9 Apr 2018

Mr Pineapple Head

Mr Pineapple Head, Resin Art Toy, 138mm x 80mm x 78mm, Resin, steel

The Mr Pineapple Head are an edition of 6, signed and numbered blister on card, solid resin, non-articulated figures.

Mr Pineapple Head on backing card

Mr Pineapple Head, blister pack on card

6 Apr 2018

Hsu Tung Han

Hsu Tung Han is a Taiwanese artist working in wood. Everything I've been able to find online about Hsu describes his work/style as pixelated. I'm not sure that is completely accurate. Of course pixelation is there but it seems to point to motion, like watching a third generation kung fu VCD from a back street stall.

But just when the image starts to slot back together something else happens. The distortion seems to have life. Just for a second the pixels seem to become force. Is it gravity? Is it the air flowing over these frozen forms? Is it their will? 

As fast as these questions arise they are dissolved into the next. They seem to oscillate or breathe into each other. I'm captivated by this work. I feel like a child at a breast, hungry yet content.

For more from Hsu, please google or follow his Instagram. I've yet to find a better source or website.

25 Feb 2018

Bage like the Canterbury Plains

I think it's safe to say I'm unpacked and settled into the new workshop. I really dislike the term studio. It implies some kind of performance. I met a rather well known artist once who had the same opinion. He called his place of work a "practice" and punctuated it with "Musicians and monkeys perform, I practice". I don't think he meant there was a link between the two and I agree but it was an amusing way to put it. Educating folk to the ins and outs of a rare job title like Artist is, in itself, sometimes a full time job. I stick with Sculptor. It's just less hassle and it comes with a few less connotations. A lot of them are fair enough but like myths and legends, the stories can get outta hand. Like Picasso quotes, there is the statement and then the meaning.

Little me, 1000 years ago

While packing/unpacking, among the bits and bobs I stumbled on a couple of drawings I did when I was a kid. This one is from 1989 when I was 11 or 12 years old and it reminded me of so many things. My Godfather used to do stunning pen and pencil drawings. I wish I owned one. He's nothing if not a polymath. If he wasn't building huge houses or restoring old cars or motorbikes he was drawing houses, painting, cooking or pursuing some other form artistic expression. I can honestly say John not only single handedly lead me into art in the beginning but through his varied skills helped me realize that art is as honest and applicable as any trade under the sun. It was also around this time I was able to spend a fair bit of time on a farm with my Aunt and Uncle. 

Geoff Williams 1942 - 2015

We used to travel down from Christchurch for about an hour or so out of town down to their property to shoot rabbits. Rabbits are an introduced species in NZ and are extremely destructive to the natural environment so short of poison (not the done thing back then) a .22 was the only way to try and control the population. Of course at 11yrs old I only learned this and many other aspects of the NZ environment from these trips. We'd spend hours, day or night, walking or on the back of motorbikes or the trusty Hilux, me listening to the conversation and life tips from my uncle Alan and my Dad and once in a while, shyly offering a remark or two. They were truly good times and for a day here and there I managed to be someone helping out or part of a group of friends rather than my usual role of (insert cutting name here) that was my life in the city. The drive from Christchurch was one of my favorite parts of these trips. I'd be in the back looking out the windows at rolling hills and back then plenty of decaying barns and old sheds. At the time Geoff Williams was pretty big in NZ cultural circles and anytime spend watching Sunday afternoon TV magazine shows would eventually feature his work or an upcoming exhibition. 

All these things were a perfect storm for me. With John's inspiration, Geoff Williams' framing and my uncle's inclusiveness, I would gaze out the windows on our way through Canterbury and the world would seem so right. I used to try and use John's pen and pencil style (it seemed so masculine as far as art tools go at the time) and what Williams so cleanly pointed out and try to mash the two together. The drawing above though was never finished. I remember not being able to figure out how to draw dirt and this really pissed me off. I thought, how can someone who wants to be an Artist not be able to draw something as mundane as dirt. I felt like such a fool. I obviously thought I'd come back to it at some stage as it's still kicking round but I'm pretty sure this may have been my last attempt in this style. Funny how things turn you around even with such valuable guidance.

I'm feel very lucky to still be in touch John and my Aunty and Uncle, Jess and Alan. I've often wanted to tell them how well and completely they affected my younger years. Shamefully, it's hard to get enough of the right words out before the feelings of foolishness or embarrassment wash over me. I guess, and in the words of a friend of mine, "That's when ya know it's the truth!"    

22 Jan 2018

Life imitates art

Four cylinder Briggs and Stratton by 805ROADKING

I've often thought, the majority of art production, particularly sculpture and in relation to its construction, is fundamentally a series of problem solving exercises. For someone who is concerned with the human condition this is consistently entertaining. The manual tasks and their similes are surprisingly often synonymous with the finished work if one was to offer an accompanying anecdote. Of course this is not always the case but for a lonely artisan working away accompanied only by YouTube or the occasional blast beat, this joyful synchronicity has a tendency to speak volumes well above any neighbour offending speakers leaving one happily oblivious to the outside world and public relations. I also know many craftsman and tradies who enjoy these same reflections. My Father, an accomplished sheet metal engineer (this term fails completely to describe his skill set), and I, often talked about this or used the comparisons much to each other's amusement. In fact the title of this post's origins is one I'm particularly fond of and find poignant in this respect.

It is for these reasons and plenty more only relevant to me that I often watch content on YouTube. I find watching people enjoying their craft enthralling but most of all it feeds my want to create. Typically I'll start the day by checking my regular haunts for a new vid and by 2 minutes in I'm already covered in clay. The rest of the day is a blur. Some of the most interesting things I find are backyard engineers, home gunsmiths, toy collectors and restorers, car projects, I could go on for quite a while but there is one I wanted to recommend here. It's not for everybody and probably few who choose to read this blog will find as much in it I suspect but if you like the idea of working on problems, finding solutions, building things just to see if they'll work and thinking outside the box then I recommend to you 805ROADKING. I'd like to tell you a little about the guys behind 805 but if you watch some of their videos you'll see almost immediately that "they" are just not what their channel is about. They're a group of guys who get together to build things they find interesting, spend quality time together in a positive way and work for the benefit of the project. No egos, no drama and the only one in charge is the goal. If you are a first timer, I humbly suggest checking out the clear cylinder head build but if you'd like something a little more intense, try the homemade four cylinder Briggs or water cooled Briggs series. I'm looking forward to more on the overhead valve build myself. I'll pop the play lists to each series I've mentioned below but I'm sure if this is your bag, you wont stop there. Get busy

11 Dec 2017

Darla Jackson

Lay here with me... 2014

I'll bury you with all the others... 2017

Old hurt 2017

Ride or die (Am I doing it right?) 2017

More from Darla Jackson here. To purchase work from Darla Jackson, visit the Paradigm Gallery here.

22 Oct 2017

Bo Bartlett

Bo Bartlett, David Lynch's long lost well adjusted brother

For the last few weeks Bo Bartlett has been kicking my ass. From his bio - "Bo Bartlett is an American realist with a modernist vision. His paintings are well within the tradition of American realism as defined by artists such as Thomas Eakins and Andrew Wyeth. Like these artists, Bartlett looks at America’s heart—its land and its people—and describes the beauty he finds in everyday life".

Parents, 1984, Oil on Linen, 88 x 112 in

 Bartlett reminds me of someone I know. The feeling is so strong I'm tempted to ring my mother and ask if he is a cousin. I'm haunted by his familiar look so deeply that my mind is desperately seeking parallels. It rests at Lynch. Not the dark surrealist meat punctuated painting or his mid-west face but his worlds. If Lynch is ants crawling then Bo is the starkly clear sky, the blood of heroes and tears of loved ones. But these are not completed tragedies. His oils are a few well crafted sentences of a fresh new novel, destined to be dragged from address to address and never sold, a favorite, a psalm. Quiet lessons meant to be read by just you. Here is hope, in fine honesty, and humble. 

"MADRE DEL NENE" 1989 - 1990, oil on linen, 70 x 94 in

 Bartlett's painting are often modeled for by his nearest and dearest. Knowing this alone forms interesting ideas but these are surface only. Strangely though, once you start dissecting these scenes, this, American history, religion and classical culture fall in and out of focus so fast the sum becomes almost insurmountable.

Leviathan, 2000, oil on linen, 89 x 138 in

The video below was recorded July 10th 2016 at the Norman Rockwell Museum. Despite the sound quality and occasional camera shudder, if you dig Bartlett, I highly recommend it. For we will not pass this way again. 

9 Oct 2017

VHS Massacre

VHS Massacre: Cult Films and the Decline of Physical Media

If, like me, you thought digital downloads or torrents were the steel used to slash and stab at the heart of soulless industry and fat (head or bellied) actors, teen pop-stars and commercial content in the hope of leaving it savaged and bleeding in the marbled foyer so your own brand of underground such and such triumphantly seized the thingamajig, this one's for you. If you are one of the elite VHS collectors sitting on your loot of hidden gems and straight-to-tape horrors, you may laugh now. You were right! P.S. got anything weird I can borrow?

My money's on you watching this on YouTube :-p

29 Sep 2017

Send More Guns x packaged

"Send More Guns x" resin art toy
296mm x 207mm x 68mm
Edition of 5

The "Send More Guns x" Packaged figures are ready to go. These are $105AUD for NZ and Australia and $115AUD for international including postage. Signed and numbered, edition of 5 only. Hit me up on FB, Instagram or here to claim. 

20 Aug 2017

Dark Art Society Podcast

Hosted by renowned Dark Artist Chet Zar, and Mike Correll (director of 'Chet Zar: I Like to Paint Monsters'), the Dark Art Society Podcast covers a variety of important and contemporary topics. Themes include Dark Art, literature, film, music, culture, philosophy, dreams, paranormal experiences, magick and much more! While each episode focuses on specific issues, the nature of this podcast is conversational and organic. With that said we encourage you to take up position, like a fly on the proverbial wall and tune in.

27 Jul 2017

Send More Guns x figure

"Send more guns x"
134mm x 58mm x 83mm

I've been interested in the slow but seemingly steady shift of political centers for a while now. Send More Guns x is an exploration of this. It seems caring is becoming monetized and our nurturing militarized. I'm not sure I know how I feel about any of this and that's the very reason I'm concerned, or at least interested. One apparent upside of this current atmosphere is that art seems very healthy. I think everyone expects it to thrive during adversity. I'm glad it has and I'm enjoying every minute of it. 

"Send More Guns x" is available as an ongoing run from today and a short run of the first 5, numbered and signed examples in blister pack on card will be available soon. If you contact me with a receipt for a donation of $10AUD equivalent made to a charity of your choice, made same day you order a "Send More Guns x" figurine (as long as it's not a gun lobby, gay conversion bullshit or anti immigration) I will give you that $10 off your sculpture. Please contact me by e-mail, Instagram or FB if you'd like one.  -b

14 Jul 2017

Maybe I use the term revolution too frequently...Willian Powell

If you're after a little mind food I highly recommend this documentary. William Powell is the writer of the infamous Anarchist Cookbook. A highly dubious and unreliable how-to manual aimed at modern "political revolutionaries". That was 1970, 47 years later Charlie Siskel sits down with Powell to explore its legacy. The reviews for this are terrible, one of the reasons I decided to watch it and I wasn't disappointed. If you like being handed an explanation, resolution or being told what to think, please move along. If you like not knowing who you are or what you feel, this ones for you.

3 Jul 2017

The Getty

The Trinity with the Virgin, Saints John the Evangelist, Stephen and Lawrence and a Donor, 1479,
The Peter Hemmel von Andlau Workshop (German, about 1420/1425 - after 1501)

Mars and Venus Attributed to Hans Mont 
(Flemish, born about 1545 - after 1585)

Head of St. John the Baptist
Jean-Baptiste Chatigny (French, 1834 - 1886)

and on and on and on

Boy with Frog, Charles Ray, 2009

If you are in LA with quite a few hours to kill, I recommend a visit to The Getty Center. Their collection of 15th century devotionals is quite something but their sculpture collections is not to be missed. General details below a more from the Getty here.

At N Sepulveda Blvd and Getty Center Drive

Tuesday–Thursday and Sunday 10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Friday and Saturday 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
Closed Mondays
Parking lot opens 9:30 a.m.