One can go on about the scams of modern times. The modern scams of the 'War on Terror', 'War on Drugs', 'Man MAD(e) Global Warming', etc. The list is endless. But I think there are few scams that can really compete with the hoax of 'Modern Art' because of its longevity. At least with environmental scams they change over time and what is one decade's future ice age threat becomes discredited by the future desert of the next.
I do believe in one truism however: Art really does
reflect life. The only redeeming feature of the twentieth century art scam is its incredible ability to reveal the poverty, the destitution, the decadence, the depravity, the stupidity, the mind slavery and above all the impoverished soul of a contemporary Westernised human being. The writing is literally on the wall. It's in on the wall of every modern art gallery for those with the ability and/or the willingness to look and see it.
Whatever mind fuck I personally had to deal with playing the part of a 'rock star' in the Clash is a tiny miniscule gnat on a stinking cow compared to the unrelenting mind screw lie perpetrated behind the walls of art school establishments and by the art world and the media at large. At least playing with a band there is a spontaneous live element there that can't be contaminated by too much bullshit.
If only parents could see what abomination they are committing their children to when they send them to art college. But year on year out the scam continues. I saw Rich Kids whose attempts at drawing were easily eclipsed by my seven year old niece. Tutors whose only qualifications for their job seemed to be a complete inability to produce or create anything anymore. Teenagers crying after having their 'tutorials' and their spirit assaulted and demoralised by these sadistic, evil fucks. Neurotic 'art girls' with pink hair endlessly making unwearable clothes that supposedly represented their 'oppression' by the male species. 'Students' who simply were never present and arrived a day before their end of year 'assessment', suddenly scribbled down some lines on a piece of paper and were awarded 'A' grades. I shared a working space with one student whose only qualification for getting 'A' marks was she was an out patient from a mental asylum and whose childish painterly 'marks' were considered exceptional. It goes on and on. From the top to the bottom. Whether it be a diamond studded foetus or a fried egg on a television set. A miniscule spot on a giant white canvas to drawers full of meaningless 'objects d'art'.
What amazes me is how these people can manage to sleep at night.
But that's enough of that. I could go on forever.
Needless to say I hated art college. I hate the art establishment, the art world in general and I know for sure it hates me.
Why go? you may ask. All I can say is I was lost in life. I have a powerful desire to make pictures and there was a space made available to me to make a mess in and I thought things might improve over time. Of course things never do improve over time and like with the Clash, like a loveless relationship, like a jew in Nazi Germany one doesn't always get out quickly enough when one knows one should and ends up paying the price in the long run: getting gassed and burned.
OK. Let's try and be positive!! My art influences were mainly illustrators. Chris Foss was a big influence and the science fiction of the 1970's. He illustrated many books by Isaac Asimov and the bright colours, the rocks and the landscapes on those book covers fascinated me. I began by trying to copy them and failed miserably in the beginning. Then there was Surrealism. My first efforts that seemed to work without too much effort and frustration were landscapes. I only later discovered De Chirico's stuff and saw the similarities with my own. And people said my work reminded them of Dali. Magritte. But again, it was more the landscape space, the colours, the 'atmosphere' and the backgrounds to these paintings I related to and not the content. I can't really cite them as influences as I'm quite sure they all copied me.
In truth I think the biggest influence on my art is the story of 'Jack and The BEANSTALK'. Putting a bean in your garden and the next morning having giant leaves and plant stems crashing through your bedroom window and a giant green trunk stalk sticking miles up into the sky really is pretty cool and rather stimulating.
And that's it really. Oh, apart from music and joss sticks. Without playing far out shit like early Hawkwind albums and Indian smells to stimulate the process I probably wouldn't have been inspired to make anything. Barney Bubbles who illustrated those albums is another artist who got me going and I liked so much I've nicked a bit of his stuff. Unfortunately, and sadly he committed suicide years ago but luckily for me he can't sue.
'Waiting For The Central Line' is my more recent work and is just that. I spent hours commuting from White City, changing at Oxford Circus to go up to FiddleSucks College and spent a lot of time, around 3 hours a day staring at torn posters and the decayed, cracked paint and shapes left by seeping water down in the London Underground. Especially Queensway and Lancaster Gate stations. I found them more interesting than things I saw in art galleries and so stuff evolved from that. Of course I found later some bloody Snail had already done it years back in the sixties. But he'd taken the whole ripped poster and just bung it in a gallery wholesale. I make my own with my own photography, paint and ideas.
The next two Galleries represent work I did………well, not 'work'…….. nothing I do is 'work'. I PLAY. Why people need to think that only something produced by struggle and effort can have value is a mystery to me. Biblical conditioning! Something presents itself in my mind and I play with it and it develops. I don't think about it. I just enjoy it and go with the flow.
I could go on and on about the things I love and influences because there are just too many to mention lying somewhere between a clear starlit night sky to a grain of sand on a beach.
It's easier to say what repulses me. I know what I hate. 'Conceptual art' for one thing. It's simply a contradiction in terms. Art is the language of the soul and not the head.
The painter I most hate of course is Mark Rothko. That dismal tomb in the Tate Modern with those giant, dark oppressive blank canvases is hell on earth. I'm sure he was financed by the C.I.A. to help dumb down the population, cause rational people to doubt their critical faculties and become more primed for CONTROL. I read somewhere that he himself felt he was a fraud. Straight from the horse's mouth!
I can see a small 7 year old girl in there tugging at her mother's dress.
'But Mummy! These painting's are not finished! There's nothing on them!'
"Shut up you little bitch! Don't you understand? This is MODERN ART!"
"But Mummy, I'm BORED! I want to go HOME."
I don't consider myself a 'stuckist' though. I just have a healthy bullshit detector.
I NEVER try to second guess an audience's reaction or play the art 'game'. That kind of duplicity was continually encouraged and foistered on me at FiddleSucks but I won't have it. I make pictures because it's fun and the process fills in Time. What else is there to do apart from write, paint, play the guitar, drink beer and fuck?
What a bunch of yuppies driving black SUV's, trying to talk with two carrots stuck up their noses sipping red wine think of me or my art or whether I'm famous or sell something or not makes little difference to me. I have a roof over my head and clothes on my back. I have food and beer in my fridge. I have a guitar and a real cool car. A young piece of tail. I have integrity and freedom. I have all the important artistic commodities I could possibly need.