Seven things you may not know about me.

image

1.  In 1995 I worked in New York along side Michael Alig (Party Monster and 1st degree murderer) at the Tunnel Club where I made ultraviolet paintings for Grace Jones’s bitthday party.

image

2.  I was a lock keeper on the River Thames. This was my loch at Brey and I pulled those levers

image

3.  I am an albino.

…here’s me and my mum in 1969..

image

image

4. I never use green.
“Nature has always conspired against me.” John J Powers.

image

5. Diana Dors used to come round our house.

She was mates with my mum. And that Cleo Lane. Right bloody racket!

image

6. I spent some time with a Great Train robber’s daughter, and ex girfriend of Frankie Fraser’s who told me:

“Bar Frank, you’re one of the nicest blokes I’ve ever met.”

image

7. If you attend my funeral you will be drinking Black Velvet.


Je suis Charlie

Belief in any religion boils down to one simple massive gambit that you will exist in some form beyond your mortal death. Similar to going into a casino and putting your money on red in hope of winning  more money. The difference is  the casino offers better odds.  I don’t gamble. I don’t believe in an “after life” so by my reckoning I don’t have any use for religion.  However if you do then I might laugh at you but I wish you the best of luck with it.  Just please committ to a religion that allows you to laugh at anything you like, think what you want to think, say what you want to say, read books, be a woman …I could go on…
To my muslim friends your religion is being corrupted speak up and defend it if you really do beieve.image


Smoking Dad. Lighting up Christmas.

image

I made this drawing sometime last year. It occured to me today I never smoke while walking with my son.   Like all modern kids he condemns my “disgusting” habit while not understanding the nature of addiction.  He is afraid I will die and leave him forever. A tough notion to face but yet I don’t really want to stop. As a single father and self enployed person I run around mostly like a headless chicken for most of the time. I smoke few fags. Maybe 5 a day. (I can’t manage that for fruit n veg). When I do light up I am never walking. I sit down for however long it takes, 5mins maybe?  I stop. Pick my nose. Do nothing. I think. This moment of stopping the worl has become precious,  especially in the studio. That moment of putting an unfinished picture on the wall, lighting a fag and just looking at it has become part of my process. Read Philip Guston’s biography, Night Studio, by his daughter. He describes doing the same thing convincingly.  Of course both of us are lying to ourselves. We are both simply drug addicts enslaved by the demon weed.   A great artist friend of mine, hooked on the same ritual,  gave up by holding a carrot in the same manner as a smoke while viewing her work. Carrots are in season. Perhaps I’ll have a crack at it. I reckon I’ll still be lighting up Christmas though.


Dump your art.

There are arguably more people making art now than ever before. You can’t move for the stuff and most of it is bad art.  Eg. Since the bbc featured the open entry art exhibition, the Royal Academy Summer Show, the application has risen from something like 5000 works to over 20,000. So many the RA has no room to store them so the first round is now judged online via laptops.  Most of these artist are untrained. I know what some of you are thinking. Some great artists had no academic training? Sure. But they are rare. It’s like saying my uncle Reg smoked 50 fags a day, never got cancer and died at 110 yrs old. For every uncle reg there are thousands dying of lung cancer every day. You’d be daft to use Reg’s example  as a reason to carry on smoking.  If you’re serious and good at your art how do you get it seen above the sea of dross?

Could there be a kitemark for art?  How would it be judged?  I have a suggestion:

THE DUMP TEST

Take your art to the local tip. Throw it on the pile. If it blends right in and doesn’t stand out like a sore thumb then chances are your art is rubbish.