Sunday, September 30, 2012

War by David Van Gough


War, may have been etched in Charlies black heart, and in the Swastika on his forehead but it was Tex who got to do the crafty work on the plump gut of Leno LaBianca. 

The war Manson hatched was black against white, but in the bloody epitaph of each letter lay seeds of a light and darkness battle, beyond the color of skin. 

It was branded there in the lines of the slashed W, ascending and descending to form the square and compass of Freemasonry. 

It was there in the anarchist A, and the occult numerical values of the R: 6+6+6. It was there buried in the word reconstituted as the alchemical symbol for the Hermetic cross and its directive "As above, so below"

And it was there resonant in the Eastern mysticism's and ancient Hindu deities that informed the era-Kali with arms like a decade of blood spattered tendrils brandishing tools of death, along with Lennon's decapitated head, hanging like a semaphore on the love and peace generation forever.

War-that's what it was good for.

The Man/son show runs from the 1st-31st October at Hyaena Gallery, Burbank CA. Opening 6th October 8pm-12am

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Something Witchy by David Van Gough

Do 'Something Witchy'....Those were the instructions Manson allegedly gave to Tex Watson before the family went slaughter happy at Cielo drive, thus forever saddling the murders with  cabalistic connotation. 

That and a few several hundred other associations.

For me, the straying tendrils of madness all converged at the taloned toes of Madam Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Theosophic mystic, seer, witch,and general bullshit artist with a parlor trick that could give David Copperfield a run for a saps money.

In the ancient Tibetan grimoires she discovered, said to reveal the future of humanity, I wondered if she divined the shitstorm her literary foray's would unload; Adolf, hot for the Madam's petticoats,hatching the little matter of his grand master-plan to incinerate an entire race, or anyone else who didn't fall into Helena's Aryan seven step theory. I wondered if she envisaged the fuhrerling subvert her adopted Hindu symbol for the sun and taint it until the light was tar black with the congealed blood of millions.

I wondered in her bugeyed reverie's if she determined a Charlie Manson-a bastard son of Mengele's Eugenic fuckery- brain fried like a KF Chicken,(or Bluebird) cooked by CIA lab chef's, spiced and peppered with Eastern philosophy and LSD, carve the Madams little totem over his minds eye, but not before getting his disciples to do some home style buffet carving of their own.

If Tex and his cohorts-Charlies Angels- were faking Something Witchy that night, then it came in the wake of 80 years of occult dressing post Blavatsky, precisely at midnight August 9 1969, heavy with the invocations of dark symbols, ritualistic style murder and Ma(n)sonic lore.

I wondered all this and I painted Blavatsky's withering left eye exploding and morphing into the serpentine 's' of Himmler's guard and the lightning bolt of the O.T.O. 

I saw Hitler and his tyrannic stare arced into a bloody sickle, an axis connecting the S to form the hood of a 3, the sacred number of the Scottish rite.

I saw Manson, inbred maniac,mutant child of the two sneering at their ordered schemes with blanket chaos swirling in his programmed, drug addled brain.

I saw it all as an ectoplasmic loop, the Madams mink reanimated by one of her seances-shrieking death and thought...."You fuck with the devil, and someone gets their finger's burned eventually" 

The Man/son show runs from the 1st-31st October at Hyaena Gallery, Burbank CA. Opening 6th October 8pm-12am 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Man/Son: the Haunting of the American Madonna-a series by David Van Gough

Here it is, the full measure of the Man/Son showcase, a months work -the culmination of a years research, of which seven of the pieces were completed in two weeks. I've sworn never to undertake such a task again.

For all its hardship, there have been revelations for me, the revelation that convinces me that dark evil forces exist and are perpetuated by powers with sinister agenda's.That the connections around the Manson case are unfathomable and have far reaching implications not just on our lives, but on a level that defies understanding. That for all our supposition to the contrary, this so called modern world is imposed by a dark ancient will, that uses ritual murder, arcane rites,symbols and talisman, sinister architecture and sacred geometry. 
That mostly, this path I was on wasn't just the search for clues in a detective story, but a spiritual one, seeking a sense of reason in the harrowing chaos, pivoted on the gruesome killing of a beautiful woman and her unborn child.

This is the heart of the Man/son and the haunting of the American Madonna.

Bad Vibes
24" x 36"
Mixed media

 Something Witchy
11" x 14"
Oil on canvas

16" x 20"
Oil on canvas

God of Fuck
11" x 14"
Oil on canvas

Healter Skelter
24" x 36"
Oil on canvas

16" x 20"
Oil on canvas

30" x 40"
Oil on canvas

Paul is Dead
11" x 14"
Oil on canvas

Death and the Maiden
11" x 14"
Oil on canvas

Death of the 60's
11" x 14"
Oil on canvas

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Computer Love

Those of you who bought a copy of my book-D3ad/Ends last year, will know that I was very honored to have David Buckley write the introduction. Distinctions are rare enough for me, but when accolades such as Buckley's foreword come along, they far outweigh the complete disinterest I still endure from some quarters.

Which is one of the reasons I wanted to let you know that David has a new book out, about the electronic doyens of Krautrock - Kraftwerk. For those of us that wore out the grooves of Autobahn in our dingy bedrooms, It promises an extensive delve into the dark cybertronic heart of the band as well as a reminder of times when futurist avant garde pop was still being played on the radio.
It also boasts one of the most beautifully designed book covers ever.

You can get your copy on Amazon, from the link below:

Kraftwerk Publikation

Monday, September 24, 2012

Bad Vibes painting by David Van Gough

This piece is called Bad Vibes, and is something of a key for the series I suppose.
Its the final piece, and although I'm a day from calling it a day-or at least a month, I could argue that the quagmire of madness and festering research, that surrounds the Manson case will never end. 

It struck me yesterday, that given ten years I could find myself still peeling back layers, and that this entire series could look like a different beast by then. Perhaps I'll do an anniversary edition with some bonus tracks.

Perhaps not.

As far as this particular project goes, all will be revealed soon.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

First P/Review at Midnight Dreary

The ever eloquent Dahlia Jane, has just previewed the show over at her darkly blog-Upon a Midnight Dreary-where you can see previews for three of the works for my Man/son show, alongside her usual razor sharp insights by clicking the title link below. Thank you mon amie...

Man/son and the haunting of the American Madonna

Monday, September 17, 2012

Man/Son Press release

Hyaena Gallery Presents:

MAN/SON and the Haunting of the American Madonna
Oil Paintings by David Van Gough

October 1 through October 31
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 6, 8 pm to 12 am

Hyaena Gallery
1928 W. Olive Ave.

Burbank, CA 91506
Bill Shafer, Director

Artist Website: http://davidgoughart.com
On Saturday, October 6, David Van Gough reveals a dark new series inspired by one of Los Angeles' most enduring and infamous villains.  From Aleister Crowley to Charles Manson, Liverpool to LA, MAN/SON explores an artistic evocation of America's occult underbelly.  Taking cues from the bloody epithet's left at the crime scenes, and associated key phrases, the series draws upon his own year-long research into what he terms as sinister architecture, conspiracy, clandestine rituals, magic symbols and the tragic muse-Sharon Tate, recapitulated as the American Madonna and child.

Artist Statement:  
Growing up in Liverpool in the 70's was akin to living in a forgotten town.
The golden gate to the new frontier that had been the shipyards lay dormant.  The modern tenements that had been constructed on the promises of post-war zeal two decades earlier, now lay in ruin.
And the Beatles had disbanded in 1970.
Yet they were still ubiquitous.  The chorus of moptop's echo on every wireless was Liverpool's swansong.
Meanwhile, thousands of miles away in California, time had been called on the Sixties.  And a dreadful pall hung over the subsequent era like an incomprehensible epitaph: Helter Skelter and the Manson Murders.
Back in my Liverpool bedroom overlooking Anfield cemetery, a few yards from the railway line where four year old Jamie Bulger would be murdered by two boys in the mid 1980's, I was immersed in the subculture of fantagoria -- Hammer Horror, Dennis Wheatley, Man,Myth and Magic -- little realizing that terrible events in an affluent suburb of LA, and a song by Liverpool's favorite sons, were intertwined with Friday night Horror staples such as Rosemary's Baby and The Fearless Vampire Killers.
In my journey, there have been threads that go beyond mere happenstance, symbols and ciphers that are window dressing for something profound and dark beneath. In commencing then with the new series, utilizing the tragic muse and slain Madonna figure of Sharon Tate as a symbol for an endpoint, there was a need to relate and process that which is beyond understanding.
Peter Levenda's words in Sinister Forces Book III sum it up for me, "...for the occultist-there is truly "no such thing as coincidence," or more accurately, that coincidence is a clue that deeper connections exist between observable phenomena, that another force of nature is at work that we don't understand."

The MAN/SON series seeks to make sense of those fatal events of 1969, and what I have come to term as sinister architecture.

Artist Biography:
Working out of San Diego, David Van Gough is an oil painter who strives to expose the darkest recesses of the human spirit on canvas.  A self-proclaimed necrorealist, Van Gough grew up steps from a cemetery in gritty Liverpool.  Tormented throughout his life by Catholic guilt, mortality and paranoia, his paintings are fevered exorcisms, which comment upon both the futileness and poignancy of the universal human condition.

Gough was the Honoree Artist of 2010 at the San Diego Art Institute.  In 2009, Gough was published in the book Gothic Art Now.  In 2011 Darq Matter Publishing released Gough's collection of fine art and essays D3ad/Ends. He has exhibited at San Diego Art Institute, Oceanside Museum of Art, The Hive Gallery, Alexander Salazar Fine Art, Alternative CafĂ©, Mosaic Gallery, and Thumbprint Gallery.

Publicity contact for more information, interviews, high resolution images:
Dahlia Jane Upon a Midnight Dreary

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Hell to Skelter

It peaked 106° here on Friday, at least outside-in the studio I've been running a fever-a temperature akin to the lava flow of a volcano on the surface of Mercury. I've been living, eating and breathing the work. 

I wake up and go to sleep with it percolating in my brain, to the point were I've lost all objectivity on whether what I am doing is good anymore. I look at the work lined up at various stages of finish and I think it is-at least I hope it is-for Sharon Tate at least. 

A good friend in a similar storm, said something like that in such circumstances, one should supplant the concept for any finnesse, and as much as I try to remind myself that I am trying to accomplish in a month, something that should have taken me ten, it niggles at me as much as the nest of ants that I stem around the sugar bowl, daily.

Press release goes out tomorrow, I believe, a week to deadline and all will be revealed. In the meantime above is another detail teaser of the Healter Skelter piece.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Conspiracy fever

Amongst the works in progress, I'm realizing there's a very real path to madness in conspiracy. You begin to seek spurious connections and make irrational equations in everything.

Implausibity suddenly becomes possibility....the paranoia of numerology,a website that is a predictor to doomsday, the Illuminati, David-fucking-Icke. Its like a piss poor episode of the X Files-the ones after Mulder and Skully left.

And yet with the quagmire surrounding the Manson case, how can one damn so much such staggering coincidence?

Or are the elements merely the colliding threads of cosmic architecture, a sinister undercurrent with no purpose?

I walk this path daily, and I realise its not healthy, but eight to ten hours amongst the ravages of paintings,the unrelenting heat, the fumes and the shadow of Manson,will do that to you.

Speaking to a friend the other day about the series, I realized that wading through the mire of bullshit, is no different than setting a rationale for God-its like trying to fit chaos and happenstance into a divine plan for the a clandestine order of an omnipotent mind. 

What a great title actually, perhaps it should be the name of the final piece . I am just over half way, With just two weeks to complete another six pieces.

I remind myself theres enough insanity there.

Friday, September 7, 2012

From Madam Blavatsky to Charles Manson, Liverpool to LA, David Van Gough explores and artistic evocation of Americas occult underbelly, through a series inspired by one of its most infamous murders. Taking cues from the bloody epithet's left at the crime scenes, and associated key phrases, the series draws upon his own year long research into what he terms as sinister architecture, conspiracy, clandestine rituals, magic symbols and the tragic muse the pregnant Sharon Tate, recapitulated as the American Madonna and child.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Revolution nine


It must be over twenty years since I listened to the White Album in full-its one of those albums that seems so a part of cultural ubiquity (and for me at least) forever associated with the communal toke at college parties, that any impact it could have had, has long since passed me by.  I gave it another 'spin' today,minus the crackles,grooves and hemp: it still held a certain charm that did nothing to imbue an edge for my daubing, even after Helter Skelter had long finished. 
And then 'Revolution 9' kicked in, and it was like standing at the gates of Ceaser's Palace again. 
I wondered how, even in the dizzy haze of 'leb'-the resonance of this quagmire of dissonant sound didn't strike a wake up chord back then. The banshee carrion call of number nine repeated against a jarring backdrop of spectral phaze waiting to be encoded. 
But to whom? 
Manson, the Manchurian candidate?
Manson the cartoon messiah, a serial killer made for a cereal box generation?

I'm so immersed in the conspiracy bullshit-twelve months of revelation since what started as macabre homage to an adolescents love affair with a dead muse, and I can't think straight for the paint fumes and relentless heat.
And yet Revolution 9 sits like a skeleton stripped bare and redraped again as a eureka moment....something doesn't sit right.

Two paintings this week now completed-'Healter Skelter' (anagram of Easter Hell Trek) and 'God of Fuck'-umpteen to go in 24 days. And more weird phone calls that pick up with tapping on the line.
I must be onto something.