30 April 2011

Ahhh yes

I've been a lazy cunt recently. I've been ill, and since I recovered I've found it hard to concentrate and think. I've even found it hard to read.

When I was born, my mother wanted to prove her education lecturer wrong. He said you needed to speak before you could learn to read – nonsense academic ideas about human development, like fucking usual, the stupid cunts – so Mum taught me to read before I could speak. I can usually read pretty quickly as a result, and it's given me a day job.

And this is a really good example, because I forget the point I was trying to make. Yes, admittedly, it is about half three in the morning, and I am a little fucked up. But normally in this state I can make a coherent argument, especially when arguing with some arsehole, but not now.

And that reminds me. That's the point. Ever since being sick I've been all over the place. I'm a slow enough painter in the best of times. And these aren't.

It's shaping up to be a fucking fucked up year, motherfuckers.

Fuck you.

Ha ha.

What was I saying again?

23 April 2011

20 April 2011

Dalek car

Pretty teachings


18 April 2011

Quote of the day

A culture does not form all individuals in the same manner. Representations in image or word differ according to purposes, talents, and personal experiences. A culture begins the formation of an individual by endowing her or him with categories and screens to filter the millions of perceptions of reality and fantasy. At a certain point, however, artists and others make conscious choices that counteract or mitigate a culture's traditional organisation of perceptions. This combination of the tradition and conscious choices endows the artist with a specific style.

– James R Banker, The culture of San Sepolcro during the youth of Piero della Francesca

14 April 2011

09 April 2011

And another

Jupiter's eagle, with the lightning in its claws, is an attribute of the mighty king of heaven, and the peacock, his stately queen. They do not, like logical attributes, represent what lies in our concepts of the sublimity and majesty of creation, but rather something else – something that gives the imagination an incentive to spread its flight over a whole host of kindred representations that provoke more thought than admits of expression in a concept determined by words.

They furnish an aesthetic idea, which serves the above rational idea as a substitute for logical presentation, but with the proper function, however, of animating the mind by opening out for it a prospect into a field of kindred representations beyond its ken.

- Immanuel Kant (emphasis added)

Quotes of the day

The appropriate way to determine whether a painting is melodious is to look at it from a distance so as to be unable to comprehend its subject or its lines. If it is melodious, it already has a meaning and has taken its place in the repertory of memories.

- Charles Baudelaire

There is an emotion peculiar to painting, of which nothing in [literature] can give an idea. There is an impression that results from a certain arrangement of colours, lights, shadows, and so forth. It is what one might call the music of the painting. Before you even know what the painting represents, ... when you are too far away from it, ... you are conquered by this magical accord.

- Eugene Delacroix

Music is like painting.

- Francis Picabia

08 April 2011

The role of the artist

I reckon, if it's not painfully obvious, that it's important for the artist to be an obnoxious cunt, the jester at the king's table.

It's not my job to make sense, make friends, be coherent, provide solutions of any sort. It's my job to be as much of a dick as possible, in the sphere I operate in I mean.

Fuck, the world's a fucking joke, right? What other fucking response do you expect, motherfuckers?


07 April 2011

Quote of the day

'Like a funeral for a homeless man.'

To describe an opening.

Lads making ready

05 April 2011

Why painting rules

I've got to come up with this proposal document thing for school this week, so I've been thinking about all sorts of stuff, trying to pin it down, if you know what I mean. I've been sick, which has meant wandering all over the place.

I've been thinking a lot about why I started painting in the first place. I've always, from a young age, wanted to do something. I knew what my theme was very early on. As soon as I started finding out about the world, I was horrified. That has never left me.

So, the theme: how horrible and insane the world is, and the individual's conflicted place within it.

The problem was how to give these ideas some kind of form. During my teens and early 20s, I thought I was going to be a science fiction writer. Science fiction seemed to be a really good way to make pointed comment about the world now – you take the aspect about the world you want to comment on and exaggerate it into a future society scenario of some sort. Like a caricature.

Unfortunately, it turned out that when I tried to write the fucking stuff, I was really fucking shit at it. I got nowhere. Nowhere at all.

Luckily, I'd had the good sense as a teenager not to pay any attention to literary theory. Instead of studying literary theory to learn how to write, I read about Dada and avant-garde art. I mean, Jesus Motherfuck, just look at the English teachers at school. Only a mug would study literature!

After a while, it struck me that now was a really interesting time to be a painter. Painting had been the dominant art form for 500 years, until it was displaced in the 1960s by the so-called dematerialisation of the art work, the shift from a focus on the discrete object towards the social context.

You see, painting being on top for those 500 years had come with all sorts of restrictions. It's like how you wouldn't want to be King of England or President of the World – everything you do would be determined by that role.

After the 15th century avant-garde moment that transformed the role of the painter from craftsman to artist, the serious painter had to follow classical art theory. History paintings were the most important, followed by a strict hierarchy of painting genres. There were specific rules about composition, perspective, anatomy, colour, etc. The goal was a kind of naturalistic illusionism.

Then, in the 19th century, along came photography. It could do naturalistic illusionism much quicker and easier than painting. As Picabia put it, ‘Photography has been a great help in forcing art to realise its own nature, which does not consist of becoming a mirror of the external world but in conferring plastic reality on inner states of mind.’

Unfortunately, although the avant-garde that followed destroyed the salons, they didn't destroy the academics with their authoritarian theories. Painting after photography became all about truth to materials and flatness. Anyone who didn't conform – i.e. all the good artists – was marginalised out of mainstream art history.

This is why the institutional art establishment embracing the so-called 'progressive' and 'advanced' post-conceptual art since the 60s (as hilariously championed by those October idiots) and neglecting what it considers to be an inherently 'conservative' medium – painting – is completely liberating for painters.

We can do what the fuck we want.

In the same vein, this is why I like living here. I'm not into any of that nationalist bullshit, but I do honestly think we have some very good, world class painters here now. (I could be biased of course.) I reckon a reason for this is that the rest of the art world considers New Zealand to be laughably negligible – good for a bit of Polynesian exoticism and nothing else.

We have nothing to fucking lose.

Another large part of it is that we have no decent museums here. The only decent pictures you can see are reproductions. Any young cunts reading this wouldn't believe what it was like in this hell-hole before the internet came around. Fucking hell, man.

It's like the Dunedin sound. Just as that had to be developed because decent music was so hard to get otherwise, so you have to make good pictures if you want to see them here.

Thank you New Zealand's cultural institutions for being such useless cunts!

04 April 2011


My friend's 13 year old daughter was given a religious pamphlet. She and her friend edited it:

02 April 2011

visitors since 29 March 2004.