Thursday, November 29, 2012

The next three nights

Hey, I guess one of the reasons I have this blog is so that I can hassle you about the things I have coming up, so ok, here's the three things I'll be doing over the next three nights and I'd love it if you could come along to any or all of them.

Thursday, November 29, otherwise known as Tonight, my buddy Nelson Walkom, the extremely talented musician, is playing a set at the Highlander Bar. I can't wait. He's really, really good. Also, at some point during the set he'll be playing that song I wrote the lyrics for.
So yeah, come hear that and many even better songs live at the Highlander tonight. Highlander's at 11a Highlander Lane, which is just off Flinders Lane right near Flinders Street Station. Nel goes on at 9.15.

Then, Friday, November 30, otherwise known as Tomorrow Night, is the opening of a collaborative group show I'm in at Rearview Gallery. I wrote about it briefly here. It's a pretty different kind of show for me because I've been working with some guys who make work very differently to how I do. It's been such a productive and fun experience and I think it's gonna be a really interesting show. 

As well as many collaborative works I also have a handful of new works in the show that are just mine that I'm also really excited about. So yeah, come have a drink at Rearview Gallery tomorrow night, you won't regret it. Rearview's just off Stanley Street, directly behind 244 Smith Street, in Collingwood. The opening starts at 7 and goes for a couple of hours.

And then, Saturday, December 1, otherwise known as Not Tomorrow But The Day After, is the Three One Six Oh! Short Film Festival at the Cameo Outdoor Cinema in Belgrave. It's gonna be pretty funny seeing my video up on the big screen, placed in between much more serious, dramatic short films. For more information I've briefly written about it here

So yeah, in summary, come to Melbourne City tonight to hear great music, Collingwood tomorrow night to see great art and Belgrave the night after to watch great short films.

Ok, I think that's everything, I should really get back to installing the Rearview Show. As a side note, Jock and I were just hacking into a bit of the Rearview Gallery wall and much to our surprise this photograph came out. 
I'd love to find out what the story is with this photo being in the wall, maybe someone will be able to fill me in tomorrow night at the opening. If you can identify the person in the photograph please let me know, (or possibly contact Crimestoppers). 

Thanks for reading, hope to see you soon.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Time fries when you're having fun

Hey pal, here's a new painting slash sculpture. 

It's acrylic on board. It's titled Large Fries.
Here's the back of it.

I included Large Fries in the Grad Show I was in last week, on the floor next to the Melbourne Shared Bike. Here's a photo of it I found on twitter.
During the crowded exhibition opening the fries got trampled on a bit, but I guess all the trample marks probably made the work better.

I made this piece after weeks of hearing all about how awful it is that they're trying to build a McDonalds in Tecoma. Tecoma's a suburb 3 minutes from my house, which is in the Dandenong Rages about an hour out from Melbourne city. 

The obvious reasons the locals don't want a McDonalds are concerned with obesity issues as well as the old case of big business coming in and killing off all the mom and pop fish'n'chip shops. The other reason is that Tecoma is in the hills and apparently there shouldn't be a McDonalds in the hills. 

Another argument, and I think this is probably the protesters strongest argument, is that they shouldn't build a McDonalds in the proposed location because it's directly across the road from the Tecoma Primary School.

Anyway, despite the fact that there's been so much uproar about the McDonalds it seems to have been given the go-ahead and I'm sure it will get plenty of business from the peoplee protesting it.

In a final attempt to prevent this, many anti-Mcdonalds protesters co-ordinated together using this Facebook group and created an elaborate community garden on the ground where the McDonalds is to be built. It's kind of similar to all the Occupy stuff.

 I went to the protest and took the Large Fries piece along with me.

All that protesting made me really hungry, so I left Tecoma and drove five minutes up the road to the Ferntree Gully McDonalds.

The end.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Check out this rear view

Hey bum hole, thanks for stopping by. This is just a quick update to say that I'm in a collaborative show on at Rearview Gallery that opens this Friday, November 30, and if you're reading this then I'm personally begging you to please come along.

The show's been organised by my buddy Henry Jock Walker. Here's a photo of the two of us looking like monkeys while standing infront of Brett Whiteleys painting of a monkey. Well, I'm looking like a monkey, he's looking handsome as usual.
Also in the show are my pals Andy Treloar and Sam Songallo, as well as New York based photographer Vivien Allender. 

Here's the invite.
My claim to fame with the invite is that I'm the one who spilt the white paint in the bottom right of the image.

I also painted the word CENTER that you can see in the top right of the invite, although It's just occurred to me that I misspelt it. Well, sort of, I spelt it the American way. The way years of using Microsoft Word has taught me.

The word REARVIEW, written in the top left of the invite, is also misspelt. Not in any acceptable Microsoft Word way either, it's just misspelt. That's Jocks fault though, he made the invite, and so if you decide not to come to the exhibition based soley on that typo, which I completely understand, then I just want the record to show that it's all Jocks fault.

Speaking of Rearview and Jock, here's a photo I took the other day in Jocks old studio. 

On the desk at the back is Andy. Leaning against the desk is a portrait I did of Andy, done over the top of one of Jocks paintings using an orange spray can that was lying around, and right there in the front is a cheeky view of Jocks rear.
I'll talk more about the show soon but all you really need to know is it should be pretty wild and you should definitely come check it out. 

The opening starts at 7pm and goes on until somewhere between 9 and 10. Rearview's located on Stanley Street, just behind 244 Smith Street, Collingwood. The show runs until December 22, but yeah, I'd love it if you can make it in for a drink with us, in the flesh, on Friday.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Grad boys, grad boys, whatchu gonna do?

Hey, how are ya? Apparently there were about 5,000 people at the opening of the VCA Graduation Show two nights ago. Thanks heaps to everyone that made it, it was an amazing thing to be a part of. There was just so many people. It was totally overwhelming watching everybody flowing through the gates in waves. I went to a Coldplay concert last week and it felt a bit like that.

Speaking of which, on the subject of things that were all yellow, here's a couple of action shots of my 100 clay urinal cakes I talked about in the last post. These photos were both taken before I decided that standing around in the boys toilets taking photos maybe wasn't the best way to spend my time at the show.
It's not often you're able to see so many people looking at your work, and it was great to see so many people responding so positively. One thing I didn't expect to see anywhere near as much of was people taking photos of my work. Hopefully most of the people will attribute my name to the work, I guess at least the beauty of people photographing my PAINTING OF A BOOK piece is that my name's unavoidably right there on the front. 
I'll be sure to put documentation of photo's that I've taken of my work just as soon as I get the chance.

Here's a review of the Grad Show by Canberra Contemporary Art Space. It features a pretty awful photo of a flat haired me with one of my favourite tutors, Elizabeth Gower.
There were a few awards going around on the night and I'm extremely proud and thrilled to say that I received the Roger Kemp Memorial Prize. 
I've since done a little bit of research into Roger Kemp and I can tell you that he's an Australian abstract painter who died aged 79 in 1987, the year before I was born. 

You might not've known it was Kemp who painted the images, I didn't until now, but you've probably looked at the tapestry reproductions of these great paintings of his heaps of times, hung on the walls of the stain glassed ceiling foyer in the National Gallery of Victoria.
Obviously the Grad Show After Party was a very big hazy night and a lot of us stayed in the dirty underground smoke machined bass buzzing dance club until around 5 in the morning when they said they were closing up and we had to get out. 

At this point most people were able to make their way home and sleep the next day off, but not me and my buddy old pal Fat Dan, we had a job to do. A week earlier Fat Dan and I had decided we would be heroes and take the first shift of sitting the gallery, this meant that we pretty much only got in an hour or two of sleep before we had to head back to school and sit the show.

If you look closely at this photo you can see the gallery being sat.
Here's Fat Dan with his shirt and shoes off, lying on the bench space, fast asleep with his back to the gallery. 

To the left of him's a big puddle of juice running onto the floor. On my way in to sit the show I bought a big thing of mango juice for Fat Dan and I to share. Fat Dan forgot to put the lid back on and while laying back his leg twitched and he accidentally kicked it over. 

I'm pretty sure this is how all the best exhibitions are sat. 
I told a visitor that the sleeping Fat Dan was a sculpture I'd made, and that I was heavily influenced by Ron Mueck. Fat Dan and I agreed that Fat Dan would actually make a great Ron Mueck subject. He already looks a bit like this guy.
(I know you probably already know it but I should say it anyway on the off chance that you don't; Ron Mueck's a contemporary Australian sculptor who makes eerily lifelike sculptures of eerily looking people... Of course that isn't to say that Fat Dan is eerily looking, as obviously he isn't).

Here's a photo of Fat Dan trying to tell me that he's not fat and to quit calling him that.
Here's a photo of Fat Dan and I looking at the exhibition catalogue.
Fat Dan and I were put on opposite pages in the exhibition catalogue. The day before when we first got the catalogues I went around telling people that we'd paid extra for it, Dan of course denied it and said it only worked out that way because our names came after each other in alphabetic order.

Here's my page in the exhibition catalogue. The image I ended up going with is of the Bubble'O Bill, and below it Me holding two Bills (Bubble'o and Henson).
On a side note I was also really happy to see in the exhibition catalogue that my pal, the Melbourne Art Superstar Extraordinaire Charlie Sofo, (I say that in jest but I also mean it quite genuinely), put my name amongst a list of lots of other names and things within his artist statement. 
This almost makes up for Charlie deciding not to accept my offer of giving him five dollars in exchange for putting this blog into the bibliography of his masters thesis.
All in all the Grad Show has been so much fun. The show is still on and so if you haven't seen it yet, or you want to actually look at all the work, which is something that would've been pretty difficult to do at the opening, then yeah, definitely head on down to the VCA. The show's open every day until Sunday from 11 to 5.

Ok, that's probably enough for now. Thanks for reading. The RMIT Grad Show is on tonight, obviously it won't be as good as the VCA, but hopefully I'll see you there.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Urine for it now

Hey, some people, let's call them sexists, might say that making a cake is a pretty female thing to do, but we here at are all about breaking down stereotypes and promoting equality.

Here are one hundred urinal cakes, each one individually hand made from clay, baked in the kiln at 1200 degrees and then iced in glazing. It took me a lot longer than I thought it would.
One thing I realised from making these things is that a lot of women don't know what urinal cakes are. The simple answer to this is that they're basically just disinfectant chemical tablets that are put in the bottom of urinals to try and stop the urinal from smelling like a urinal.
Earlier this morning I put all 100 cakes into the urinal in the VCA boys toilets, our Grad Show is tonight and it seemed like a harmless enough way to literally take the piss out of it.
Here's my best bud Fat Dan breaking them in.
Between 6 and 8pm there's gonna be hundreds of people using the urinal so I imagine the cakes will take quite a bit of punishment, but if you're keen for a little bit of free art then feel free to head to the urinal and scoop out a piece or two. If you do get your hands on a cake I'll be more than happy to sign it for you.

Unfortunately if you're a woman you're not technically allowed into the boys toilets, but go in anyway and if anyone gives you grief tell them I said it was ok. You should probably get in early though, as the cakes are only going to get smellier as it gets into the wee hours of the night. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Let's stick with capitalism

So hey, the other day I watched some guys build a giant wooden letter K in the forecourt in front of ACCA, (The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art).The K was the work of Spanish artist Santiago Sierra, and set up as part of the Melbourne Festival.

Sierra's spent the last two years traveling the world making and destroying giant sculptures of letters. In New Zealand the letter A was constructed from full cartons of milk and then shot to pieces with a gun. In Holland the letter S was constructed from fruit and vegetables and then eaten by a group of pigs. And here in the ACCA forecourt the 3 and a half meter tall wooden K was to be set alight and burnt to the ground.

As a side note I should say that fire's great and all, but still, I would've much preferred to see the splattering milk or hungry pigs.

The work ultimately consisted of ten letters, those letters made up one word, which was only revealed after all the letters had one by one, out of order, been created and destroyed. The Australian K was the final letter in the word. At the burning an ABC reporter revealed to me that the word was CAPITALISM. "But where's the K in that?" I asked, and she told me that apparently it's spelt in German, which is with a K not a C.

There was a huge crowd. We waited around for half an hour, they lit the K, it burnt for a few minutes and everybody filmed it on their phones.  I was upwind of the K, we were warned we might get burnt, and I did, a bit of ash flew into my neck. It stung. It felt like someone had used my neck to put out their cigarette. And then it was over and we all cheered.

The work itself wasn't especially interesting, I don't think it would've been nearly as celebrated if it wasn't Sierra doing it, but even still it was pretty exciting to have so many people outside in the freezing wind all huddling together. It felt like we were camping. Everybody was happy. Or maybe it just seemed that way to me because I was happy.

So ok, bla, bla, bla, bla, bla, was that boring? Are you still reading? I'm no reporter, I only explained all that to give what I'm going to say next some context. Fifteen minutes before the K was set alight I decided to make a triptych of photos. It might be a little bit lame, (or maybe it's super cool), but for the first photo I held a tube of RAW SIENNA paint that I'd changed the letter N's to R's, making it RAW SIERRA. (Also pictured is my painting of a matchbox.)
Once the K was lit I changed the label on the tube from RAW SIERRA to BURNING SIERRA.
And here at the very end, once the fire brigade had extinguished the last of it out, I changed the text on a tube of Burnt Sienna to say Burnt Sierra.
Messing around after all this I asked my best buddys Fat Dan and Tristan whether they thought I should try and show the paint tubes to Sierra himself. "Why, so he can laugh at you and call you a goofball?" was the response. Here's a photo of them telling me that.
And of course I knew they were right, but even still I did it anyway.

I made my way over and told Sierra how much I really appreciate his work. It was so cool to meet the guy, even though I wasn't really into this particular piece I've always found his art incredibly interesting and important.

He was real friendly, and I showed him the paint tubes. English isn't Sierra's first language and at first he didn't seem to fully get what I was saying, but his entourage seemed to think it was pretty funny and helped explain it to him.
Sierra seemed to really like the tubes so I told him he could keep them. (Maybe he just wanted some free paint). He asked me to sign them and told me they'd look great on his shelf.

"Fuck the system" he told me, "Sure" I replied. And then we said cya and he was ushered into a car and driven away.
Flying first class all over the world in order to make an anti-capitalist statement is pretty funny. Before the K was set alight, Sierra asked the onlookers for a minute silence to be given to "The victims of capitalism". I'm not sure if that included me. Am I a victim of capitalism? I guess I should've asked him.

When it was all over and the coast was clear I jumped the fence and grabbed the couple of burnt sticks that remained from Sierra's scultpure.
Victim of Capitalism or not, it was a great night, and from now on I only scratch my back using genuine Santiago Sierra art.
Sure the burnt sticks ruin every shirt I scratch with them, but t-shirts are cheap and I can always just buy a new one every time my back gets itchy. That's what's so great about capitalism.
As a little disclaimer to finish this off I should probably point out that I know absolutely nothing about capitalism. I much prefer lower case letters.