Monday, August 01, 2005

Square Donuts and Mondayitis

After reading theartlife's rather nice plug of my blog - I decided to indulge in their dreaded idea of artists blogs. (I did a bit of painting today......)

(Hey! I didn't know thats what artists write like!)

he he - you've been warned.

I had a rather strange day today. Last night I washed off my fake tan - but my eyebrows are still recovering from the treatment I gave them on the weekend in preparation for a "Schapelle Corby" outfit I was doing (yeah - I piked out of being sublime or shit - but me in a fake tan, whig, g-string and micro mini was pretty damn brave i reckon....)

this morning - I arranged interviews for my research (I'm looking for current or former artists models - so drop me a line) - ONe of the subjects - said she had a found a gallery that she reckoned was just right for me. she told me the name. I can't repeat it here. (It's one of those eternally new places on Glenmore Road) I GROANED A LOT. I had no words for the horror. So I tidied up and and sent off some abstracts for an academic conference at the end of the year. Then realised that an article I'd paintstakingly edited and sent off for some publication was rejected. Hell it wasn't even refereed! (I thought of Alan Cholodenko - whose been rejected countless times and took heart). I also cropped and burnt some photos of my friend Anna Wheeler's work onto a CD for the Brett Whitely Scholarship. She's in the show I'm in and taught me heaps about colour - she's also a colourist - I love her work - its so brave and bold and honest - and so damn good to look at!

this took a few hours.
I rushed down to the Addison Road Gallery - where everyone was putting final touches to the group exhibition that opens tomorrow night. Its a group show by 6 people from art school - and we've been trying to develop some sort of evocative cohesion - between what are quite disparate works. Its taken 3 days - but its happening - finally. Not to dead, not too loud......

My rushing was impeded by g-string rash aquired on the weekend. I realise why the g-string above the skirt line fad was so brief. Hell it DOES give great definition to those love handles - but it also is a great temptation for drunken friends to keep yanking strings up to ones armpits.

(NOTE: Must do a medline abstract search on the conincidence of G-string fashions and increased incidence of haemorrhoids.)

This abject drivel - is just a warm up - for a strange email invitation that I just received - so please persist. I'm getting you in the mood for art!

Once at gallery - I tried to arrange my works - OK - then tried to use my dodgy carpentry skills to hammer in nails. Even though I was using a broken hammer - this only took about 3 goes for each painting. It think this was helped bythe walls being made from painted horizontal floorboards - and I could line each painting up with each bit.

My attempts to place screws into panels was much less successful. My erstwhile male colleagues were suitably unimpressed by my whimpering - and refused to play the butch hero role. My erstwhile female colleagues were out of the room. Measure. Re measure, calculate. Forget numbers. Try to gauge with eyes. Stuff it up - due to raving astigmatism. Try to hold tape measure straight. Fail due to raging lack of coordination skills. Evenutally run a bit of string at the right height. I'll stop. I was nervous coz some guy had just walked in to catch the show early. I'd had a curious dalliance with him in tender years of art school after WAYYYYYY too many drinks at an Arhcibald opening followed by WAYYYYYYY too many drinks at a private party held by Sir Les Patterson - where I think i met John Mcdonald. I don't remember much after dragging some lithe young creature into a taxi and passing out on my bed - but in the morning I woke up alone with a used condom. I spent the rest of the weekend thinking about the virgin mary and the angel gabriel and got over it. Anyway - the angel gabriel was back in the flesh today whingeing in the corner about the decline of op shops. No wonder I couldn't get my screws in. I feel compelled to do the Tracey Emin story coz of what I read in my inbox just before doing on air:

"You are invited to attend the opening of DIRTY LAUNDRY: or how I was
dumped for a rapist by Tim Gregory at Kudos Gallery, 6 Napier St. Paddington.
This exhibition is the pus resulting from a bacterial infection found in the gap between performance and honesty in everyday existence. It asks us all to find our inner, aging, anorexic porn star. "

This second sentence sounds like a pretentious slaver composed by benito de fonzo in some post school boy drunken escapade.

this looked scarily tasteless, so I ignored it and didn't give it a plug. It also opens the same night as my show. Competition. Further reasons for choice ingoring - whihc is always more effective than bad publicity.

on the other hand I like most of the shows at KUDOS.
I also wanna support USU funded art - while it still exists.
since no Publicity is worse than Bad publicity - I'll do the latter.

I briefly popped into the square donut show at KUDOS last week - and was disappointed.
Four panels with some ."sculptural wall based misxed media pieces" inside - a krispy creme reference does not make. The "sculptural wall based mixed media pieces" looked like the products of someone raiding one of the Antique shops up the road - and getting into a bit of added value with some PVA. I hope I dont' sound to viscious. I liked the works. They looked nice They had interesting references. The gratuitous inclusion of antique furniture was ostentatious and unneccesary.

Lots of people were crammed in the centre of the 'donut' hole. this may have been because all the paintings around it were GREY. Well executed and must look nice in someones empty white flat, but I HATE GREY. Even 5 different hues of grey.
Grey would have been a bit transgressive back in the 80's when everyone was doing those big primary expressionistic post basquiatty things - but in the dreary noughties - someone's gotta say no more. its me. the artists probably can't help themselves. On the other hand they might be a superficial wanker who was doing those big primary expressionistic post basquiatty things 20 years ago. I'll wait and see. the shows over so you'll never know unoless you were there.

As for the new show - where the hell is Hakim Bey when you need him? "Intellectual S/M Is the Fascism of the Eighties--The Avant-Garde Eats Shit and Likes It"
(check out:

I think i did some random rant on artichoke last year after a (Ha Ha HaAAAAAAAAH so FUNYY!!!) slasher video satire at the SCA graduands show.

The right to be ironic about certain topics has to be earnt and I'm sick of women's bodies bieng the whipping boy for everyone's feelings of alienation, cynicism, boredom, frustration , humour.
why can't peple use ferrets?

20 year old straight white boys trying to be a bit outrageous don't cut the mustard.

As I typed the above line my lips pursed into a perfect feline anus and I had to suck them out again with the vacuum cleaner. I'll try to articulate my feelings in a more interesting way.

Extreme awkwardness. Like the eddie bearup scandal - or some white guy doing dot paiting coz they are spiritual - appropriating the pain of others is difficult, problematic and cringe worthy.

As much as 20 year old art school graduates are pathetic in their attempts to appropriate the world - it's probably better that they give it ago - than stick to explaining and glamorizing their own vanity.

Making art is largely about failing - and making failures and mistakes. In a lifetime of producing crap - its always hard to know how much of ones failure should be inflicted on the public. I just slammed someone's grey paitnings - largely on a superfiical whim - whihc would probably be challenged if I met the artist and aksed them about the work - or didn'tn walk into the tail end of an opening strewn with drunken plastics (people and cups).

I spent a lot of this year, working on a series of transcriptions of images of Abu ghraib. I did it - because I couldn't stop staring at the images - and I tend to draw what I like to look at and the images took me into a strange zone of ambiguity - as I confronted my own aestheticizing of horror. Studio visitors - liked them. My friends asked me to put them in our show. I said no. Because I beleive that pain, and especially the pain of others needs its own space. The right space. In painting the images - I AM appropriating the pain of others, and stories which I don't really own - but am inevitably involved in. That's why I paint them. But the choice of showing work, in the right context is almost as important as the work itself - and is a challenge of resolution........... I really think it is OK to be serious and scared about some images - and step back from cute slick posturing - I think this kind of thing is what keeps art interesting - certainly more so than shocking advertising.

Anyway - I doubt if most art school boys - come anywhere near the type of angst in using images of women in the same way - either in their beds or in their work. Gender has that ghastly cawl of proximity - women are no more 'other' to men that men are to women - but it would be nice to think that men can take a bit of distance form their own infantile urges and explore some imaginative empathy. However before I descend into a mysandrist diatribe - I'd like to suggest something a bit more constructive and imaginative.

Jasmine Hearst did irony well. And still does. Stephen Mori has a bunch of her t-shirts on sale. try wearing one into sega world.

I could be pleasantly surprised by Tim Gregorys work. Maybe he's cool. Maybe he's queer. Maybe his show has a GREAt plot for soap opera - but golly gosh such thin ice.


Anonymous said...

I must admit that I was pleasantly suprised upon visiting Dirty Laundry at Kudos. After viewing the invite I was expecting a sleazy load of art school pretension but what I found was a professional, well edited exhibition of well crafted objects, photographs and drawings - a tad cringe worthy at times but that seems to be the point! Far too clever to be just another 20 year old straight white boy trying to be a bit outrageous.

The Art Life said...

What we had meant to say re artist's blogs was "I did a painting on Monday and it was blue" which was a direct reference to one of the blogs we link to. We had second thoughts and wrote "I did a painting on Monday and it was good" so as not to offend someone who had been nice to us.

Anonymous said...

Jasmine Hearst did irony well. And still does. Stephen Mori has a bunch of her t-shirts on sale. try wearing one into sega world.