It’s just a detail of a work still in progress, but regular followers can probably already guess the punchline to this one. I suppose it could be read as a partial homage to the upheaval back in old Blighty, for what I am provisionally titling ‘the eternal bicamerel battle of George and the Dragon’. It’s going to be one of the pieces for the Heavy Metal show next month at any rate. I say one, as there could be another, depending on available wall space, but I’m having fun with it.
It flies in the face of the fact that the heat is utterly unrelenting right now, despite a particularly long and damp winter. It’s like the dragons breath on my neck, and the makeshift garage/studio is becoming uninhabitable, except for the occasional lizard that slinks in. Dried spider carcasses hang from gloopy webs, and the brushes slip between my perspiring fingers. The mountains pall seem undimmed and deer graze in the long shadows cast by the trees in our yard regardless. It would be like a wide eyed spectacle from some fantasy were it not for the literal scorched earth intruding over the airwaves, like a mosquito’s swarm.
Copronasan GalleryBergamot Arts Complex, 2525 Michigan Ave T5, Santa Monica, CA 90404
July 15th 2017
As an artistic rites of passage, there was no better for me and my generation. In the late 70’s and early 80’s, Heavy Metal was the adult version of 2000ad, and I used to covet every opportunity to leaf through a well thumbed copy whenever I could from my classmates. At the time, I was never able to own one myself you see, firstly because it was as rare as hens teeth a to bag a copy in Liverpool, and secondly because my Mam wouldn’t have approved if I had.
If only she’d known what my old man kept in the attic.
Of course I made up for it years later-Moebius, Bilal,Vallejo all those legends.
So it goes without saying I’m beyond honored to be part of this exhibit-the fortieth anniversary at Copro, July 15th no less, alongside some modern day legends.
Back in the saddle on this one then. Pushing my charge to the finish line while I manifest the next series. If memory serves, I began this one at a live painting event at the Ruby Room in San Diego, on what was purportedly a Mayan predictor to the end times-12/21/12. Of course, it turned out to be the usual load of apocalyptic bollocks, but given the current state of world events, one wonders whether the countdown to midnight was merely set in motion on that date.
Each day feels like a dark revelation in new levels of madness now, a hangman’s breakfast for a world ever on the precipice of some fresh horror, all delivered by a bloviating buffoon tweeting diatribes of inanity and petty gripes, like an indignant, salivating ape lobbing feces. And whilst my beloved England comes to grips with another night of deadly attacks by radicalized zealots, the true modern day terrorism it seems is on the collective psyche.
For one of the envisioned pieces, I’ve been researching Jonestown and Heavens Gate, and though I’ve grazed the draw of cultism before of course with the Man/son series, it’s been unnerving not to draw parallels with the ease by which the masses can be so easily subjugated here. As if the contemporary pied pipers are political and pastoral pontificates, enchanting with arias of disenchantment, hypnotizing the dogmatically obstinate. In these dark days, it’s hard not to feel like all is lost, like the experimental petri dish marked mankind has mutated into some monstrous pathogen.
Which reminds me, I watched my friend Chet Zar’s wonderful documentary “I like to paint monsters” the other day, and he said something in it which really struck a chord, and to paraphrase, it was that dark art makes sense of a dark world that doesn’t. It’s a moving and hugely inspiring film if you haven’t seen it (please do), but it reminded me that the artists role is more important than ever, and that I’ll keep doing my part to fathom the unraveling shitstorm, in the event that we make it for future generations to disseminate.