Saturday, February 25, 2012


Getting ready for Dennis's memorial at the OMA. It was one of the last places I saw him actually-at the Momento Mori show last October.
How oddly apropos, he'd probably laugh at that.

He'd also be stoked that there was an entire show being held in his honor-who wouldn't.

Since they're asking for artists to submit drawings, I dutifully made a sketch for it.
"One of the few artists in San Diego that can ACTUALLY draw"-was the way he always loftily introduced me.
Anyway, it's a little bit of fun that he'd have gotten a kick out of...'Jaded Dennis (unfinished)'

His life really was.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Would you Adam and Eve it? David Gough showing at Windield Gallery

Theothanatos I-The Evisceration of Adam
16" x 20" | Oil on Canvas

Remember this one-the pivotal piece (the Genesis) that started it all?
Or at least the furrow which I would plow these past four years?

I still have the original sketch for it, perhaps I should share it sometime.
It's now part of the collection at the wonderful Winfield Gallery in Carmel, CA for $2,500.

Full details of the gallery and its locale can be found on their site:


I wanted to also let you know that my lovely, talented daughter-Emma-now has a sister blog, which showcases her own Art and words, as she diligently work's through her final year studying her degree.

You can follow her from the following link:

Emma Gough Online Portfolio

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Haunted-new self portrait painting by David Van Gough

Purgatorium III-The Haunted 36 "x 24" | oil on canvas

Unfortunately, it's a low def photo in bad lighting but you get the gist.
Ah, the specter of Van Gogh-I've lived with that bastards association all my life-by virtue of our similar surname and our chosen professions-I suppose it's inevitable. If I'd had a dime for every time someone had felt inclined to remind me of that coincidence,I might assuredly escape his fate however. At such times, I usually say something equally lame about spectacles and one ear, or that I am actually a distant relative.
I could be I suppose, perhaps I ought to look into it-make it my shtick

The painting is also a bit of a grandiose statement about the enduring spirit of the artist, although unsurprisingly all the bombast is gone and I'm feeling drained at the moment. I'm dedicating it to Dennis anyway, since...spirits enduring and all that.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Dennis Paul Batt | 1952-2012

Dennis Paul Batt-By Jen Trute
32" x 24" | oil on linen

Most days start out the same way, the inevitable wrestle to get out of bed, the waking baptism of the shower, the morning tea ritual, feeding the mewling cat, the reach for something on the web to distract you from the task's ahead. A tragedy in the news, a celebrity off the wagon, someone's dinner on facebook, something, anything to elevate the chaos and the mundane, and give it meaning, a perspective so you can go on repeating it all again tomorrow.

Then something happens and all the props fall away, and even the morning sun can't bleach the sudden shadow in the room. That's the way it was when I learned my friend Dennis Paul Batt died.

Before I came to write this, I tried to recall if I've ever mentioned him on here before, and a quick glance through postings made me realize that I have been totally remiss. You will forgive me then (even if I cannot), as I try make amends now, as late the hour.

I probably first met him at Mosaic or Thumbprint two years ago, though I know I had seen him before that-how could you miss that face after all?
A remarkable artist himself and fierce advocate for up and coming Artists here in San Diego through his involvement with Synergy,
OMA ,the creation of the San Diego Visual Artists Guild, and God knows what other pie, there was no better a champion in my corner than Dennis. In a city of no's he was one of a handful of yes's.

Whenever I was feeling crestfallen, he used to say in that very Bostonian, Jewish way of his- "look at where you're from, to some of these assholes you're sovereignty?" or "don'tchya know, your already fockin' there!?!" or "Oh, why dontcha just go paint some fockin' racehorses?" hands always grasping at air for emphasis.

At other times, when he wasn't pulling me to one side and throwing priceless bon mots, or relentlessly taking the piss out of my accent (something he never got right) he would just call me up and chat and bend my ear for an hour about the sorry state of it all, although I think he was still an idealist, but would never admit it.

He was also Jen Trute's partner, and it doesn't seem five minute's ago since I was at his home as he helped me load boxes of art materials into the car. He was always carrying boxes was Dennis-the first in and last out at events, perhaps someone should have told him to take it easy. He wouldn't have listened anyway, though perhaps it was her passing that truly, literally broke his heart. In all of this, doesn't there seem a beautiful apt romance in that?

Last year, if there was a respite from the ghastly part time job I took to make ends meet, it was morning coffee at his house, him sitting perched like a hippie Fagin amongst his collection of San Diego Art alumni that covered the walls or his crate upon crate of rocks, that he proudly displayed. I never saw a grown man so lit up over a peanut sized piece of jade, but Dennis saw potential in its rawest form.

The last time I corresponded I sent him a Christmas card in which I closed by saying, see you on the other side. I meant midnight 2011 of course, but I like to think he'd have laughed at that irony.

Thank you so much Dennis sir, it was a real honor, and no matter how we cover the walls, they shall lack color without you to see them from now on.