27 December 2007

20 December 2007

And again

Some details:

I've now got to do the backgrounds and some minor fiddling with the figures. I used to worry about finish a lot more than I do now. It's like what they used to tell you in maths tests: 'Show your working.'

18 December 2007

Where we're at

I'm thinking of calling this The Immortals:

That's the pen, pencil, watercolour, and gouache bits done. Next up's the oil.

13 December 2007


The new one and a couple of oldies:

Here's how the series of intertemporal avant-garde portraits (or should that be group portrait of the intertemporal avant-garde?) is looking:

You might need to click on the last one there to see it properly.

12 December 2007

Top five times to smoke a cigarette

In no particular order:

  1. Lying in bed when you've just woken up and are still in a somewhat hypnagogic state.
  2. When you're in the bath.
  3. When you've just smoked some marijuana.
  4. When you're drinking coffee.
  5. When you're drinking a beer.

Needless to say, combining any of the above is even better.

Got any better suggestions?

11 December 2007


When I've got a new battery for the camera, I'll be able to post some pics. I've finished off some old paintings that've been hanging around for far too long. I've done a couple of new ones, one of which I'm very happy with but the other won't ever see the light of day.

The big painting I had planned has turned into a series of small paintings, portraits no less, and I've made inroads on the first of these. Come the end of the week I've three weeks of glorious freedom and hope to get a few more done during that time.

I still want to do a big painting, mainly for the opportunity for broad gestures, using the whole of my arm, but I want to make sure I've got enough to show before playing around. I have visions of blithely embarking on a big painting, sadly losing my way, and ending up with nothing.

07 December 2007


I got into a massive argument at the pub after the Brendon Wilkinson opening on Wednesday night, one that almost ended in physical violence. It all turned to custard when I explained to these two guys why my opinions are right and true representations of the way the world actually is and why theirs are worthless, self-serving delusions. It was quite an experience, watching someone get so enraged that they lose all control just centimetres from your face.

This was in the smoking area of Mighty Mighty. It is not the first time this has happened to me. I blame the decor. Look what it does to people:

05 December 2007

Openings, openings, openings

I decided I could do without a Shane Cotton, Tony de Lautour, and Rohan Weallens opening at Hamish McKay's on Saturday, but I did go along to the Megan Campbell opening at Mary Newton yesterday.

Tonight there's a Brendon Wilkinson show opening at Peter McLeavey's. Tomorrow night, there's one at the Film Archive, a film by Ronnie van Hout called Merry Christmas 1981:

On Friday, it's Victor Berezovsky's turn:

Go Gauguin!

An art historian has excavated the well behind Gauguin's place in Tahiti. According to the media report:
A dark brown beer bottle – embossed with a circle and The Kauri Brewery Ltd, Woodville – was exhumed during an excavation of the well behind his French Polynesian hideaway, along with four of his rotten teeth, some Tiger Balm, an empty Bovril jar and detritus of a debauched life.
Also found in the well were three empty jars, each of which would have held 35 litres of wine. There were also assorted bottles of rum and absinthe as well as the Tiger Balm for headaches. Also found were two vials of morphine and a syringe.
"The teeth are so rotten, so full of cavities, they could not have belonged to a Marquesian."

03 December 2007

Ah email

Hello There, Good day to you.I need you to make a painting for me as a gift to be presented to my CEO for her coming birthday.The kind of painting i want for her could be a Landscape or Wild life.Any medium whether acrylic,water or oil
based painting will be okay.I am Considering a price range of between
$1,000-$1,500 as my budget for this project.Please get back to me soon on this
and if on the other hand you could come up with something different from
this,please let me know okay.Tony

26 November 2007

This and that

Last week, I sent an email to Werner Herzog asking whether he'd like to film my comic, but strangely I've not yet had a reply. No doubt he's a bit daunted by the prospect of filming planes towing a black square to block the sun from the main pyramid in Mexico (not to mention the rest of it). It's understandable really.

Today, I've added a nice slideshow to the right there. I'm also gradually adding pics of paintings and exhibitions. There's still the 2004 and 2005 paintings to go, and I'm considering doing some tidying up (i.e. getting rid of duplicates and crappy pics, and replacing them with better ones where possible), but I'm in no hurry. If you click on the relevant labels (handily listed on the right there - just scroll down a bit), you'll see all the posts with that label. Okay, that is stating the obvious, but I've found that sometimes it's not a bad idea.

23 November 2007


Nine months seems like a long time, but I've got a fair bit to do in that time. I've got to redraw, colour, and publish my comic, and I've got to prepare an exhibition.

I'm thinking of doing a large painting for the latter. The composition is taking shape in my head, and I'm pretty sure how I'll go about it. There is the minor detail that I can't afford the canvas and paints needed at the moment, but that's not a big deal cos there's still lots of studies to do before I actually start applying pigment to a surface.

I'm also thinking of ditching my website, which I haven't updated since the end of last year, and incorporating the stuff on it into this blog. It'll mean that the blog'll suddenly look older than it is, cos I'll post the 2001 paintings with a 2001 date (and so on). However, this doesn't worry me in the least. I serve a higher truth than mere factual accuracy.

Oh yeah, and the best suggestion for the comic so far has been to include the words 'Emergency temporal shift!' (If you don't get the reference, then shame on you.)

19 November 2007

Final instalment

I've got over my evil mood. (The glorious summer weather may have helped.) It also occurred to me that, if I want you to make suggestions for improvement (which I do), you should probably read the whole thing. To do so, go here and work your way up from the bottom (of the posts, that is, not the pics). I've also included a draft of the cover.

15 November 2007

Something in Auckland to go to

Song for these days

Fascists are all I see

One too many buttfuckers controlling me

But suicide or vigilante

To up the ante - which is my way?

Ain't but the one way

Ain't but the one way

Ain't but the one way... (gunshot)

To be free

Step into view... and about time

Make yourself some enemies + step out of line

We need a deadly assassin

And we need to do it today

'Cause the greed inside the greedheads ain't ever gonna go away...

Grab yourself some friends, man

And grab yourself a good plan

And get yourself a hitman

And work out a time span

And aim for the Headman... Then lie low

- Julian Cope, 'Ain't but the one way'


In New Zealand, tobacco smoking causes more illness and early death than using any other drug. Tobacco smoking causes more than seven times the number the deaths caused by car crashes.
- the warning on my tobacco packet

I say, good work!

14 November 2007


Well, I finished the graphic novel last night. Cos I'm feeling evil, though, I might not post the final instalment – make you wait for the printed version


They're not very good photos, but they give some idea.

13 November 2007


I've got half a page to go before finishing the first draft of my graphic novel. With any luck, I'll do that tonight (though I've got a pesky flat inspection to prepare for).

I'm looking forward to getting stuck into some painting for a change. The graphic novel's been fun and all, but pencil and paper just doesn't cut it.

10 November 2007

The proper way to work

If you devote yourself to the ascetic life, if you renounce all worldly pleasures, all human things, you may, I suppose, attain a certain concentration: but for the same reason you might dry up. Now, on the other hand, if you plunge headlong into the arms of passion, you may just as easily burn yourself up! Art, love, and passion are very closely related because everything revolves more or less around knowledge and the enjoyment of beauty in one form or another. And intoxication is beautiful, is it not, my friend?

- Max Beckmann, Letters to a Woman Painter

Quote of the day

I know very well that in the realm of pure concentration your greatest enemies are the evils of the big wide world: motor cars, photographs, movies – all those things that more or less consciously take away from people their belief in their own individuality and their transcendent possibilities and turn them into stereotyped men. ... The important thing is first of all to have a real love for the visible world that lies outside ourselves as well as to know the deep secret of what goes on within ourselves. ... Remember that depth in space in a work of art (in sculpture, too, though the sculptor must work in a different medium) is always decisive. The essential meaning of space or volume is identical with individuality, or that which mankind calls God. For, in the beginning there was space, that frightening and unthinkable invention of the Force of the Universe. Time is the invention of mankind; space or volume, the palace of the gods. ... One must have the deepest respect for what the eye sees and for its representation on the area of the picture in height, width, and depth. We must observe what may be called the Law of the Surface, and this law must never be broken by using the false technique of illusion. Perhaps then we can find ourselves, see ourselves in the work of art. ... So, with all this work before you, your beauty culture and your devotion to the external pleasures of life must suffer. But take consolation in this: you will still have ample opportunity to experience agreeable and beautiful things, but these experiences will be more intense and alive if you yourself remain apart from the senseless tumult and bitter laughter of stereotyped man.

- Max Beckmann, Letters to a Woman Painter

07 November 2007

Sixth instalment

Here's a link to the fifth instalment. When we last saw our heroes, they'd defeated the Spanish fleet commanded by Columbus and returned to the New World with new settlers.

03 November 2007

Auckland etc

I've just returned from a week in Auckland. I had a really good time, saw some good paintings, had lots of great conversations with people, and watched heaps of Doctor Who. If you're there and haven't yet seen Matt Hunt's show at Ivan Anthony, do it now. It features the largest paintings he's ever done.

I have been disconnected from the Internet for the duration, which was quite nice, but I do have the next instalment of my artist comic (formerly known as my graphic novel) to scan in and post. This will probably be on Monday.

Update on Monday: It turns out I've left the comic up in Auckland, buried in a pile of books. Plonker.

27 October 2007

Day of the dead

It's a bit early, but the olds had a day of the dead celebration this evening, complete with altar of photos of dead ancestors and cats.

26 October 2007

Something in Auckland to go to

24 October 2007

Andy's wall drawing

It turned out all right, eh? The opening was fun. I'd been drinking beer in the sun since one in the afternoon and so was pretty trolleyed. There were lots of people there – and lots of wine of course. My contribution to the drawing was a pile of cigarette butts:

16 October 2007

Something else in Wellington to go to

Andrew McLeod is doing a wall drawing up at the Adam. It opens on Friday, along with a Piranesi show.

Until then, you can always listen to the latest piece of terminal cultiness: Barge.

08 October 2007

Fifth instalment

Here's a link to the fourth instalment. When we last saw our heroes, they'd just capped off a successful speaking tour of Europe by recruiting Leonardo da Vinci. Clink on a pic to see it full size.

03 October 2007

Sound familiar?

We’re struck by the acrobatic, even magical qualities of agency ascribed to contemporary art by its press releases and reviews. We read about works that blur the distinction between high and low or simultaneously enhance and challenge the viewer’s perception of public space, question notions of authenticity or defamiliarize conventional understandings of authorship. Given the seeming inexhaustibility of the actions a work of art can perform it is strange that none are said to safely simulate a critique, inflate the value of a portfolio, exploit a subculture, or complement a decorating scheme.

- Paper Monument

02 October 2007

Go slow

Time is an illusion, a side-effect of consciousness.

I'm going very slowly on the old graphic novel at the moment. Up till now it's pretty much been writing itself, but now I've got everything in place and need to decide where to from here. I know where I want to get to. I'm just not quite sure how to get there.

29 September 2007

Song for the day

More here.

Some good advice from Steve

In any given situation just think 'What would Caravaggio do?'

I want the t-shirt.

26 September 2007

Opening conversations

A local version of this would not be too hard to do, not that there's any point.

24 September 2007

The best bands in the world

The best band in the world is the Fall. The second is the Terminals.

These are indisputable facts. Get used to it.

More background notes

  • The avant-garde costumes and masks used to repel the Mayan soldiers are based on those designed by Sophie Taeuber and Marcel Janco for the Cabaret Voltaire in 1916. The nonsense poem is by Hugo Ball, founder of the cabaret (which was the start of the Dada movement).
  • The Taino (who I probably should've called the Arawaks, which is the name they're more commonly known by) did trade with the Mayans, and the Spanish established primitive communication with the Mayans using them as translators.
  • Marina is very loosely based on Cortes's mistress. Of course, the historical Marina was part of a group of female slaves Cortes got as part of some dodgy deal in a completely different Mayan city (the Spanish were too wussy to land at Tulum), whereas I've made her an independent woman with a gift for languages (just because I can).
  • The Totonacs were Cortes's main ally. The Mexica (the Aztecs) ruled their empire by leaving the local rulers in place but exacting a large tribute, which the Totonacs (who had to provide a particularly large tribute) bitterly resented. They lived on the coast, and were a lot more relaxed than the puritanical Mexica.
  • The Mayans were very receptive to foreign influence. Many cities show the influence of other cultures on their art and architecture.
  • A smallpox vaccination programme would be very easy to set up. All you need is a sharp stick and a sample of smallpox.
  • I'm pushing it a bit to set out in 1482, discover the New World and do all that stuff, and still get back before Leonardo da Vinci set off for Milan, but hey.

Fourth instalment

Here is a link to the third instalment. When we last saw our heroes, they were doing the bolt from the Totonac city of Cempoala after failing to persuade the priests out of human sacrifice. Click on a pic to see it full size.

23 September 2007


22 September 2007

Yay Spring!

20 September 2007

For posterity (in the unlikely event there is one)

I'm sorry. I'm really, really sorry, but what can we do? The world's run by idiots who believe in fairy tales.

18 September 2007


A friend of mine pointed me to this post (yeah, yeah, so it's getting a bit hall of mirrors). It's nice to see that whoever-it-is has been thinking about these things.

For the spooks

The form also asks 'Do you wish to discuss your answers to any of the questions in this form with an officer of the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service?'

I ticked 'Yes' and 'At work'.

16 September 2007

Nazi victory!

visitors since 29 March 2004.