Even at it’s most powerful and insidious, social networking is still no more than the pre-pool footbath you’ve got to gingerly tread through before hitting the slides of reality. It seems the pride some parts of the blogging community take in abdicating an ‘IRL’ existence; living their life through a constant cycle of re-blogs (hipstergram photography, inverted crosses, models with DM’s and cigarettes) as some kind of ‘commentary’ on what it means to be young in the digital age, results in nothing more than a literature, and virtual culture, of absolute nothingness.
'Ginsberg' - Another old one
Charcoal and mixed media collage
More sketchbook extracts from recent weeks. Paintings are still in development.
'Sandy victim', water colour and mixed media.
Mechanism of Discontent
You are restless and dissatisfied. You are lonely and bored. You are warm enough but you shiver. You are fed and yet hunger gnaws at you. You are loved but you constantly seek affection and validation from everyone around you, friends and strangers alike. It seems as though you are fated to shamble blindly through your years without ever realising how good you have it.
You constantly overlook life’s simple pleasures in favour of complaining about day to day menial tasks, your job, money, television, or the cult of celebrity. You wish your life were more like a jeans commercial or a music video.
What’s more, to catalyse this cycle of involuntary pessimism, there is the factor of Time. That dark and sombre shadow that grows longer with the clocks rotation. From an early age your mind becomes ravaged with haunting questions: Have I worked enough? Have I eaten enough? Have I lived or loved enough? Time persistently taunts and goads you, ever present in the browning of the leaves and the ebbing of the tides. The questions become more melodramatic. What has life meant to me so far, and what can it mean to me in the time I have left? What have I contributed to this world and what is it’s worth? And with this you strive to somehow repay a self-inflicted debt, a promise to yourself and your own morality, that you will make your mark in life’s great ledger. Pass on some crude personal legacy for future generations.
But then, what can man accomplish that hasn’t been accomplished a million times before? What can he say that hasn’t been said better by countless others? You begin to fear death not only instinctually because you fear pain and the unknown, but also because you live in fear of regretting your living actions and your name becoming nothing but a scuff on a forgotten gravestone.
Every action generates both positive and negative outcomes, but it appears a mainstay of the human condition that we focus mainly on the repercussions of the negative, for it is these that scar the tissue of our conscience and memory the deepest.
But without darkness there is no light, without black, no white. Without death, life becomes hollow and meaningless. Without the negative, the positive would be redundant. Despondency is an ache we must endure and harness and utilize to our own advantage.
Within this fear of death and the insecurity of regret, and the mechanism of your very discontent, lies the foundation of man’s greatest curse and perhaps, conversely, his greatest glory.
Footage from the recent ‘Reveal’ show hosted by Guerilla Galleries at the Daniel Libeskind space in London. Featuring a cameo appearance by an embarrassed looking me. Thanks again to all involved.
Sketchbook extracts - New paintings based around contemporary tabloid journalism are in the works. Dailymail.co.uk: A world inhabited by grotesque deformities, hallucinatory couplings and carnality unhinged from its corporeal moorings.
'Notes' - Charcoal on Paper
'It appears that this chapter in your life is over. Three years have elapsed and things have changed rapidly. People have come and gone, places and situations already crumbling from the dusty recesses of your memory. It seems as if it was all a vivid lucid dream. It is all over and there is no arrow on the doorpost. No one to guide you or grab you by the lapels and drag you down quietly ominous avenues as you sweat profusely and scream in woeful silence. The city lumbers towards grey dawn, regardless of its heaving inhabitants. You pity them. They slog through their daily routines, returning again and again to the same people and places, like dogs to their own vomit. But you are one of them now. An anonymity in a faceless rushing crowd. You become content with this.
Your life has composition now. The weeks have established an unmistakeable air of purpose. You live to work and work to live. You hold down a job that you, by no means love, but withstand and respect as a means to an end. You’ll wake up at 8 and eat a breakfast of eggs and lukewarm coffee, smoke a cigarette on the way to the train station. You’ll save your money for the weekend so you can partake in drinking too much and occasional recreational drug use; the familiar leisure cycle of the middleclass post-graduate. This will be your life until you make the decision that it’s not. And that decision hangs in a state of flux in some dark purgatory in the back of your mind. It sits festering in your stomach like a lump of sour milk, but you ignore it. Instead, you concentrate on the immediate present; a rich tapestry of work and leisure. Of working 8 hour shifts and coming home to watch ‘Come Dine with Me’. Of submerging your weekends in booze. But this is your life. For now. And for now, life is good.’