10 years pricking the art voodoo doll 2005-2015

Month: January 2009

The New Depression Gallery


To be serious for a moment (it happens) the last post  from Badam saddens me greatly. I too was a ‘serious’ artist with unpaid bills,  a freezing studio, an interview at Goldsmiths (same year as Hirst if accepted..I wasn’t ..too serious for the times it appears..Fuller/Bacon self-portraiture didn’t ‘hang’ well with a interview panel of a graphic designer, a conceptualist and a student who hung black bin liners in rows…I kid you not.. to look for the real tale of why art where it is go to the enfeeblement of the art schools by profit and Thatcherism and YBA’s)…

I hung in there in the starving artist manor a lot longer than most – in fact until 2004 when I finally did teacher training and I now teach multimedia students.

What saddens me is that Saatchi being a wiley coyote knows that with the collapse of state support as grants and the recession hit the art schools we will see a downturn in both student numbers and ability as working class students fail to make the financial sacrifices demanded of them. What chance a new Hockney, Moore or dare I say it Hirst these days??

Then Hey Presto! here comes a new income stream for his ‘global reach’. No longer able to afford art school ..just log on and become a famous artist Charles’s way…no need for time consuming education. The fact that one in a million becomes your betting chance of success as opposed to 1 in 25 or less AFTER graduating from the Royal College or any other Art School (official statistics reveal that you may become a teacher but a successful artist….well you have a cat in Emins chance)

So as art education collapses for lack of support who better to take over the education of our new ‘elite’ than…Saatchi Enterprises..who was rumoured to be preparing his own Art School as we speak..privately funded of course and what better way to promote it than getting prime time BBC2 coverage to get it going…no fool that one.

He no more interested in the talent than Lloyd Webber……their real talent is pushing their tie-in profit making concerns..via these programmes…pure Cowellism.

Musicals or Singers or Artists its all the same racket….

As for Badem…do it for yourself mate there are no silver linings, no Galleries paved with gold…..my lesson in reality started early.

Unable to attend a Royal College M.A. in painting because Thatcher slashed funds I wandered into a gallery with some slides….

‘Don’t bother showing me the slides’ said the gallery owner..
“Dear boy we toddle along to the Royal College M.A. every year and pick the ones with prizes’ They choose for us the rest like you are forgotten….”

How true…

So well done Charles for proving that nothing ever changes..as for poor students…at least they don’t have to waste years paying off loans..they can be rejected from the get-go.

A Rake’s Progress indeed?

I shall be first in line for dismissal in The new Depression Gallery….


You had it Cumming


Laura Cumming finally gets it right????????….

It is not only the artists and galleristas that at fault but also the reams of mediocrity served up by so called critics who happy to party on their benefactors terms until the party over…

It is obvious to anyone with eyes that art has become more vulgar and rebarbative during our lifetime, as well as slicker and quicker. Whether we will ever progress to anything better – more subtle, refined, intelligent, inventive, perhaps even original – is anyone’s guess, but these hard times have got to be propitious.


Some of us have been saying that for years dear..glad you finally seen the light..

Funny Ms Cumming didn’t mention any of this when covering some of the major players in last ten years but when the mood changes hey presto..to be fair she has shown more sense than most..not as much as Robert Hughes but then you talking different class…

How come it was so great in 2007 and so bad now Ms Cumming or are there no freebies any more, no dazzling parties, no paid tickets to the balls…?

Yes these are good times for art – lets kill all the fat and fatuous geese..and some critics too for good measure..Hughes would never have written tosh like this …..allegedly a report on the Venice Biennale of 2007 by one L.C….cake and eat it comes to mind ???

A golden crop, a vintage year: that is the main news from Venice, with a better ratio of hits to duds than any biennale in decades. This is no small matter since the Greatest Show on Earth is now so huge – 800 artists, every continent represented – that it overflows one island and spills through six others, not including the fanciful ‘occupation’ of the city’s floating necropolis by two artists demanding last rites for the Swedish monarchy.

But the other good news is that this year’s director, the well-respected Robert Storr, has organised such a strong international exhibition that it makes the tortuous miles of the Arsenale count as never before and puts the national pavilions in proper perspective. Storr’s thesis in ‘Think with the Senses, Feel with the Mind’ – that conceptualism is the lingua franca of global art – may sound obvious but it’s allowed him to group together many giants of contemporary art. Where else are you going to find Louise Bourgeois, Ellsworth Kelly, and Sigmar Polke superbly displayed alongside the great film-works of Yang Fudong, the droll paintings of Raoul de Keyser and the fabulously groovy portraits of Malik Sidibe, the African photographer who has won this year’s Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement (the prize for best pavilion is not announced until October), not to mention dozens of upcoming stars? If only the whole thing could be flown afterwards to Tate Modern what a momentous innovation that would be …

MOMENTOUS..or CRAP? Your call…over to you L.C.

Moogee waits with baited dog breath….


X-Factor for art – the arts devalued


Charles Saatchi, the Citizen Kane of the art world, is about to transform himself into the Andrew Lloyd Webber of art.

A new BBC2 series, site Saatchi’s Best of British, will see him preside over a contemporary art reality show, comparable with Lloyd Webber’s I’d Do Anything. Talented hopefuls (I’ve put that phrase in as blog-fodder …) will attend his “intensive art school, where they will be tutored by top contemporary artists.” The show will “attempt to discover the next Damien Hirst or Tracey Emin.” Well, I don’t suppose anyone would expect it to discover the next Cy Twombly or Jasper Johns. Continue reading…

I cannot really add to this ..the final nail in ‘brit art’ seems like a good comment to make..note the ‘judges’..they not artists of any worth just spurious artists-cum-celebrity types I expect..Creed, Emin, whatever…step forward for some exposure as your sales plummet darlinks…

It time all of this sh*t was bagged up and tagged with its true nature..i.e. it celebrity compost nothing more…

The saddest part is that those who pretend to know what they on about i.e. Arts Council and various arts organisations are terribly impressed by all this ‘exposure’, they long ago gave up pretending they could invoke any form of standards so now we have no common principles to work to..so quality and talent are jettisoned for ‘fame’ and joke opportunism like this.

Nothing here wasn’t flagged up long ago by the Saatchi website….if you allow people with no values and no taste to dictate to you then you get the artworld you deserve.

I for one long ago stopped playing in the saatchi sandpit and looked to people with true value to provide a deifferent definition of ‘standards’. Sorley Maclean in poetry, Howard Hodgkin in painting, Ken Loach in film there plenty of real artists around just they haven’t been much favoured in Saatchi Land’s carnival of minor celebrities……people of substance….not telly addled clowns…

For those with short memories there was a hilarious version of art school where various ‘intellect-challenged’ Chelsea School of Art scenesters tried to teach various celebrities to make art…a forerunner of this barrel-scraper of an idea…..

In that show such ‘artists’ as shown below changed the art world forever 🙂

Looks like this will be much the same…..i.e. rubbish

At least John Humphrys said what he thought….doubt if anybody in Saatchi Show will…oh and BBC2 as well- What a shameful waste of taxpayers money sayeth the man on the Battersea omnibus…if you don’t succeed give up next time and save us all the effort….

Five celebrities – John Humphrys, Ulrika Jonsson, Keith Allen, Clarissa Dickson Wright and Radio 1 DJ Nihal Arthanayake – are filmed taking part in a two-week crash course in fine art with tutors from the Chelsea College of Art. The series culminates in an exhibition; Winkleman’s role is to interview them throughout the fortnight.

Yes the artworld is waiting with baited breath for the shows judges to be revealed……

Here my betting slips…

Hester Von Blumenthal the III

fresh from revitalising Little Chef the cheeky chappy from the fat duck shows that the thin line between art and fine cookery is non-existant. Hester reveals that his whole premise for being a chef was it a stepping stone to being the greatest artist since Hogarth….his crispy fried duck will be shown at next year’s Venice Biennale as an example of site-specific cuisine..

finally the greatest artist in the world…..yes Rolf Harris ( 2009 before his sojourn in prison mind) will down tools for a second. Long enough to bring a much needed sense of tradition and actual technical ability to bear on our assembled ‘conceptualists’ , ‘site-specificers’ and ‘film makers’. Rolf will show them the correct end of the brush to use in episode one before doing an in-depth anlysis of the horrors of sable hair-plucking in a co-production with the RSPCA. Chanel Plus and some Tokyo cable channel.

I also hear there a famous surprise guest….yes….after disinterring Picasso’s bones his corpse will be ‘re-animated’ by forensic scientists in a tie-in with Waking the Dead. It is hoped that Picasso’s involvement will bring a much-needed sense of dignity to the show.

It rumoured that the winner will get to produce a family portrait of the Saatchis ‘en plein air’ like Stubbs…..a treat indeed

keep watching punters it can only get better from here on in….

Recession TV and Bankrupt ideas .com copyright all rights reserved….


The Golden Goose is dead….


Splendid article in today’s Guardian on rise and recent fall of feeble art world prices…


This my comment on the article..

I have been tapping on a very isolated typewriter in the cold northern lands here for a long time on just the point Mr. Jack makes so well.

The artists and dealers scurried after the Pied Piper of Hamlyn (Hirst obvious contender for that role) as the dollars flowed in and serious thought was jettisoned as the party got ever wilder and beneficial to those who swallowed the hype and lies.

Throughout this insane carnival anybody who suggested this was an era of ’emperer’s new clothes’ was seen as ‘an outsider’, ‘stupid’ or worse an obvious Sewell like reactionary and not ‘cutting edge’ enough………..

Now the tables are bare now and the feast is over…..

time for some reality cheques it seems…

as I wrote recently …


These artists offer artworks that are imitative, illustrational and sometimes simply non-sensical….but they act the part proffering a oblique sense of their own worth as ‘art objects’ no matter that their formation based on pilfering and quotation not inward depth.

When the physical nature of an art/i/fact is surrendered totally to intellectual ‘re-fabrication’ the fabric itself becomes immaterial (literally) – disolved and drowned in dissonance and (dis)illusion.

No more rabbits in artist’s hats please we had enough of smoke and mirrors however Derrida-esque…Throughout this insane carnival anybody who suggested this was an era of ’emporer’s new clothes’ was seen as ‘an outsider’, ‘stupid’ or worse an obvious Sewell like reactionary and not ‘cutting edge’ enough………..Spot on, Moogee. How many times during the ‘artistic’ bollocks boom did we hear the pompous w**kers comment disdainfully, “Oh, you just don’t get it!” The owl’s voice of reason was drowned out by the cackling of geese.

Now it’s starvation time, and what happens to geese when people are hungry?

 We have a ‘Goose Fair’ here in Nottingham where farmer’s would herd their geese to be sold or eaten…Its name is derived from the thousands of geese that were driven from Lincolnshire to be sold in Nottingham.

I suggest a revival of this tradition but this time we drive the thousands of ‘Golden Geese’ artists who lets face it are now moribund and useless…no longer able to gorge on the bankers golden corn …

Bring them to Nottingham stick them in a pen and get rid to highest bidder or let fade away…

Tis time to clear the decks of sloth and chaff methinks.