Wednesday, 29 February 2012

'sleep was out of the equation - and it was most definitely an equation'

'sleep was out of the equation - and it was most definitely an equation'
chalk and conte on paper
30 x 40 cm
29th February 2012

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

'between the Oscar winners and the Daily sinners'

'between the Oscar winners and the Daily sinners'
chalk and conte on paper
40 x 30 cm
28th February 2012

Monday, 27 February 2012

'twenty four hours in the life of a mad man 5'

'twenty four hours in the life of a mad man 5'
chalk and conte on paper
32 x 24 cm
27th February 2012

Sunday, 26 February 2012

'dying slaves (14)'

'dying slaves (14)'
chalk and conte on paper
32 x 22 cm
26th February 2012

Saturday, 25 February 2012

'industrialfuckingindustry and leadfeltgreasefatweight'

'industrialfuckingindustry and leadfeltgreasefatweight'
chalk and conte on paper
30 x 40 cm
25th February 2012

Friday, 24 February 2012

'Odette has the easy and simple dream of not being on the bus'

'Odette has the easy and simple dream of not being on the bus'
chalk and conte on paper
30 x 40 cm
24th February 2012

Thursday, 23 February 2012

'converting to the preached and preaching to the coveted'

'converting to the preached and preaching to the coveted'
chalk and conte on paper
30 x 40 cm
23rd February 2012

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

'burnt so bright and damned to be ignored'


'burnt so bright and damned to be ignored'
chalk and conte on paper
30 x 40 cm
22nd February 2012

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

'the same lies (idiots writing history in sand'

'the same lies (idiots writing history in sand'
water soluble pastel and collage on paper
40 x 43 cm
21st February 2012

Monday, 20 February 2012

'time she stops'

'time she stops'
chalk and conte on paper
30 x 40 cm
20th February 2012

Sunday, 19 February 2012

'the sleep of reason'

'the sleep of reason'
chalk and conte on paper
16 x 35 cm
19th February 2012

Saturday, 18 February 2012

'and it minds me think of purity'



'and it minds me think of purity'
conte on paper
40 x 30 cm
18th February 2012

Friday, 17 February 2012

'those six o'clock television, fork-eyed refugees'

'those six o'clock television, fork-eyed refugees'
chalk and conte on paper
30 x 40 cm
17th February 2012

Thursday, 16 February 2012

'his years old boys fantasy'

'his years old boys fantasy'
conte and chalk on paper
40 x 30 cm
16th February 2012

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

'with nurses hovering'

'with nurses hovering'
conte and chalk on paper
40 x 30 cm
15th February 2012

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

'fear looks like sorrow when the screaming has stopped'

'fear looks like sorrow when the screaming has stopped'
chalk and conte on paper
30 x 40 cm
14th February 2012

Monday, 13 February 2012

'She does it (so I don't have to)'

'She does it (so I don't have to)'
conte and chalk on paper
40 x 50 cm
13th February 2012

Sunday, 12 February 2012

'dying slaves (13)'

'dying slaves (13)'
chalk and conte on paper
22 x 32 cm
12th February 2012

Saturday, 11 February 2012

'twenty four hours in the life of a mad man 1'

'twenty four hours in the life of a mad man 1'
conte and chalk on paper
24 x 32 cm
11th February 2012

Friday, 10 February 2012

'It's only a game when you don't have to play'

'It's only a game when you don't have to play'
conte and chalk on newsprint
35 x 45 cm
10th February 2012

Thursday, 9 February 2012

'In a perfect world'

'In a perfect world'
conte and chalk on paper
50 x 65 cm
9th February 2012

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

"Friends I've never met (Hanna Luhanko Ehrlund)"

"Friends I've never met (Hanna Luhanko Ehrlund)"
chalk and conte on paper
33 x 50 cm
8th February 2012

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

'the national anthem'

'the national anthem'
conte and chalk on paper
34 x 50 cm
7th February 2012

Monday, 6 February 2012

'no exemptions' (we are all prostitutes)

'no exemptions' (we are all prostitutes)
preparatory drawing for current exhibition at Signal Gallery
conte and chalk on paper
33 x 50cm
6th February 2012

Sunday, 5 February 2012

'they will give us a new name' (we are all prostitutes)

'they will give us a new name' (we are all prostitutes)
preparatory drawing for current exhibition at Signal Gallery
conte and chalk on paper
33 x 50cm
5th February 2012

Saturday, 4 February 2012

'children shall rise up against us' (we are all prostitutes)

'children shall rise up against us' (we are all prostitutes)
preparatory drawing for current exhibition at Signal Gallery
conte and chalk on paper
33 x 50cm
4th February 2012

Friday, 3 February 2012

DAZED online full interview

Full interview with Bruna Volpi for DAZED online before the 'We Are All Prostitutes' exhibition.

The title of the expo is a song from The Pop Group, right? Why did you decide to use it, and what does the band mean to you?
With the current economic situation in mind it seemed particularly appropriate. It’s like we’ve been shipped back thirty years to the onset of the Thatcher years. All the crap we struggled against politically then and since seems to be back with a stinking vengeance. This song came out of that time and it seemed appropriate to dust it down and remind myself of it. I love that Bristol has its own particular musical heritage that the city has never been particularly noted for in the same way as perhaps Liverpool or Manchester. Bristol doesn’t seem to spend time trumpeting its cultural success - it just seems to get on with making it. When you track back musical relationships from modern groups though, you’ll frequently bump into a reference to Mark Stewart or The Pop Group. Personally I discovered them through the On-U Sound System. I agreed with their sentiment and the music was fresh and made you move.

Do you agree that, as the song goes, “everyone has a price”? Are we all really prostitutes, are we “hypocrites, hypocrites, hypocrites”?
I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who has never had to make a compromise in their life to get by. And generally, whether we like it or not, it’s only the compromises that enable most people to achieve their personal aspirations. It might not be a financial price but somewhere along the line you have to make a bargain you’d prefer not to.

How did the two of you meet?
I was invited to show some large drawings and do a street-piece with the Crimes of Mind team in Brest last year. At the opening of the exhibition Frank’s work was the first thing I noticed in the gallery. We’ve stayed in touch since, drinking, smoking and talking Franglais art-bollocks.

You have different artistic approaches of political and intellectual views – why did you decide to work together, and how did the process go? Was it a match made in hell or heaven?
There’s integrity in Frank and his approach to painting; there’s no art dogma. The friendship started through me encouraging him that he didn’t have to go down avenues that other people were advising him. I’m not a guru or anything – I’m just agreeing with what he already wants to do and hopefully encouraging it.
I like to talk art-turkey with artists that don’t do what I do. It’s more rewarding working with people that have a different outlook. I might learn something.

What’s your take on sexuality, exploitation and temptation? Why did you decide on the theme of sexual politics, integrity and desire?
Sexual politics have always been an underlying thread in my work. I haven’t just decided on that subject for this set of work. Every painting and drawing is a self-portrait. Art is thinking out loud and the viewer gets to see it. I might try and subdue the potential excesses of my thoughts sometimes – there’s a compromise for you... made for the benefit of the sensibilities of an audience.
I can’t escape sexual politics, temptation and exploitation. Can you? Who has suffered in the chain of supply that feed your choice of what you consume? Who do you look at and desire but stay respectfully silent about while your head simultaneously constructs the bizarrest fantasy? Are you tempted? Who do you watch?

What’s the story behind the expo, and what are you trying to transmit through it?
There’s no single message. An audience is too diverse and intelligent to thwack around the head with some kind of didactic, one-size-fits-all, agitprop ‘message’. They’ll pull what they want from the pieces that strike them individually. If I can move someone emotionally I consider it success of sorts.

The faces in the works seem like they are trying to fight something. Do you share the same fight? Are they real faces or imagined ones, are you exorcising someone's demons, or your own?
Some of my faces are real people – but most of them are modified to a point where the emotion in the work is approaching a place I’m at while working with it. So in that sense they’re all emotional self-portraits. The work is all very personal so I’m very grateful that people want to take this self-indulgent stuff on board and put it in their homes.

In an interview, Denning was telling a very amusing story, of when we went to Tate with some artist friends and how they felt dispirited by it all, then he said, “I’m not saying that anything that is painted is good, an anything that is not painted is a pair of pants. But sometimes it is a pile of pants and we have to stroke our beards grimly and say, ‘Oh, wonderful’..." So what’s your position towards the contemporary art world, and the stuffiness that sometimes comes with it?
Oh – the stuffiness isn’t restricted to the world of fine art. You want to hear the inverted snobbery of the ‘purist’ street art extremists. Art is art; it’s produced for a hundred different reasons and within a thousand different methodologies. Contrary to popular belief I have no ideological objection to installation art, conceptualism, avant-garde dance and weird-shit music. Equally nothing pisses me off more than bad drawing and painting. But – I do object to bullshit.

What’s the best thing about painting, and the thing that most pisses you off about it?
The best thing about painting? For me? Well –you’ve said it already. The ‘best thing’ is what it is for me. It’s no exaggeration to say it has saved me and the planet from my potential excesses. Personally painting is a continual adventure in discovering what the medium can surprise me with. It’s a modern alchemy for sub-standard educated chemists. It’s writing for authors without the discipline to write. The continual infuriation is that no painting works to a plan. I never know if it will work. The key is the knowing when to stop and leave each one alone. That’s the fight. That, and the idiotic idea to progress to the point when one day I can make ‘the perfect painting’.

If you had one thing to say to the people who doubted you’d ever be an artist, what would you say to them now?
I never listened to the bastards then – and I see no reason they’d change their opinion. Sod ‘em.
What’s in the future?
More and stronger work I hope. Despite the tobacco, wine, coffee, lack of exercise and other shabby lifestyle choices I’d like to think I’ve got a few more years in me yet.

Which other artists have influenced your worldview?
Without a doubt, one of the greatest influences has been Kathe Kollwitz. A committed pacifist whose saw art as a vehicle for social change. She lost her son in the First World War and a grandson in the Second World War. Her work is difficult for me to look at – it’s just so emotionally loaded. Nearer to our times, and also harking back to the Thatcher years, Gee Vaucher’s work (first brought to my attention with the band CRASS) has always inspired.

Your work too sometimes is also difficult to look at. It's very broad but I would like to know a bit more about the predilection for difficult themes, the chill-down-the-spine, goosebumps sensation that some of your work gives, why do you think this happens?
The themes generally tend to develop out of whatever is central to my concerns at the moment. And my concerns generally match those of most people – we live in difficult times so we should expect difficult themes. Occasionally I’ll get ideas that I hope would be more uplifting but they usually get pushed back in the queue as ideas I consider more important or relevant come to the fore. Many people consider my work willfully miserable but it’s not a position that’s affected – it’s just my work reflecting my thoughts. Do you know the Chumbawamba song “Sing about Love”?
“...I don’t want to sing about rights and wrongs
I don’t want to sing all the same old songs
But I’ll sing them, and sing them, ‘til there’s no need to sing them
And then I can sing about love.”
And if my work moves people emotionally then they’re clearly finding a personal resonance in it. There’s no need for analysis and sometimes understanding a thing like that is in danger of breaking it. My son’s a musician and he tries to explain why Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem gives me goosebumps – I told him I don’t want to know ‘why’; I don’t need to know why.

'the most barbaric of all religions' (we are all prostitutes)

'the most barbaric of all religions' (we are all prostitutes)
preparatory drawing for current exhibition at Signal Gallery
conte and chalk on paper
33 x 50cm
3rd February 2012

Thursday, 2 February 2012

'because we are the ones to blame' (we are all prostitutes)

'because we are the ones to blame' (we are all prostitutes)
preparatory drawing for current exhibition at Signal Gallery
chalk and conte on paper
20 x 50 cm
2nd February 2012

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

'our new cathedrals' (we are all prostitutes)

'our new cathedrals' (we are all prostitutes)
preparatory drawing for current exhibition at Signal Gallery
chalk and conte on paper
33 x 50 cm
1st February 2012