Friday, 25 January 2008


Ju-87 Vanity Plates was my first year first semester assessment show. I put the work and life of Joseph Beuys and the Basic Instinct, Flashdance screenwriter Joe Ezsterhas together after I'd got their biographies mixed up on the bus.

The title comes from what vanity plate Beuys might have chosen for his Ferrari had he followed a similar Hollywood career to Eszterhas (Ju-87 being the type of aircraft with which he and his Luftwaffe comrades inspired Ezasterhas' family to head out for the states).

Flashdance: Cleveland in which Eszterhas offers his message of escape from the Hellish landscapes of his childhood.

Flashdance: Cleves. Beuys a native of the Cleves "terrorlands" turning instead towards the Underworld as a part of his shamanic journey.

Aztec Camera you put your face in its hollow metal head and it takes your picture. Involved in fine art and the movies both men understood how an audience interacts with- and validates expressive work.

Thor, Loki and Dillenger were figures who Beuys and Eszterhas could both identify with. Here in Emerald City I presented the screen upon which such myths are held. The names are written as stars above the emptiness that hangs over the Grand Canyon.

Micheal Ovitz, Eszterhas's then agent once threated him, "my footsoldiers who walk everyday down Wilshire Boulevard (will kill you)". These Footsoldier Cubes - here looking a little worse for wear - where the exhibition's catalogue.

Basic Instinct
features an IVF kit and an ice-pick. Beneath it is Jagged Edge - a typewriter and surgical gloves. Both are a look at violence (both consensual and non-consensual) and creativity.

In Burn Hollywood Burn a monkey with a CCTV head surfs on the leg of a lunar landing vehicle. Even if the moon-landing wasn't faked up by Hollywood at the behest of the Military-Entertainment Complex, the main discovery was a of a dead world, and looking back one full of life - our own. At least for now. There have been few images as big as those first images of the Earth, and like the monkey's head we seem nowadays caught in an inward-looking CCTV universe.

Finally BERUFSVERBOT (the 1970s German law banning radicals from public service) and Stone Coyote Siren look at direct links between the Beuys/Catherine Tramell personas, while the art-brut Null Triptych thinks about how the Beuys/Eszterhas themes of orthodoxy's destructive power to hijack positive human experience may have been suggested in a world with neither cinema or fine art.


I made these acrylic paintings over the winter break. I was looking at a lot of art-books and trying to connect with Modernism, after all that clinical Contemporary work in the autumn.

Escape from Alcatraz
A big painting influenced by Vorticism and pulp, noir-ish illustrations
done as part of a perspective exercise I set myself.


Another painting that set out as a perspective exercise.
The only picture in this set based on drawings made outdoors.


A portrait exercise. I wanted to make one that included topical events.
I thought the subject was in Kenya at the time of the election chaos,
and the style is reverse-engineered modernism based om African masks.

C'ici c'est ne pas une guerre
Looking at Magritte's take on reality I tried to suggest the
of the presentation of the war in Iraq.
The American tank is isolated against
a CGI-ish,
video wash of un-meaning.

The Oath
Another portrait, this time from a magazine. An American soldier -
who was later killed in the conflict - takes his oath as a Marine.

Large abstract painting
I've always had problems with abstract art. Here I found a style I liked -

An exercise to suggest speed. I was reading a book on
Luc Tymans who doesn't really "do" speed - I think
he saw where all that Futurism lead so disasterously in the
20th Century. But there is something sad and still in even the
fastest car, and here it is - the new Audi.

Here I wanted to draw a right hand with my right hand and my left with my left.
It made me think of Ancient Rome (the twins?) so I put an eagle in.

This looks much better in real life. Again, I was thinking about
abstract art and how maybe there's a Rorschach thing going on-
all those pompous titles validating the amorphous blobs.
So I made this skull, and it has these
amazingly disgusting raised
veins that are again hard to get a photo of. A real plastic
horror-shop item and pretty big!


FOR HORSEMEN: This was my first work on the course. We were asked to make something about an activity we did every day. I chose thinking of the time. At 1503 on a bus from London I thought of "yesterday" and remembered something that had happened on another bus coming into town the previous day, imagining "tomorrow" I thought of what I'd be doing next afternoon and "forever" seemed very much like early evening. Subjective time soon got in an interesting tangle, and people seem interested in watching them.