Sunday, December 20, 2015


Ink and wash on card-9″ x 15″
It’s that time of year again, time for my annual antidote to all the souring eggnog, threadbare tinsel and empty your wallet platitude.
So here’s a sketch of one mythical folklore supplanting another, the Xmas Devil and infant messiah, done in a lovely Medieval style befitting the season.
Merry Saturnalia everyone.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Healter Skelter featured in Real Crime magazine

Almost four years on from it’s inception, the Man/son series is still seeding its way into sidebar press. That the work was almost entirely neglected and ignored by all the usual suspects upon my exhibition’s release, says more about the status quo of the ‘art arbiters’ (or artbiters for short), than it does about public taste.
Certainly, it’s feature in John Borowski’s documentary, Serial Killer Culture on Netflix, afforded it a second life and a continued legion of new fans- which I am entirely grateful for.
Which is why I am delighted that John has an interview talking about all his films in this months Real Crime magazine, which is also illustrated by one of the pivotal pieces from the series-Healter Skelter.
The magazine goes on sale in Barnes and Nobel stores from December 17th-go on, spill someones eggnog when they open their Christmas stocking.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Thirteen pointers on being an Artist and staying there

A good friend recently told me I should procure some of my experience and-dare I say-wisdom,about being an Artist. I’ve often wondered what it is I possibly could have to say that would be of interest or worth, simply because most of us will agree that being an artist, feels akin to being a Guppy flopping around in a Tsunami, and I am certainly no exception.
Except she insisted that what I have to say would be inspirational, so if it helps my other creative journeymen and women to stay honest and continue the course, then who am I to argue.
1. How to be an artist when you have a day job.
The truth of being an artist, is that you’ll likely be juggling multiple jobs for a living wage from the offset and possibly for the rest of your life, leaving you drained and unmotivated by the time it comes to your first brush stroke. Start picturing yourself doing the art throughout the day, make your day about getting through it as a necessary evil to your goal. Carry a small-even concealable-sketch book everywhere with you-use your breaks, your lunch, your bus journey to flesh out ideas, and once back home, don’t turn on the TV, disconnect from your social media because these things are distractions and your enemy.
Make a light snack, enough to stave off hunger and not put you in a food coma, have your work place all ready, your palettes already set out, your surfaces already primed the night before, there’s nothing more off putting to yourself than not being able to just jump straight in. And then give yourself a set of hours in which to frame what you want to accomplish. If you want it badly enough then you will find that second wind, just be prepared for many late hours, long nights and weekends.
And when people ask you what you do, tell them you are an artist-say it enough times to others to convince yourself- always remember, your minimum wage job isn’t who you are, but the self funding you use to support your next creation.
2. Everyone has to start somewhere
From pop up tents on dodgy street corners to library foyers, crusty village halls to seedy bar walls, I’ve exhibited my art through them all. So, regardless of how immensely talented you think you are, you are deluding yourself if you are looking to get an in as a heavy hitter straight off the bat. Only the the trust funded, circle jerked or God given will get instant admission on that prestigious gallery wall.
More importantly,after you’ve built your reputation, grafted and finally gotten to that place, remember that humble pie still tastes the same wherever you are, so don’t use the people who help you along the way and don’t be a dick to those coming up behind you once you get there.
3. You can do it all yourself.
You think you have pursued every avenue for that show you want to mount, book you want published, but all you see before you is an avalanche of rejection or total indifference. Was a time when that meant the death knell for a creative project,  or an artist falling by the wayside into eternal obscurity.
Except the days when the traditional go-betweeners such as agents, gallery’s and publishing houses were the single gateway to your audience is diminishing. The new gatekeepers are the ones that provide a platform to crowd source a rented space, an on-line publisher to print on demand, a network to build to advertise in-it’s easier in a way than ever before to do what you do yourself and put it under peoples noses. No one is waiting to discover you, so create art not excuses not to.
4. Don’t pay to play
Seriously, don’t do it-there is absolute zero impetus for the curator/editor/institute to represent you or any of your cohorts once you have-of course there are overheads for the gallery, but go ahead put your money down, the house always wins, whether you sell or not, and you are enabling bad practice, one that exploits creatives.
Remember, a good partnership is one where you both are invested in the gamble, not one where you walk away poorer.
5. Have no expectations for the outcome of what you do other than for yourself
That way lies madness and a cycle of disappointment.  Do your best work, say what you wanted to say but accept that anything that comes beyond that is a bonus, so always remind yourself that If one person in the world other than yourself and your Mum gives a flying fuck about what you create, then you’ve already accomplished something.
6. Ask yourself,what constitutes success as an Artist to you.
Conjure an idea of what ultimate success from your Art looks like.
Is it fame, fortune, the respect of your peers, that cover of some self appointed Art Bible, some perversion in the back of a limousine?
Or is it for the love of it, a quest for personal and technical betterment and a lasting legacy to be proud of?
Whatever the reason, its up to you to decide which is more likely to happen, and which will leave you plagued by a feeling of failure and disappointment.
7.Don’t half ass it
Whether it’s some tossed off sketch on a dive bar napkin, or a commission that you are only going to make a few bucks on, do your absolute best ,other than children, this will be your most precious legacy.
And always follow through no matter what-in 2010 I almost cut my fingers off with a hedge trimmer a month before I was having two solo shows. I allowed myself to heal for a week, before gritting my teeth,Vicodin and Red Bull became my friends, and I made deadlines just short of delivery date. Don’t let anyone down, especially yourself. Remember-laying bad eggs will leave a stench that will linger.
8. All Art has cachet which means nothing does.
Because there are no rules as to what Art is, it might seem like a great democratic qualifier. Except don’t fool yourself, snobbery and elitism exist as much in the industry as it does anywhere else, and you will quickly discover yourself categorized by the established order as one thing above or beneath another. Don’t buy into it, and definitely don’t perpetuate it, those boundaries exist to justify exclusion and price fixing, so do what you do regardless, don’t be a pretentious arse and don’t take yourself too seriously, you will be a better human being for it.
9. Enjoy the moment
I once did a live-painting show at a nightclub, and so immersed was I in it not helping to put food on the table or advance my cause, I spent the entire night feeling like some mere anecdote. Later when I was raging in the car about how pointless it had all been, my wife quite rightly reminded me that I had completely missed the point, that a large legion of friends and fans had traveled to come and watch me, that the piece was raffled for charity, and that people had been there to win it. It’s all too easy to get lost when seeking the endgame, enjoy the moment and don’t be blind when looking for stars in the night sky.
10. Always be looking to the next thing.
So the shows over,the canvas is complete, the tools are downed and the palettes dry. That’s when it hits…the aftermath, the empty studio that echoes with post Art frenzy and after show blues. You grieve when its over, because you’ve spent days, weeks, months and years besotted with your muse and working to this point, for what? Over the years, I’ve learned that the bipolarity of what we do, is the balance between an incredible series of highs and debilitating lows. Look forwards not back. Find something to fill the space again, you’ve climbed a hill, but the work is never over, revitalize that back burner project, sift through those unfinished sketches,work towards another show, go see an inspiring exhibition, just find a reason to fall in love and begin again, this is your chance at creative rebirth.
11. How to stay inspired
Chances are at some point, you’ll reach a wall. That paralyzing terror of a blank sheet, but this a great opportunity, a virgin territory to explore, a chance to express something, anything. Think, even the feeling of not being able to say something can be cannibalized and become inspiring in itself. So find your visual language between the pages of old illustrated books, find an alchemy and make nursery rhymes of your existence, find your pictographs in the lines of sonnets, ancient mythologies and historical cultures, find signifiers in museums and in the descending melody lines of songs, unravel your personal biography in mysterious back alleyways, desecrated churches and the twisted forms of nature. Take the essence of those feelings and make totems and props of them, look to your idols but never copy anyone else’s work directly-you are a conduit not a clone.
12. Whats the point, its all been done before and no one ever buys anything anyway?
Throughout the journey, you are going to find a million and one reasons daily to give up. Believe me, I do this at least five times a week. It could be because you feel like you’re not getting anywhere, or because nothing is selling, or because of something shitty someone said on Facebook, whatever the reason you feel like you’re done.
Except its likely the reason you wanted to create in the first place, came out of a need to express something , possibly when you were depressed, completely on your own and on the bones of your arse.  Which means you’d do it anyway, no matter what, right? Don’t be defeated by peripherals, let the work itself be your goal.
13. What you’ll get from staying the distance.
Your Art will be a marriage full of turbulence, a religion full of doubts, and some of the greatest triumphs you will ever have. It will open up a world of personal discovery, give you a set of friends you would never of had otherwise, and admission onto the walls of strangers, who have found something to connect with you, something that bled from your soul, something you put out into the world and people invested in. Legacy is something for arbiters to decide over after you are gone, but the worth is the meaning you get from your Art in this life. Don’t stop until you fall down. Art.
Addendum 14. Armchair Criticism is the easiest job in the World
Think long and hard before you bestow your ‘expert’ opinion.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Get off my Damned Back

” Organized religion ought to have a great deal on its conscience.”
Christopher Hitchens
11″ x 14″ -Ink on Aquarelle paper
This one arrived in a couple of hours-it wasn’t too hard really, spurred on as it was to filter the blanket noise, the ethersphere of hyperbole and outrage, the fist pumps, pontificates, patriotism and inevitable airstrikes.
So more blood, more death, more ire, business as usual, all to fill the coffers, pay the dues, stamp the passport to an unknown destination,hope for the price of life, all to abscond the pain of living,a buffer against the oldest fear, because only the other side speaks in extremes, right?
I like the immediacy of the drawing anyway, a black and white riposte to Dark ages, and you can see more of sketches by clicking the album HERE

Monday, November 2, 2015

Interview in Body Parts Magazine #5

“I am Inspired by the my own nagging mortality, the need to leave a footprint in the sand I suppose-its the paradox of that terrible truth”
Billed as a journal of Horror and Erotica, and featuring a rich assemblage of prose,poetry and Art based on the theme of Grave Digging-Body Parts magazine just did a short but sweet interview with yours truly, and it’s available to read from the following link.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Origin of Life

“…some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new Dark Age.”
Plaster,Polymer clay, straw and paint, good ingredients for life right there I think, better than a clutch of mud and ashes, certainly. A love of the craft then for Lovecraft, some Cthuloid rising from the meta ganglion of the primal subconscious, just in time for Dia de los Muertos and Samhain.

So in the spirit of spirits, La Bodega is having it’s third annual showcase this weekend-Saturday 24th, whence there will be a galleria full of dead cases and head cases.
Bring out yer dead.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Night of Sadness

9″ x 12″-ink on paper
Or La Noche Triste references the events of July 30th, 1520,and the bloody massacre that was to signal the end of the greater Aztec dynasty in Mexico.
So here you have the Spanish Conquistador-Hernan Cortes standing valiant above the sprawling Lake Texcoco below, as the towering specter of the Aztec Goddess-Coyolxauhqui-casts an ominous shadow-all severed limbs and lunar skull,she’s a symbol of the brutal carnage and turmoil in the forming of the “New World.”
It’ll be on display this coming weekend for The Sharpie Art Show at La Bodega gallery.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Suffer the Little Children-at the Dirty, Filthy show III…NSFW

Suffer little children, that come unto me | 12″ x 24″ | Oil on wood panel
You could be forgiven for thinking that this ‘piece’ , was an almost satirical evisceration regarding the dark history of child abuse perpetuated through the Catholic church. That is there of course,  all gagging Christ phallus, stupid fish hat and gilded to the cat of nines.
Except, more specifically it deals with the bottomless depravity that has haunted Parliament vestibules and po faced seats of power of my home country. A poisoned well spring that seems daily to unravel a stomach churning proclivity,spanning decades and including a sinister spectrum embroiling the celebrities of British Broadcasting house, the insidious machinations of ministers and the possible complicity of the monarchy . For instance, it’s no accident that the Pope here, bares an uncanny resemblance to despot Maggie Thatcher-albeit in drag.
No doubt, my American counterparts, hoodwinked by the Masterpiece theatrics and the export of Britcom idealism were entirely none-plused about its subtext, when I showcased it at the recent second Annual Dirty, Filthy Show at La Bodega gallery, but to my mind there is nothing so dirty or filthy, or inherently evil, as the ritual defilement of children by those who wield power.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Crossing the Abyss on BlumHouse

“David Van Gough… I’m such a fan of his work. He’s in the upper echelon of what’s not being seen out there.”
That’s a quote from Bill Shafer of Hyaena Gallery, with some very kind words to Blumhouse, about myself and the other artists featured in last months Crossing the Abyss showcase. Blumhouse of course, are the brilliant movie stable, responsible for some of the best Horror movies of the past ten years-Paranormal Activity, Insidious, The Purge, and Sinister to name a few, so it is a huge honor.
You can see the full interview, along with other art from the show from the following link.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Crossing the Abyss at Hyaena Gallery

The last time I was at Hyaena was for my Man/son show in 2012-so my return there has been long overdue.Which is apt because ‘Crossing the Abyss’ is themed as “A return to the Dark in the most emblematic American place”  and I am beyond honored to be included amongst what is an internationally renowned retinue, that includes Christopher Ulrich, Clint Carney, Steven Vincent Mitchell, David Van Gough, Laurent Fièvre, Scott Holloway, Dave MacDowell, David Anthony Migitis, and one Bernie Wrightson.
Bernie of course, is the legendary master of the macabre that enlivened my childhood with the dark panels of Creepy and created what I think is the definitive illustrated Frankenstein. I believe him to be the Gustav Dore of my generation, and so it is a huge privilege to be hanging on the same wall as him and my compatriots.
Don’t miss this show if you are in the LA area.
Hyaena Gallery
1928 W Olive Ave
Burbank, California

Opening reception, Saturday September 12th-8:00pm-11:00pm

Friday, August 28, 2015

The return of Eris of Troy-the Teutonic Crusade

“Greyface and his followers took the game of playing at life more seriously than they took life itself and were known even to destroy other living beings whose ways of life differed from their own.”
—Malaclypse the Younger,Principia Discordia,
Long term followers of my work may recognize that this one looks remarkably similar to a piece I did way back in 2003. It is in fact a darker, nastier, little ancestor of that original painting.
So why revisit it?
Well, firstly-in the twelve years since it original inception,  I like to think I have learned a thing or three about daubing.
Its a piece that combines the Northern Crusades of the 15th Century-more notably the mass suicide of 4000 Pagans at the fortress of Pilenai, and the Greek story of Eris of Troy.
Eris of course is the Goddess of discord-so named because of her wedding crashing turn at the nuptials of Thetis and Peleus ,tossing golden apples amongst pretty maids  Hera, Athene and Aphrodite and kicking off the Trojan War.
On a personal level,she recalls a period of dark machinations in the past that revisited itself like a festering plague recently, and as such was if not an unwelcome, but timely reminder of the tumult, devastation and chaos that can befall us all, when our guard is lowered.
So be weary of who comes to your wedding.
The piece will be on show at Hyaena gallery through 1st September to 1st October

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Dog eat God

10″ x 10″|Oil on panel
…Or God eat Dog, depending on your preferred perspective.
So what’s it about then?
Its a kind of Ouroboros- one of those rather nice little absurdest pieces,which follows Bruegel’s penchant for painted puns and proverbs. Its also that paradox of creator and destroyer-who is being consumed or biliously ejected? As Artistotle remarked “Whosoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god.”
On display August 8th at the Perfect 10 group show at La Bodega gallery.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Necromancers shroud

“11” x 14″ | Ballpoint pen on paper.
This one grew out of an autonomous drawing session using simple biro’s bought from Target. Looking at it, I suppose it could be a kind of homage to my tenth wedding anniversary which was this week. Why would anyone I wonder, want to hitch their wagon to an artist-after all, it’s a path often paved with obsessive madness and ever impending penury? Perhaps because as Dante remarked  “They yearn for what they fear for.”
There’s some of Dante or at least Dore in this one-a sort of Inferno plate from an alternative universe, except with death and the maiden ascending from turbulent alleyways filled with malformed mutants.
Nothing like being married to an artist at all.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Owls are not what they seem.

“I discovered that if one looks a little closer at this beautiful world, there are always red ants underneath.”
David Lynch
9″ x 12″-Oil on Canvas
There are few moments I can recall, that are as predominantly strange in the collective,cultural zeitgeist, as Twin Peaks was back when it aired in 1990. Certainly, for at least the first season-one could sense that the Lynch/Frost amalgam, had unraveled the seams of sinister architecture. Given the insidious hive mind of mainstream television, it’s unfathomable that it was allowed to air beyond the third episode, but there it is, a shining beacon that reverberates it’s influence through things like The Killing, Hannibal and True Detective.
“The Owls are not what they seem”- the ominous portent by giant Carel Struyken-is my little homage in celebration of the news that a new season is in production.
It’s also timely as Comicon is upon us again and you can view it in person from my studio, concurrently during the forthcoming Marvel/DC show at La Bodega on July 11th

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Poetrait-The Ravenette

“I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.”
― Edgar Allan Poe
At the last count, I think I had produced four or five portraits-or Poetraits as I call them-of literature’s Gothic master. My most well known I suppose is the one which graced Tourniquets album cover-‘Spoken Tales of a Tortured Genius.’
What is it that continues to fascinate and beguile me about the old absinthe soaked scribe?
Of course its the tales of mystery and macabre, and the Raven alone would secure his permanence way beyond the footnotes of cultural obsolescence, except he also wrote amongst a few classics, my personal favorite-The Tell Tale Heart. Perhaps syphilitic and out of his gourd when he died, it’s hard not to caste him as the archetypal alcoholic poet, sneering at the tragic barbs of life, and stumbling through muddy puddles in Maryland, but I daresay the reality is not as colorful.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Would this Monster Make a Man

36″ x 48″-Oil on Canvas
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
Benjamin Franklin
Arriving just weeks after the tail end of my Purgatorium show, and using another Tempest quote for the title, it would be easy to think that this piece, was an outtake of that particular series. Except to say, with its psychic locale changed from the Liverpool jiggers of my childhood (Scouse vernacular for alleyways) to the primal shores of the US,  it’s concerns became much broader.
What’s it about then? Like a lot of my work, I think it deals with the ambiguous notion of place in society, of being a stranger in a strange land, or rather the idea that we are all immigrants in someone else’s territory-be it dogmatically rather than geographically.  The territory here of course being the mythical land of America-the Infant Aztec Sun God, Hiutzilopochtli-dangled  like Achilles over a river of fire by his adoptive Mother, Libertas, the Goddess of Freedom, who you will see is menstruating oil and wears a blazing crown of Scud Missiles.
It’s the moral abyss that comes at the cost of national idealism, and its currently on show at my studio, and available for purchase.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Van Gough at Macabre Gallery

Other than a few small un-notable shows over a decade ago, I’ve not really had much opportunity to have my work exhibited in my home country. Which is why it is an absolute honor to announce, that I shall be working with London based and aptly titled Macabre gallery, who will be representing my Art alongside a pantheon that includes Saturno Butto, Tomasz Alan Kopera, Michael Hutter and a host of others.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Blog 2.0

Long overdue a face lift, my website was just relaunched, with a shiny new look and format, as well as a personally integrated blog.

So you can still follow what I am up to here, or by visiting the url:


Hope to see you all on either side.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Devil Tarot

“He has poisoned our water forever”
Hunter S Thompson
36″ x 48″
Oil on canvas

Here it is-the completed commission for the 78 Tarot project-Lucifer rising from the primeval, evil pool of mankind that spawned him.  Principally, it takes the elemental subtext of that card , the representation of sinister external forces, the illusionary deception of fear, the physical bondage of materialism, and places it amongst the unraveling detritus that followed George Bush’s pronouncement of Mission Accomplished on board the Lincoln on in 03 May 1- or May day, a sacred Beltane date in the Illuminati calendar and the date that the Gulf oil spill and the death of Bin Laden occurred. Also coincidentally, the date that I put the last finishing touches to the piece. Such dark arcs aren’t lost on me.
I could have comfortably kneeled at it’s dark altar for six months, but the deadline eclipsed any such ambition.
We’re all still kneeling anyway.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Poetic Photography Magazine cover and interview

" Finding a style is like blindly fumbling in the dark, and tripping over furniture"

'Rise' made it to the cover of Poetic Photography magazine, which accompany's a six page interior spread and interview with your's truly. Available for Ipad users on ITunes newsstand only, I'm posting the screen caps for those of us who didn't get one in their Christmas stocking.


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

loBURN magazine Interview with David Van Gough

So I can't tell you how very happy I am to announce that I am included in a ten page feature in this months loBURN magazine-you'll just have to trust me, but what it is, is the best in cutting edge interviews with a pantheon of artists that includes, Christopher Ulrich (on the cover and interviewed by David Herrle no less), Scott Holloway, Cam Rackam, Vincent Castiglia & Daniel Martin Diaz-buy, beg or borrow a copy now.  


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Putrefying Venus by David Van Gough

Recently, I've been graced with the kind of commissions that stray right up my dark and twisted alleyway. This one being for a forthcoming comprehensive journal entitled "Necrophilia-a Global Perspective" by Lee Mellor. 

Lee of course interviewed me about my Art for his really excellent magazine-Serial Killer Quarterly, but what the book promises is a serious and varied psychological assessment of historical and forensic case studies. Plus there's a short article about the painting by me. 

It should make compulsive beach reading.

Release details to follow.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

San Diego State University Screening Serial Killer Culture

My Man/son showcase is already three years young-hard to believe really.
That it continues to be my most popular and well known series, says something about the public's continuing fascination with the subject, and the none too paltry power of Netflix instant play.
Which is why I shall be honored to be attending a screening and subsequent panel for Serial Killer Culture, at San Diego State University on the 10th of April, alongside director John Borowski, Artist and publisher Hart Fisher, Criminologist Dr. Thomas Gitchoff, Head of SDSU Special Collections Robert Ray, and Federal Bureau of Prisons Retiree Joel Goodman.

Screening starts at 6:00pm at SDSU's Little Theater 161- $3 Students $5 Public.

There will also be an additional night to see the screening on the 11th of April, please note that I shall be unable to attend due to a former commitment

RSVP: http://tinyurl.com/SerialKillerCultureScreening 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Devil Tarot

Currently on my easel, is a commissioned work that will eventually be part of a Tarot deck, comprising 78 artists from around the globe.

 It's their second such deck-this time with a nautical theme, and for whatever reason, they thought I'd be a good fit for El Diablo himself, so armed and mustered and stoked with fire, brimstone,shock and awe, here for your viewing pleasure is a sneak peak of me in Satan's service.

I look like I have a tail in this picture.