Slide Show - Images (mostly) from The Illustrated History of Painting


Monday, October 31, 2011


In preparation for the upcoming First Draft, Sydney exhibition "From a City Whose Gods Have Forsaken It" (featuring Christchurch based artists Marie-Claire Brehaut, Robert Hood, James Oram and myself) I spent most of the day talking first-person-shit with the uber-aesthetic lads Oliver Watts & Tim Gregory of Chalk Horse .

Chalk Horse being a sort of situated-in-Surrey-Hills polyglot dealer-gallery-cum-A.R.I, art-kid (everyone's a 'kid' at this late stage) warehouse/aesthetic-fort/collective-studio & critical/intellectual/curatorial node...with a drive-in auto-bay presided over by Sophia Hewson's de-consecrated, candy-covered, crucifixion and a monumentally scaled photo-realist painting of another female-of-the-species art-kid-as- virgin-mary with a very hairy mons..... or a hair-club-for-virgins-brand merkin.

In-between schlepping (Tim asks, with genuine curiosity...what is schlepping?) art-crates, trolling the web for a man-with-a-van, collectively cooking up an impromptu "short-run" catalog essay, taking a Mr. Toad's Wild Ride with an aging four-on-the floor truck with a faux P-Lab ( the Aussies would call it an 'Ice' Lab) in the cargo compartment, and drinking multiple cups of designer coffee, we talked. Oh yes, we talked.

And like some kind of high-country Basque shepherd, at the tail-end of a long companionless season in the thin-aired peaks ...with no one to talk to except the hoggets...I realized how starved I was/am for fearless and unselfconscious art-talk. The kind of talk made exclusively by fully-engaged, healthily-on-the-make, 'art-geeks' of a certain age. Rather than the usual run-of-the-mill (sure to be found-in-your-final-autopsy) faux-earnest approximation of art-talk. The kind that's really just promo couched in stilted artist's-statement-like theoretical rear-view-mirror-cant or gallery press-release-ese. I like to think of the better-angels of artspeak as engaging in purely speculative art-of the pleasant yakka variety.

Art talk. Inconsequential, by all outward signs, except for the very public and (of course) dire, personal consequences, arrived at by-creaking-increment, from its almost absolute lack. Of late.

Thanks Tim and Oliver - I can almost hear the rusty pistons of my critical/analytical brain beginning to commence sliding in the aspic-like congealed grease of their neural tubes. Grease and piston-rods almost vapor-locked by the enforced monasticism and despairing isolation of the creatively cratered, post-disaster, Garden City. I think I'll call it a day.

Tomorrow well do what the young-uns call 'install.'

If you were expecting something succinct or enlightening here...then why the fuck are/were you wasting time reading a goddamned art-blog anyway. Kwitcherbellyachin' and get back to work. There's plenty of time for talkin' when you've finished your chores.