More regrettable incidents in a life filled with bitter remorse.

David Fullarton makes pictures with words on them.

Archive for the ‘Personal Guff’ Category

2015 – The Year in Review (Kind Of)

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What the hell happened to 2015?

It managed to both arrive and depart without the production of a single blog post from this indolent reprobate.

Is it too late to make up for this lackadaisical approach to communication? Probably. Nevertheless, here’s my misguided attempt to make up for my lamentable lack of updates.

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Okay, so lets start in October. It’s as good a month as any. And it was the month that saw the creation and launch of the above limited edition bronze.  This was definitely the year’s most awesome project, embarked upon with the help and expertise of the good folks at The Compound Gallery in Oakland. Entitled ‘The Pursuit of Happiness’ it’s a handsome bronze skull that sits proudly atop it’s very own sturdy maple plinth, complete with laser etched profanity. Each and every part of this edition of 13 was hand finished by me at great personal risk and considerable discomfort. And, most astounding of all, every one of the 13 pieces was sold in exactly 13 days. (Well, one disappeared into a mysterious void in the Australian postal system, but that’s neither here nor there, like the piece itself.)

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Earlier, in September, I also took part in a group show at the aforementioned Compound Gallery.

It was a boxing themed affair entitled “Knockout”, and I my contribution was the oddly shaped mixed media piece above. If you’re wondering about the unusual dimensions, I chose them after a great deal of contemplation and consideration because the wood panel was heftily reduced in price in the art store.

Aside from all the Compound related activity, 2015 also saw me start to show work regularly at The Dove Biscuit gallery in Los Angeles,  which is located downtown, inside The Last Bookstore. The work available there is mostly my letterpress prints, plus a few smaller mixed media pieces. If you’re in the LA area it’s definitely worth a visit, not, I hasten to add, because of my work, but because it’s a totally cool old building stuffed full of new and used books and records for sale at bargain prices.

Speaking of books, July saw my humble contribution to international art publishing. This took the shape of 14 pages inside this lavish volume which goes by the imaginative title ‘Artist Notebook’. Unsurprisingly it’s a collection of artist’s notebooks.

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It’s publushed by Monsa, in Spain and is available for a mere  €25,90  right here. And if you’re wondering, the inside looks bit like this:

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Okay I can tell by the glazed look in your eyes, and your incessant yawning, that you’re getting bored with all this dreary rambling. I think we both knew it wasn’t a great idea, so let me wrap it up quickly for both our sakes. Here’s something interesting – it’s that fucking gorilla again.

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Yes it made another fucking appearance. This time in the form of a fully-fledged theater performance, complete with paying audience, at the Toronto Fringe Festival. That’s in Canada, people. Which is cool. And this time I supplied the original artwork for the posters. Which was also cool.

Finally, as is traditional in these sparse and sporadic blog posts I’d like to end with an apology, accompanied by an excuse. But first some visual evidence:

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Yes, dear reader, that is my wrist. To be more specific that is my right wrist. The wrist I use to draw, paint, type this very blog and complete sundry other less glamorous tasks. This delightful snapshot was taken in the Emergency Room of a San Francisco hospital back in March, after my bicycle and I were involved in an unpleasant altercation with an automobile. Thankfully after the surgical insertion of about eight inches of titanium and several weeks spent in a variety of casts, everything was restored to full functionality. And, on an uncharacteristically optimistic note, it gave me a chance to practice drawing left handed.

Anyway, as you probably guessed by now, I was planning to blame the utter lack of activity here on the results of this regrettable incident, but the fact is, it’s really just down to idleness and inertia, so I won’t insult your intelligence.

As usual I offer a half-hearted pledge to update this nonsense more frequently, if only to avoid having to create another of these appalling anthologies in the future. However, if you are misguided enough to want to keep up to date with my artistic activities I’d suggest following me on some other social media minefields, which I actually do update regularly. These include Tumblr, Instagram, Flickr, Pinterest, Twitter and, of course my very own kingdom on the internets, which goes by my name with .com on the end.

Happy New Year, I hope 2016 will be everything you wish it to be.

And thank you for your continued tolerance.

 

Written by David

January 8, 2016 at 11:06 am

The Evolution of a Gorilla

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What follows, dear reader, is a strange and cautionary tale. A true story in which we will attempt to examine the inexplicable appeal of the apparently random combination of gorillas and gratuitous profanity.

Our story begins with this drawing, created by my own fair hand on the back of an envelope and glued into a notebook, way back in June  2006. (Obviously you can ignore the poorly rendered fire extinguisher, and concentrate on the image on right hand page.)

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Actually I’ve just remembered that, in actual fact our tale truly begins with a scribbled note in an entirely different journal, one which I sadly can’t find right now. The note said something like: “Draw a gorilla with those lines around it that make things look like things are vibrating”. I sometimes make notes like this in a misguided attempt to remind myself of things that I think will be cool to draw. I realize that most other artists would probably just do a skillful but lightening fast sketch to be referred to and improved upon later, but I write words instead. It’s what I do– judge me if you want. More often than not I’ll immediately forget about these scribbled notes and that’ll be the end of the matter, but for some reason in this case I didn’t. I actually drew the gorilla, complete with the ‘vibrating lines’ which proved to be unsatisfactory, and then I added the non sequitur you see above. I have no idea where that phrase actually came from. It simply plopped into my head after I had drawn the gorilla, and then scribbled colored pencil around it in an attempt to assuage the disappointment I felt when the whole ‘vibrating lines’ thing failed to live up to my hopes and dreams. Eventually I posted the above image to my Flickr page and found the response was both immediate, and alarmingly positive. I even got a request to purchase the drawing, (presumably be  ripped out of the notebook in which it resided). In the end I actually created another version and sold that one. What was interesting though, was the way people responded- the enjoyment this apparently random concoction of words and images gave to otherwise rational people.

A little less than a year later I was preparing for a solo show at a gallery in San Francisco and decided to turn the notebook image into the small mixed media on canvas painting you see below.

As soon as the show went up the gorilla sold immediately and at the opening several people told me they wished that they had bought it, and asked me to let hem know if I ever created another version, or made a print of the same subject. The print thing eventually happened, after a fashion, when I posted it to my Society 6 page in 2010, and made it available in a variety of formats. And while I wasn’t exactly able to retire on the proceeds it did sell pretty well.

After I joined the Compound Gallery & Studios in 2012 I started to make my own letterpress prints in small editions and, of course, I inevitably thought of the Fucking Gorilla. I did another version of the drawing and had a photopolymer plate made up, and the result was a series of letterpress prints that look a lot like this…

Once again the unique combination of ape and vulgarity proved popular, with prints being dispatched as far afield as Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, as well as several US destinations.

But our tale doesn’t end here. No. In fact it just get more bizarre. Because at around this same time I received an unsolicited email from a perviously unknown Canadian named Tia McGregor, informing me that she had written and staged a play based on the gorilla piece. The title of the play was, not surprisingly, “You And That Fucking Gorilla”, and it had its debut at Victoria University in Victoria, British Columbia. Although I sadly didn’t get to witness a performance I did read the script and, I have to tell you, to my untrained eye it was pretty damn good. I realize that this all sounds highly unlikely, so as irrefutable evidence that I’m not just making stuff up, here are a couple of shots of the production, complete with gorilla, who appears to meet a tragic end.

So there we have it– the evolution of Gratuitous Simian Profanity from scribbled note to stage production. None of which actually helps us understand the appeal of this particular combination of words and pictures. Perhaps the whole thing was best summed up by a visitor to The Compound who purchased one of the gorilla prints. She revealed that she was actually a gorilla researcher who spends her days working with the beasts, and one of her friends had emailed her the image, presumably because she shared the sentiment expressed. Her pertinent observation was “why would anyone else appreciate this?”.

Why, indeed.

Written by David

March 28, 2014 at 12:56 pm

Artwork for Young Offenders 12″ vinyl.

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12" of limited edition red vinyl fabulousness.

Front cover of the new Young Offenders long player.

I was recently commissioned to do this 12″ LP jacket art for San Francisco based ‘punk rock sensations’ The Young Offenders. Well, actually, my mate Tim is in the band and he asked me to do it in exchange for several flagons of foaming ale, which, I hasten to add, have yet to be forthcoming. Anyhow it turned out nice, so no hard feelings. In case you’re wondering, The Young Offenders themselves are no one’s idea of young, but they are adequately offensive– procuring a fine approximation of the late 70’s British Punk Rock that I’m actually old enough to have experienced first hand. (For anyone who’s easily impressed I still have my front row ticket stub for the Buzzcocks supported by Joy Division at the Edinburgh Odeon, 1979.)  The album is available for download on iTunes or, preferably, as a limited edition 12″ red vinyl from Deranged Records, complete with beautifully printed, full size, genuine cardboard album cover for a mere $10. The LP labels were hand drawn by yours truly as well, but you only get to see them if you buy the fucker*.

 

Nice ice cream van, mate.

The back cover.

*This gratuitously offensive expletive has been included in a pathetically tame attempt to generate an atmosphere of ‘Punk Rock’ nihilism.


Written by David

July 9, 2010 at 2:32 pm