Watch fer the positives even in the negative

If you take a photo (B&W) you won’t get the image unless there’s a series of darks, say, the negative side of the image as against the light sides (whites & greys maybe). And there wouldn’t be an image at all when I started shooting photos with my Brownie 127 in 1961 without the negative. So we have to have negative (or darks) in life to see the whole picture. The yin and the yan. The rough with the smooth etc. don’t we.

We are such shallow creatures, well I am. I have noticed in some recent conversations there is often positive but cos am so upset by what I deem to be negative I don’t ‘hear’ the positives.

So, in the surgery the woman told me, he’s in every alternate Thursday or Friday…butti dint ear er. Cos he wernt thur the day I wanted to see him.

In the rejection email cos they dint want me on site the girl said, I’d like to have you in to help set this up, but I couldn’t see that bit cos she said I wern’t a chosen one.

In a recent blArt I talked abArt how things are rarely totally original and how artists often ‘borrow’ or appropriate or steal form the work of udders. To that list I tink we can add the word ‘reiterate’.

In a recent debrief (of sorts) someone, no names no pack drill but we can call him Phil-lip E Stein* FP Institution Stalewart VII) [*cf leader & ‘company’s man’ in the film Avatar, Colonel Miles Quaritch, the head of the mining operation’s security detail who was fiercely loyal to his military code, he has a profound disregard for Pandora’s inhabitants that is evident in both his actions and his language.’] said that  I ‘re-iterated’ some ‘wise men’, I think he meant I copied or appropriated without aknolige-meant, where I dint. But non d less, in fact by default he must have been saying what I wrote was wise because it was, in fact, mine own not a rip-off. Some people’s modus operandi is positively negative, they can’t help it, they may tink it’s clever to knock folk down with a feather^. [This sign ^ signifies a ‘reiteration’, I tink. It is a sign of acknowledgement that I have lifted an idea from someone like Salinger and Reg Dwight.]

Herr Stein (anglicised that becomes Stain from now on. Notice stain can be a blot- on the landscape, gerrit? Herr Blott, or Reich Herr Bert. A Herbert right? Gorrit?) once saw my Kokopelli necklace

my Hopi necklace

and aksed if I were a hippy? No, am a Hopi* Prankster! [*Hopi people are indigenous to Arizona, known as the people of peace, have genetic roots to the Mongol peoples and a strong affinity to Tibetans. Their jewellery is uncannily similar using coral and turquoise. They see Kokopelli as a flute playing prankster spirit. Kesey’s Merry Pranksters are written about in Tom Wolfe’s Electric Kool Aid Acid Test, like some indigenous peoples they got into hallucinatory drugs and literally tripped acrosst the USA from west to east and back.] P E Stain FP ISS did it by the book but he didn’t understand the book so he rote his own. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but nobody should use their powers to do damage to others, some do. Josh Ben Gennasareth  said to forgive them for they know not what they do. They tink they know but their knowledge is limited. So Phil thought the wearing of an ‘indian’ necklace was a hippie ting, with a consequent insinuation that to be a hippie is a bit ‘out there’ ie not acceptable amongst good company. This represented his point of view, ‘A round hole needs a round thing to go in’ or ‘You can’t fit a square peg into a round hole’. But isn’t that what we are always trying to do, we artists? Think outside the boxes. Come at it from a different angle. And all that jazz.

I must apologise to my reader (there is but one, you) for keep returning to my dark nemesis Herr Steinstainburgher of Calais^ (see Rodin), but he keeps haunting my every daydream and my mares of the nicht. Despite all of the lovely remarks I get, all the constructive observations, my mind peeps back to the one negative crit. Do we all do that? I think so, especially when the criticism is unfounded or unfair or not founded in fact.

And without criticism, without negativity, I would have less to kick against. No axe to grind. I would just do what I do and not question its quality. Thanks to his negativity I am constantly looking over my shoulder to see if another critic is coming up from behind. The good thing there is that it keeps me on my toes. Like Kokopelli I tiptoe out into the fields of rye^ and on a good day run so fast I start to …fly,,,high as a kite by dawn^…just like those indigenous ones. And if Herr Stein cared to look at all the notes he would have found that I did too acknorreledge all the mystics six in G Batch and if he lingeringly looked a little longer he would have found finesse there too, right there in the stares^ (well this is not a direct reiterate, but the mouse was on the stairs, right there^). But it wer Herr Stein stomping with clogs on which he may have reiterated from a Dutch man named Van Cough.

There is a need for observers with constructive critique. Sadly many critics mis-interpret  the word to mean (and I mean mean) to criticise, it does not mean that at all. Similarly, an apologia is NOT an apology! I am always impressed by the constructive observer-critic like Robert Hughes, Alastair Sooke & Ray Rushton. The first lambasted the dirty deeds of the USA ‘art-market’. The second pointed out that women were ignored in the art of the sixties and since despite having been in there doing important stuff. Take a long look at:

And the third wrote really positive tings abart my werk for the Essex County standard in October 1993 like, “Kennedy mostly uses his plethora of open line either as a wiry composition in its own right, or more often, to knit together patches of colour as in the large painting of Topolski.” All three of these had a sound knowledge base, were confident and confortable (that’s francais) in their own skins. Sooke informed me Marisol is a woman! I had not known that, I assumed she wer a mystery man, shows how much I nose. He also introduced me to Rosalyn Drexler in his ‘Pop Go The Women’ should have been ‘Pop Went The Women’. As a result of his revelations of the omissions and discard-issions I offisherly abandon all efforts to gain entry into the Ice castles of art(s). I give up…not ‘making art’, no. this is my art or pArt of it. No, I shall continue making my art ‘til the day I die. But am not ‘attempting’ any longer I’m just ‘being’, me. No pretentions, no submissions, no entries, no mores, just me. I am 63 be blowed I don’t need ‘them’. One of the concerns is that without being in the ‘fold’ or the ‘canon’ you can’t survive. Well, I am still alive and the folded canon is much diminished by my absence,  with its lack of my presence. There is a lovely book called, ‘Presence. A text for Marisol.’ By Robert Creeley  who did not actually write it ‘on’ Marisol, he’s not a tattoo artis, is he? I had glanced thru it before Sooke and I could not equate with Marisol. I saw ‘his’ work as strangely skewed for a man of mystery about whom I knew so little and could find out less. Now I found her to be a woman suddenly it makes more sense. And of course she puts effigies of hersen in her work which now for me ismore acceptable. Doing a woman image by a woman seems a little less intrusive, less voyeuristic. More importantly it was a critic what opened my eyes to her, at llast. Sooke also blew another myth right out into Lucy in the sky wid diamontes^ with the revelation (to me, to you to me^ thanks tommy) that Pitta Slate dint do that cover after all only just a bit of it. In fact the best bits were designed by a woman called Jann Haworth. it wer she what did all those flower plants and dummy soft sculptures. Pitte slate only did the rather simple collage of lots of heads cut out of magazines, and the use of cut-outs wer not his invenshun, others afore he had dunnit betterer, like maxt Ernst and Ed Paolozzi who reiterated Ernst etc. The biggest crime was perpetrated by the ‘art/media-world wat says repeatedly thet the cover wer dun bi a bloke. and never mentions the bird. And Richard Hamilton’s work is rarely flagged up, or wasn’t, and he wer much more important in th’ pop artist vein and he also did a cover fer th’beatleblokes, the white-stick-it-inyer-family- album^. In fact one of the women, in fact more than one, actually drew and painted better than many or all o the men, as the documentary above shows. And there’s the poignant point Jann Haworth makes today, that apart from pre-dating Oldenburg with her soft sculptures she was told by paolozzi, ‘Why don’t you have them (the soft sculptures) made in bronze?’ wow, it just shows, we all get into that deeprut think. Her work did not NEED to be in bronze to make it any better, it was better, she wer ahead of the field. I did a bronze recently, i love bronze, but it’s so expensive if you can afford to have it made the public can’t necessarily afford to purchase it!’s_Lonely_Hearts_Club_Band

The ting is, the ‘art world’ batters out the same old song. I bin looking hard at art since 1967 when I first visited the Tate. Also in 67 there wer a massive retrospective of Matisse and today there’s another big Matisse show at tate Modern, I’ve lived thru 2 maybe 3 major Lichtenstein shows, or Warhola or Henry Moore etc shows. Yet so many others never get heard of. Trouble is hundreds maybe thousands go into art training, learning various skills to sometimes very high levels and some, like me, always ‘believe’ that with enough effort & dedication they can ‘make it’. Make it ? make what? Make it into the canon? Become ‘recognised’ as players etc? when really there’s next to no chance. Probably less chance of ‘success’ in the art world than if they (both male or female) tried to become premiership footballers. In other words, NO CHANCE. People like Hey-Man Burst, Tarquin Sermin and Makesome Hairy are truly freaks of an art-nature. The art world exhibits them like the Victorians shewed people with difference in fairground freak shows and the (still) gullible public flock (like sheeps) to she em.

For me the world of art is so much wider deeper and longer than them, or any udder latest flavour or favoured it. It guz bach even past the Venus of Willendorf. Human inventiveness & creativity is really what art is about and that is its worth. So, when I once ‘taught’ art I was really teaching alternative ways of looking at and approaching a challenge, ways of creating new solutions, different ways of tinking & looking and finding. Different ways to re-iterate old and new ideas. And this country, GB, has an incredibly rich history of nurturing creative talent acrosst the arts (& sciences look at Dyson, Richard Rogers & Norman Foster) in dance, art, literature, drama and music to name but five alive^.

kokopelli plays his flute, toot toot

Image of koko jumpa



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