Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Years End 2016

Here comes the fire
Our funeral pyre, baby”
Neil Hannon with the Divine Comedy-Here Comes the Flood

So 2016-the year of the reaper, the year the world lost its collective Reality TV-addled mind and went full tilt Walking Dead.
If the year began with the untimely passing of my greatest idol, it ends with a morticians pool that feels akin to some kind of celebrity rapture. Lest we forget the real horrors of Aleppo and Orlando. death toll the bell.
November brought another death, the year America got a malignant tumor and instead of performing a routine biopsy, decided to vote en masse to let the carcinoma riddle its way like a scourge through every vital organ. Prognosis isn’t good, and it currently lies choking its last, toxic gargled breath on a hallucinatory diet of hate and bitter rancor, stale 1950’s apple pie peppered with Cheeto dust and bullshit.  Experts are worried that unless the infection is contained, it may reach epidemic proportions with mass casualty.
Glibs aside, this sad sack year was party to the loss of two friends and an uncle to cancer. Fuck cancer.
It’s certainly no accident then that the compilation of works from the year, heavily feature some sort of death’s head motif.
On the other hand, my Art career has never looked more buoyant, so there’s that. I can’t tell you how grateful I am.
The supporters, the curators, the gallery’s, my wife, my family and friends.
No small blessings.
And in the post-Brexit, Trumpocalypse, what prospect for the year’s turn one wonders? The totalitarian pall of 1930’s Weimar Germany, the shadow of a reemerging cold war, a civil war, a race war, economic meltdown, genocide, the annihilation of the entire world at the infantile trigger-tweet finger of a despotic lunatic?  Take your pick.
I’ll be in my studio daubing as the world burns.
No better time than the end times after all.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Mourning Star

“Hallelujah noel be it heaven or hell
The christmas we get we deserve”
Greg Lake-I believe in Father Christmas

9″ x 14″ | Biro on paper
It’s that time again, my annual antidote to the Hallmark season of kitsch platitude-although it’s arguable that this year has been one big antidote and fuck you to good will.
So on this first day of the Winter solstice, as an ode to this annus horribilis, this little biro drawing is a constellation of doom and misfortune, grief and ill omen-a flaming tear in the revolving cosmos, more a star of bedlam than Bethlehem.
Regardless, it remains with me to wish everyone, a most blessed and harmonious Saturnalia. It may be our last.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Art and Cake Review

“In Van Gough’s vision, the devil is not in the details but in the distractions”
There’s a rather grand review of the recent Dark Realism/ Dark surrealism show at Gregorio Escalante gallery, up on Art and Cake LA.  I’m very grateful to the reviewer for their very astute and intuitive summation of ‘The Devil’-my piece in the show. You can read the full article from the link HERE.
The show is open until the 23rd of this month, so if you are in the area, please take a break from the shopping deluge of tinsel and tat, and soak up something that is more Satan’s grotto than the white bearded fella.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Understanding Necrophilia

…the history of art is littered with a necrophilic undercurrent, and sex and death it seems is a constant, irresistible theme: from Carravagio’s use of drowned corpses as models for the holy virgin, to Hans Bellmer’s Doll, it is the inanimate body venerated as holy object, a soulless vessel procured for desire. “
Here’s quite a splendid honor-my artistic and academic inclusion in what is the definitive guide to Understanding Necrophilia which is designed to serve as a complete reference guide for psychiatrists, social workers, those working in law enforcement, and students of forensic medicine and psychology.
It’s an extraordinary and fascinating book, filled with professional insight from renowned criminologists. My own little contribution includes a chapter on sex and death in art and my process for the painting ‘Putrefying Venus’, and at almost 500 pages, this hefty tome is available on Amazon now.
Grab a copy for someone’s stocking and sour their eggnog:
As a sidenote, ‘Putrefying Venus was  originally commissioned for the cover, but I guess the publisher wanted a more academic, subdued, version, relegating the painting to the interior.
Whilst the honor stands, there’s a certain amount of irony about the publisher of a book on Necrophilia getting cold feet.
Here’s how the cover might have looked, had they gone in the direction I’d hoped for.
Ah well, maybe the second edition.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Dark Realism/Dark Surrealism Opening

So two weekends, Gregorio Escalante gallery, an artistic pantheon presenting the absolute pinnacle of dark Art. I mean what more can you ask for? My gracious thanks and gratitude to Greg Escalante, Chet Zar, Myron Conan Dyal and all the other incredible artists I shared walls with.

Here are some more stellar shots from the show- HERE
Show runs through December 23rd.