The series of mixed media ‘Apology Drawings‘ that I’ve been working on lately were the recipients of a very uplifting little feature article in no less an esteemed internet publication than the mighty Huffington Post. It was a pleasant surprise to say the least. Then today I was contacted by a friend in Los Angeles who informed me that some bloke he knows in Brazil had forwarded him the article, and that in his opinion I am “blowing up”. Blimey. Not quite sure what to make of it all, but I guess it has to be good, right?
Anyway, if anyone reading this (does anyone read this?) owns or operates, or has some influence in any kind of super-hot, hip gallery, then I’m looking for a place to organize a show of this work. Come to think of it the super-hot and hip part is completely optional, but it would certainly be nice. I have over 20 of these apologies right now, and anticipate at least 10 more to come, they are all mixed media on cardboard, around 8 – 12 inches in size and easy (and ready) to hang.
Come on people, I’m blowing up – this is your chance to get in on the action.
I have a bunch of works (including the painting pictured so tantalizingly above) in an exhibition that opens today (May 2nd) at the Studio Gallery at 1815 Polk Street, between Washington & Jackson in San Francisco.
It’s a juried show called the SF Etsy Show and features work from a number of San Francisco based Etsy sellers. You can find details of all the participants and the kinds of things that will be for sale here. It’ll be a bit like shopping on Etsy with the added inconvenience of actually having to go to a specific location, but with the advantage that you actually get to see (and perhaps even touch) the items you’re interested in before you part with your hard-earned moolah. My own Etsy page, which will give you a pretty good idea what I have in the show, is right here. The exhibition will be on until May 27th, and there’s an opening reception on Saturday May 12th 2- 6pm which promises to feature a plethora of delightful baked goods available free to perusers.
Now that’s something you don’t get shopping online. Ever.
I Just completed this illustration for an article entitled Jim Allison’s Long and Winding Road which will appear in the upcoming issue of UC Berkeley’s California Magazine.
To cut a long, and extremely scientific story short, the aforementioned Mr Allison, the subject of both article and illustration, discovered a protein called CTLA-4 in his Berkeley lab way back in 1993. This protein attaches to T cells and acts as a brake for the immune systems, something that seemed to be of little interest to the majority of the scientific community at the time. But because he is a very smart man Jim understood the significance of this discovery, and went on to develop an antibody to the protein – a drug to block its action. His theory being that if the new drug did its job, it would free up the immune system to identify and attack cancerous cells, even those that have resisted chemotherapy.
Unfortunately for Jim this new drug then had to enter clinical trials – which went on and on and on and…well you get the picture. The good news is that after 15 years and clinical trials involving 6,500 patients the drug is finally available to treat melanoma. And it offers a completely different approach to cancer treatment that has been proving extremely effective.
All which makes for a fascinating tale, but was bit tricky to translate into in an interesting illustrated portrait. Luckily for me there was a ‘human angle’. Because as well as being a scientific super-hero, Jim was also a South Texan, harmonica playing, country music aficionado.
And so the Cancer Immunotherapy Clinical Trial Blues was born.
As a resident of San Francisco’s Inner Sunset neighborhood for the last 13 years I’m delighted to announce I’ll be taking part in the first ever Inner Sunset Art Crawl tonight, Friday February 17th, from 6pm until around 10 pm. I was lucky enough to get the Arizmendi Bakery on 9th Avenue between Irving & Judah, as my venue, so I’m going to be showing 13 drawings and calling it ‘Baker’s Dozen‘, because that’s the kind of smart arse I am.
All 13 pieces in the Crawl show are from a series of Apology Drawings that I’ve been working on over the last few months, you can see them all here. This is an ongoing series of small mixed media drawings. Each one is an imagined apology combined with a pencil portrait drawn from found pictures of people I’ve never met.
Although I’ve lived in the USA for the last 16 years I’m originally British, which means I come from a place where everyone constantly aplogises for everything, and I live in a place where no one ever apologizes for anything. This series has come about as a result of that experience. The pieces are also intended to explore the capability of a short, contextless phrase to insinuate a variety of larger and more complex narratives in the perception of the beholder.
Okay, that’s enough of the art-justification guff. The real point is that the whole Art Crawl thing should probably be a laugh – there’s a lot going on including music, an outdoor showing of The Wizard Of OZ movie and let’s not forget it’s also Beer Week here in San Francisco. I’ll be lurking in the vicinity, hopefully clutching a pint of strong ale.
If you’re not there I’ll expect an apology.
I think the drawings will be on show in Arizmendi until Monday 20th, by the way.
I have a bunch of artworks appearing in an exhibition at the Westergasfabriek Museum in Amsterdam called ‘A Perfect Day’. My fellow exhibitors are an illustrious bunch indeed, including artistic and cultural luminaries like Raymond Pettibon, Chris Johanson, Dave Eggers, David Shrigley, Richard Prince, Simon Evans, Royal Art Lodge, Leonard Cohen and Rene Magritte (yes, THAT Rene Magritte).
The exhibition is described as ‘a collection of drawings with text, featuring observations, thoughts and ideas about life. Funny, clever, poetic, ironic and hilarious.’ The show is actually a continuation of a highly successful exhibition called ‘Lots of Things Like This‘ that took place in 2008 in New York. The original exhibit being curated by Dave Eggers, author of ‘What’s the What’ and founder of the publishing house McSweeney’s. The show also resulted in the publication of the bestselling and influential art book ‘More Things Like This’ by Chronicle in 2009.
As someone who’s been making art out of a combination of pictures and text for many years it’s especially gratifying to be included in this show, alongside so many terrific artists. Maybe it’s finally time for ‘pictures with words on them’ to take center stage in The Artworld. To quote Jesse Nathan: ‘Now more than ever you can see anywhere in the world an art form consisting of images and text and, above all, humor. Today you see writers, cartoonists, graffiti artists, poets, songwriters, film makers and artists around the world working with these elements. It is an accessible, contemporary form of communication, with a quick easy universal language, but as intimate as a sketch on a napkin.’
If you find yourself in Amsterdam it’ll be worth a look, here’s the details:
A Perfect Day – 10-24 February 2012
Westergasfabriek (Openbare Verlichting)
Pazzanistraat 27, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Monday-Wednesday, Friday 11 am – 5 pm.
Thursday 10 am- 9 pm
Saturday, Sunday 11 am – 11 pm.
Admission: €5 (with discount €2,50)
I have half a dozen Jesus related artworks appearing in The Jesus Show which opened last Saturday night at the fabulous RayRay gallery at 530 Broadway Street, Chico, California. Religiously speaking I go through life as a kind of disinterested agnostic until I have the misfortune to actually encounter organized religion first hand, at which point I rapidly transform into a card-carrying atheist. Despite this lackadaisical attitude to religion, when Ray Ray invited me to contribute to the show I decided to take the plunge, figuring I would be able to find a rich vein of humor in a subject that’s already knee-deep in absurdity. Hopefully I succeeded. Because when all’s said and done, if I did believe in Jesus I’d have to believe he would enjoy a good laugh.
And, judging by this promo video for the show, the folks at RayRay agree:
If you’re feeling particularly spiritually stout-hearted you can see all six of the pieces I made for the show on my Society 6 page right here. And if you can’t be bothered here’s one more to be going on with.
And just to make the whole thing seem totally legit, you can even read a review of the show right here. Apparently my contribution ” isn’t a mockery of faith… so much as a playful, sarcastic teasing of any moral sanctimony.” a statement I’d have a hard time disagreeing with. Hallelujah!
Other Gallery Related News:
After almost 10 years of being represented by Hang in San Francisco, I recently decided to part company with the gallery. New ownership and a change in attitude to things like ‘output’ and ‘market value’ had made me even less comfortable with the gallery than I already was. (I’ve always been pretty much the token supplier of ‘quirky’ artwork – along with the fabulous Dave Warnke - amidst a plethora of well executed but pretty asinine decorative abstract and landscape paintings.) This won’t actually make any real difference to the amount that my work gets shown, since it’s been quite a while since Hang actually Hung any of my work, but it does mean I won’t be selling any more pieces through them. The good news for you and me is that, since there won’t be a 50% gallery commission on every piece bought, I can actually sell my work for a more reasonable price and yet still make more money. With that in mind I’ve posted a bunch of new work for sale on my Etsy shop. If you have the time and the inclination I’d humbly implore you to have a look. After all, nothing say ‘Happy Holidays, Sweetie Pie’ like the gift of slightly dodgy artwork.
Just finished this illustration for Cincinnati Magazine for an article by New York Times op-ed columnist Gail Collins about William Henry Harrison, the 9th President of the USA, who apparently hailed from Ohio.
As a President he was a pretty sorry specimen, his claims to fame all pretty much amounting to spectacular non-achievements. Firstly he gave the longest inaugural speech in history, which would be bad enough, but unfortunately March 4, 1841, was a cold and wet day and Our William chose to wear neither overcoat nor hat. This was allegedly to demonstrate his robustness, which had been called into question due his advancing years. As a consequence of this foolhardiness he developed both pneumonia and pleurisy shortly after. Despite the attentions of the top medics of the day and the liberal application of opium, castor oil, and leeches he proceeded to drop dead exactly one month later. Which made his the Presidential term the shortest in history, coming in at 30 days, 12 hours, and 30 minutes. It also made him the only President never actually to move into the White House.
No wonder he looks so bloody miserable.