Tuesday, 30 March 2010

back soon

The blog's been on hiatus the past few days on Yuck 'n Yum duties, but something approaching normal service will be resumed as of tomorrow.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Self-Portrait Day: My Brush with Fame

My contribution to the latest SPD on Dennis Cooper's blog is the third one down: LINK

That's me on the left of the photo, aged 7. I had my first shot at art glory when I was awarded a prize at Leeds City Art Gallery by the game show host Bob Holness. It was for my drawing of a Barry Flanagan sculpture (see below). At the time Holness presented a quiz called Blockbusters and he is also the subject of a classic urban myth: that he played the saxophone solo on Gerry Rafferty's Baker Street.

Thursday, 25 March 2010


The evening of Friday April 2nd will see a spectacular double-header of Dundee art happenings taking place. From 7pm to 9 it's the annual Generator Projects members' show, and then from 9pm at the Hannah Maclure centre we have the hotly-anticipated launch of the Yuck 'n Yum spring 2010 issue: LINK

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Fantasy Landscape

My submission for the 2010 Generator members' show, acrylic on board 2010.

Friday, 19 March 2010


The Yuck 'n Yum annexation of Twitter continues apace, with 53 followers now receiving up-to-date news about publication dates, launches, news and gossip. Why not sign up and stay informed about your favourite Scottish art zine: LINK

Thursday, 18 March 2010


The launch of the Yuck 'n Yum spring 2010 issue is imminent. Anyone making their own zine/publication who fancies a bit of distribution is urged to get in touch: LINK

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Alex Frost - The Connoisseurs @ DCA, The Skinny

My review of the DCA's Alex Frost show has appeared in The Skinny. As usual the star rating doesn't necessarily reflect the tone of the review, because I thought the show was really a stunner: LINK

Monday, 15 March 2010


Extract from Peter Sotos, Selfish, Little: The Annotated Lesley Ann Downey:

Bugs, filth. Braggart artists. The best I did was a fat hissing whale with a regular stoop somewhere. That sucked me off while he showed me computer KP anyone could get. He went to all the websites that you find easily enough but, at least, he kept them in his computer. Unlike me. I wouldn't even do that. I went about finding it. I became focused and dedicated. I wanted to see and cum on the photos that I had heard about. More than that, I wanted to see the children hurt. I wanted to see that damage and fear and have it be, for once, unequivocal. This was just after the details of the Dutroux case started leaking through. The fact that there were videos of those children being treated so deliberately turned my head around completely.
I never thought that such an unimportant few minutes could end up defining how I relate and use people. Sexually, especially. But I had learned that decades ago. A small private act created a searing contempt for people that didn't search out the very same truths you were barely enjoying. It also created a template on how to use these lowgrades. It's virtually impossible to say this without sounding as if you're vengeful. Or making a grandiose statement on everyone's hypocrisy but your own. It's so distasteful to have an ego so hideous that it would find this material satisfying. These days. You just needn't talk about it then.
I know what to expect. And I have to preface every next sentence with a quick summation of the perceived and irritating misunderstandings beforehand.
So much of this material isn't all that clear. You have to use your imagination. I think, personally, that it goes back to being badly struck by a photo in Violence In Our Time by Sandy Lesberg (Haddington House, NY, 1977). A boy was chained to a radiator in a basement and there was a badly done photo of it. Naked. Turns out that, given the era of the photograph, a news agency has actually asked the little tender victim to recreate the scene of the crime. I find that very compelling. And frustrating. Obviously. I don't know that I find it more depleting than most.
I want to see photos of crimes taking place specifically for the photos. But still. What I want, more than anything, is to see the clear drive to harm. Sexually. I want to see the children hurt and that hurt extended. I want the dynamic to be the recording. Not the document afterwards.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Alex Frost - The Connoisseurs @ DCA

On entering Alex Frost’s solo show at the DCA, the visitor is met with a mural covering the whole of one wall displaying the WiFi logo rendered in swimming-pool mosaic. For those without the luxury of a waterproof laptop, the artist provides a selection of handy cushions and a free internet connection, duly utilised by a pair of reclining assistants quietly surfing away on the opening night. Stuck to the wall is an array of knickknacks bought by the artist on an online shopping spree, aquatic odds and ends such as bits of driftwood and copies of starfish and coral. The paradox of an outsider art technique combined with the ideology of rampant consumerism is executed here with a flourish of dry absurdist wit. In the main gallery the lights are dimmed for the show’s title piece, a series of giant noses protruding from the floor, a commission originally made for the Glenfiddich distillery in Dufftown. These totemic snouts were first floated on water as a safeguard against fire, now serving to stand as symbols of refinement and, of course, high connoisseurship. Other works include a selection of trompe-l’oil bags of synthetic foodstuffs titled Young Adults (replacements & substitutes), monumental portraits also named The Connoisseurs made by seeping paint through perforated paper, and a series of still-life ‘blind drawings’ using temporary tattoos. These non-sequiturs all combine deadpan delivery with sophisticated technique, making for a smart, satisfying parade of contradictions.

Monday, 8 March 2010


Just a heads-up, the deadline for the the next issue of Yuck 'n Yum is in a week's time on March 15th. So submit something: LINK

Saturday, 6 March 2010


Extract from Mark Gluth, The Late Work of Margaret Kroftis:

Mira and I played video games and drank iced tea. Link was named Mirabeth. Her print was hanging next to the couch. She asked me what I was writing when she took the picture. I told her that I was writing a story, that it was set in the cul-de-sac in the woods. I told her I was writing a paragraph about one of the houses. That it was haunted and cursed.
That night it rained in sheets. Peter turned off the lights and we looked out the windows. The wind blew the leaves off the trees. One of them fell and just missed the house. We spent the next morning sawing and stacking it. The rain continued and the leaves clogged the storm drains. Children wearing boots stomped through puddles. Water sprayed as they rode their bikes. That night I dreamed I was in the house in my story. A murderer had killed a young girl in it. Her death had cast a spell that turned the house into a black hole. I was trapped. The next morning I went for a walk after I drank my coffee. The edges of the clouds were part of the sky. My face felt damp. Someone rode a motorcycle down the street. I pictured a barn on an empty road. Later I wrote, then rewrote, a paragraph in my story. It was my dream. The narrator was a witch. She had ideas about undoing the spell that trapped her. She used a pen knife to carve a circle into the wall. She climbed through it and floated in space. Everything was a ghost of something else. The halos around the stars looked like cellophane. The light that they showed bent and scaled past her. She closed her eyes. Silence coursed around her. Everything disappeared. The end.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Kill Your Value Judgements

My review of the DCA's recent Kill Your Timid Notion festival has appeared in the Skinny: LINK

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Dromos / Skinny review

My review of the Generator's Dromos show has appeared in The Skinny, and here it is: LINK