis-new painting by David Van Gough

Oil on Canvas
24" x 36"

I couldn't tell you who said a painting is never finished, merely abandoned.

Certainly I could have tinkered with this piece for weeks.
In the end, that old warhorse of time was my enemy, but having labored four twelve hour days in a row, the end result can hardly said to be rushed, or hopefully any the less for having stepped away now.

I think its a vast improvement on my original drawing at any rate.

It shall be one of three pieces I am showing on May 13th at Alternative Cafe for the New Brow IV show.

Friday, April 15, 2011

George Orwell


Oil on Canvas
11" x 14"

“The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.”

George Orwell

So, George Orwell-soothsaying, scribe of totalitarianism, a harbinger of future assimilation-that eternal jackboot on the throat of the proletariat.

'Orwellian', has
now become a vernacular as common as lobbing the stink bomb of Nazism, on any legislation or party one refutes (or should that be 'refudiates?')

It's all come to pass in one form or another of course-
Doublethink, Newspeak,historical revisionism, peace through endless war with an unseen assailant-was he merely anticipating an endpoint, or did he unwittingly become the architect of a Bible for demagogues and tyrants to cherry pick from?

It doesn't matter, we'll never see his like again, the 'powers that be' would never allow it.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Dead / Ends by David Gough-a taster part two

Continuing with preparations for the forthcoming release of my book-Dead/Ends-here is another exclusive excerpt for you to read.
I shall also be making an announcement in the coming weeks with regards to a special contribution from an esteemed writer. More to follow soon.


"When I was 16 I became all consumed with getting high-anything to elevate myself from the gray dirge of provinciality, anything to get me closer to knock, knocking on heavens door, and finding God in a ring of fire or the Garden of Earthly delights.

Sitting in a circle sparking a spliff did nothing for me, it had to be the total mindgasm of hallucinogenic submission.

I’d tried unsuccessfully with a girl I was fond of on my Art course, after we’d convinced ourselves some fungus in the adjoining field held promise. Unfortunately, it provoked nothing more than a puking session in the adjoining toilets.

Finally, at a party in some ghastly council house backwater, magic mushrooms were procured at which point without prompting, I chomped the little black headed veggies like candy, before swilling the gritty remnants from a cheap beer can.

An hour later, and I’m in the midst of a spastic freak out, convinced that the Cyprus trees across the road, are involved in a brutal fight to the death. I am consumed by mortal terror at the sight of this, & take flight, avoiding the valley chasms that are opening between gaps in the pavement, and marveling at my ability to traverse them.
Somehow, and it felt like days but could have been hours, I find my way home, and am met by the neighborhood mutt who stands between myself and my front door.

The little dogs head inflates like a balloon and I dwarf beneath its bulbous magnificence.

No ring of fire, no God, just a little sausage dog with a fifty foot head."

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


So I read that Fukushima has finally been elevated to a level seven-the same par as Chernobyl then-that's good. Apparently, level seven is the highest category for a nuclear event of this kind-I imagine there is no higher grade for when your hair falls out and your internal organs begin to bleed from your orifices.
It's difficult not to be paranoid about radiation-paranoid as in Glenn Beck paranoid. You can't see it, you can't smell it, but it's there ever waiting to be a shadow on your lung-a goiter in your thyroid.
EPA monitoring reported a spike here in San Diego, and for the last three days both Lani and I have had streaming allergies. Could it be...?

I recall reading once that back in the 50's, when they were still trying to advocate radiation as having hygienic properties, some bright spark thought he might stave halitosis by swilling radiated water daily. Eventually his jaw fell off.

You know what's worse than radiation-Googling about radiation!?!
Fukushima is happening because of a new world order conspiracy. Or It's project Blue Beam. Or It's Aliens. Or HAARP. It's divine retribution. It's the second gunman on the grassy knoll. It's the man behind the curtain. The jet-stream flies right over our house.

There ought to be a public health warning about Googling before bedtime.

I long for the days when radiation meant a different kind of webslinging.

With great power...except in this instance, it's not some smiting deity or shadowy government, we are all responsible, because we never demanded anything else, just as long as we could still plug in our wide screen TV's and have hot running water...

We never learn.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Lani Inc.

I've heard it said somewhere that behind every good man is a better woman. Certainly that's true of my wife-Lani.

I realize I don't acknowledge it enough, but not only is she my greatest champion, but she has supported my flights of fantasy unstintingly, some times in the face of possible destitution.

At Art events she is my eternally patient companion, standing by my side whilst my attentions are diverted by the throng before chauffeuring me home at some ungodly hour. She never complains.

On days when I am floundering, she elevates my diminishing spirits with belief in myself again.

I am beyond lucky.

This weekend was fairly revelatory about a few things, and at her suggestion, we have decided that Lani will be taking an even more active role in my career and shall now be representing me.

Two heads are always going to be better than one, and my time and focus is better served in the studio, than haggling with dealers and seeking out new walls to exhibit from.

I shall still be blogging here regularly of course, so no change there, but there may be additional updates from her too, which will be fun.

So in the spirit of our new arrangement, I did as I was told and retreated to my studio, and christened my brand new

See what you think.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Byte Size-Art Rocks interview with David Gough

Between battling a head cold, keeping busy in the studio, an artist friend stopping by in the interim to watch me work, and then Shay's thing tonight, there's been little time for a full update, so my apologies.
However, I did finally manage to get the link for the Art Rocks show I did last month-I've only listened to a portion of it, since I'm not comfortable hearing myself-but it's available from the following link for those that want to:

Art Rocks Radio Featuring David Gough

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Pacific Power

Finally picked up a few copies of Pacific-it looks none too shabby.
My minor contribution came out a little heavy on the blacks, but still-it's there in glorious CMY and lots of K.

Sean's (Brennan) winning entry looks suitably contemporary on the cover, and could sit comfortably alongside an issue of Modern Painters.
Good for you Sean.

Cherish it, or use it to wrap up old potato peelings, but get yourself a copy.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Dead / Ends by David Gough-a taster part one

All being well, my book-Dead/Ends shall be receiving it's premier release on April 30th, and so in the intervening weeks, I shall be posting exclusive excerpts from it. Please note that the following is as yet unedited and may differ slightly in it's final incarnation.


"We moved three times when I was young.

The first time, was to a Victorian Terrace in Toxteth, Liverpool.

It had an outside toilet, a coal-bunker and rooms you could still refer to as a parlor and vestibule. Of course it was pretty dilapidated, and as more of the neighborhood tenants moved out, leaving the adjacent houses vacant, the rodents moved in.

My hysterical, irrational fear of rats began there.

I would have been five when upon investigating a tapping noise in the electric meter cupboard, a large brown rat fell as unceremoniously, as
only a rat can, into my lap.
Its pink worm like tail twitched, as a bubble of spittle and blood formed on its greasy, gray lips, from the poison it had ingested.

In that moment I felt an epiphany, as all of my understanding of what it meant to die, seemed crystalline in the revulsion and horror I felt from that point, because in those black beaded eyes that rolled to yellow white, I realized that death had a face."