Sunday, March 25, 2012

Say hello to Sky.

As a general rule, the only thing to be gained from Birthdays is another year. This year however was different, this year I gained Sky.
My new little black dogs namesake really shall be like giving it back to me, no more shall I spend my whole day in studio shadow, It'll be like taking the night outside into the daylight.

Welcome little Sky.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Simpler times-new Frankenstein portrait by David Gough

11" x 14"
Oil on canvas

As an iconic image used to the point of obsolescence by everyone from Warhol to Ron English, I realise that it's not bringing anything new to the table.
Except the image had a profound effect on me the first time I saw it as a child in 1974. Those hooded eyelids, looked the same as the Jesus monographs I'd been force fed at church and school, but here was man as god making a monster of his own image. Not that I could have articulated that, it was just hugely exciting to my young imagination and I must have scrawled it on exercise books and blotters a hundred times.

So why repaint it now? Because with just a few days short of my forty fifth Birthday, and five years from my half century, I find myself inevitably thinking back to simpler times.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Broken Arted and left on the shelf. An artists cautionary tale of integrity

The older I get, the more convinced I become that the greatest mistake one can make as an artist is the belief that integrity will count for something.

Dennis used to tell me a cautionary tale of someone local who had been an artist-'the real fockin' deal'-here in San Diego, who became so disenchanted and 'broken arted' with his artistic travails, that he just woke up one day and called it quits. Of course he got his own back later by becoming an art critic, but he never picked up a brush again right up until the day he died.

Perhaps that's all an art scene is - a periphery of disappointed cynics.

Being a glass is half empty, unless the other half is topped with spirits kind of artist, I realize it's all relative since I teeter on the cliff of jacking it all in and calling it quits weekly. It's been that way for as long as I remember-swings and roundabouts, artistic highs and post daubing lows are like a balancing act of mercurial equation. Plus my Mother said I'm a miserable bugger.

Except I've been feeling broken arted for a while now. Broken arted as in one too many unrealized dreams, one too many bullshit promises and checks never arriving, one too many lesser artists grabbing the wall space and headline's, one too many canvases unsold....you get the picture, or rather you don't unless it's for a fraction of the asking price.

If it all sounds pretty navel gazing and self pitying,then I suppose it is,so then... why do artist's like myself continue, why paint another stroke and keep climbing walls year in year out?

You know, I couldn't tell you the whys, it's just what I was born to do.

I don't paint splatter or big cats or bigger eyed girls-I wish I could find a pavilion of myself that could, I'd happily spend my days giving the Ryden's or Chueh's a run for their money, but I can't nor do I want to,call it what you like...integrity,stubbornness or plain stupidity. It means I'll never be a darling of the hip inkies, It means I'll likely never see recognition or a healthy stipend in my lifetime and so I guess there's not a lot of whinging to be going on until I do paint spatter, big cats or bigger eyed girls.
Like a martyrs folly, I'll endure until the fucking Van Gogh curse fulfills its promise, that or I warm myself by a pyre of my own making and become an art critic.

Perhaps this is as good as an artist can hope for, perhaps it's just the realization of the work itself that matters, nothing more. If Art is the provenance of a luxury,then food for the artistic soul is the struggle,even if it doesn't bring food to the artists table.

Above: Los Angeles Mausoleum. 3/17/2 6:37 PM

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Rise-New painted portrait of Sharon Tate by David Van Gough

Oil on canvas
30" x 40"
'Rise' was one of the inscriptions left in blood on the wall of the La Bianca residence.
According to Linda Kasabian, Manson had instructed her and the other girls to leave a sign....'something witchy'.

Mired then, in the never-ending miasma of Satanic verse, cabalistic rite and sinister forces, the ritual murders of nine people with Sharon Tate caste as Madonna and child, become's part of the tapestry of American folklore.The truth melting away with dimming embers of a candle, that death in its most senseless form, can only be comprehended when it is engulfed in subterfuge of conspiracy. Or something like that.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Moebius 1938-2012

So, another monumental artist gone-the formative influences of my childhood rapidly becoming dust.

Not quite, if a footprint on the cultural psyche is all an artist can ever hope for, then mister Giraud has left quite an indent. And whilst the collective elegy will celebrate him for Blueberry, the Metal Hurlant stuff, his work on Alien and Tron, it's work he did with his former Dune collaborator Jadorowsky that changed my life.It was 'The Eyes of the Cat', which I first saw in Taboo #4, -the fusion of silent, futurist, surreal horror and the minimalism of avant garde storytelling all beautifully rendered and designed with the craftsmanship of a modern Albrecht Durer, that savaged
any naive ambitions I had of being a force in comics. Quite simply,there was no place left for me to go in that genre.

Gladly, the awe I felt upon first glimpsing those images still enthralls and eclipses any former disappointments I might have clung to.