Category Archives: pop art

The Way I Tell ’em!

The Way You Do The Things You Do.

03.45hrs 28.3.2016

My (vast?) knowledge of ‘art’ became (apparently) irrelevant overnite becos they (purportedly) moved the goalposts when I must have had my eyes off the ball (or maybe the Jasper Johns/Pop Art target?) by their declaring ‘post’-Modernism’ which supposedly super ceded the Modernism & Classicism that I had studied and played a part of between 1968 and when the pMT (post-Modernis Tings) began (date unsure, a bit hazy and for me irrelevant).

SI littul buks

I don’t believe ‘post’-Modernism’, it’s a crap idea which seeped down from architecture into some folk’s view of art. Whatever it’s purported to be (a shift, a change, a re-direct) it isn’t because the history (of art) is a continuation. As part of the continuity we have learned that the media we can utilise is not just the old fields of oil paint, water colour, bronze and wood altho I have loved working in all of them. Nowadays it’s ok to use ANY material to create art and all sorts of differing environments. Latterly I learned that as I manipulate the words as words and image on my computer design package that’s just as relevant in making (my) art as was once my manipulation of oil with turps on a canvas.

So. My books are art and always have been. I used to feel an odd sensation when I looked at say a photo I had done or a presentation with masks and feel…t that they weren’t ‘proper’ art. My ‘pop’ art drawings/comix with Apulhedman were just as relevant as my oils of my wife. So, all my activities which I used to put into a number of pigeon holes have now become my ‘art’. They are all one. They manifest from my observation, imagination and skill.

They represent me. They re-present the ‘me’ what lives and breathes in ways and materials, some of which will outlive the entity I call ‘me’ by many centuries…

S I title an image
my 1980’s design for the cover.

The book I am working on or ‘compiling’ at present, The Shrewd Idiot (SI), has a LONG history. I left my teaching post in 1976 to format it from notes I had written, drawn and photo’d in various journals and sketchbooks since 1969. I had done my first self-published book, Apul-One (1975), from the same sources and SI was to be a more ‘normally’ spelt version of same. Its initial version was completed by 1978 and then I started sending it to publishers, two of whom (Wildwood House, then Calder), considered it for publication but eventually both dropped it. I have re-approached it several times in the intervening years and the newest version will have evidence of interventions from different times. It was never a ‘literary’ work. It was always a collection of some thoughts, observations, hopes, fears and images of one individual.

A1 bakover
Back cover of Apul-One, little has changed since.

Now the words I created years ago have become images. Most of the book is made up of images of the typescript typed up mostly by Jill (nee) Williams and boy was she tolerant of my stupid words. Drawings and other forms of image-making are a vital part of the book and that was the rub in the 70’s and 80’s when print was difficult concerning the placement of word & image in a book. Nowadays the two can sit well together and gone are the days when publishers considered it impure to set image and word together. In a way the world is ready for my arrangement of the material now but is it ready for the content? It matters not really cos am doing it anyway. But I am only going to make about 10 copies initially, mostly to give to some friends who moved thru the period it covers. The content will either fascinate or bore potential observers, I say observers cos it’s not (just) for readers in fact it may not be important to read it at all, I wish you wouldn’t cos it’s embarrassing in its revelations. It is not even state of the art in layout & presentation when you think of the beauty which David McKean brings to the page. I am deliberately not using digital layout packages, except for part of the book, becos am determined that Jill’s typing is the image of the main body of the words I wish to convey. There is a ‘story’ or ‘narrative’ which in fact continues thru all my life cos it’s uncompromisingly about the person that was me at the time (1969-1973). Altho in fact it’s like looking in a mirror cos the artist or writer sees themselves on the page as they see themselves in a mirror, unreally. (In my case somewhat unruly too) I can never see the me that you see, I only see the me that lives inside me and he hides a lot of his real self, even from me. In fact this book reveals some parts or thought of that self which maybe should be left in the archives but in the name of honest ‘journalism’ I include most of them even tho some are excruciating in their pomposity and vanity. In some ways it’s a personal writing plus images, in other ways it’s universal cos it is about one man’s efforts to come to terms with his world and find roads to explore with newly acquired abilities to add to what he brings with him to the time of the notes.

It’s all to do with The Way You Do The Things You Do, or as one old comedian used to say in a thick Oirisht drawl, “It’s the way ah tell ‘em”.

Here’s Jerry Garcia’s band doing the Temptations song The Way You Do The Things You Do.

It’s all to do with the way you do the things you do. He plays his guitar in this like Jimi did, and the Temptations were trying to emulate Jimi when they brought the guitar solo in.

just jimi sm
Oil I did of Jimi.

Jimi had a long history as a band man round America before he cut loose as a solo artis. He even cut some music with Arthur Lee’s band Love.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A11RUploW6g

Jimi and Janis Joplin died aged 27 only a few weeks apart. I watched a great documentary on Janis on Beeb 4 and it wer great the way she picked up influence from seeing the best like Otis Redding perform. She took his repeated word phrasing and made it hers. And how. How does a little lady from Port Arthur, Texas do that ting?! It’s to do with letting go into the…mystic, or whatever we call that energy level which seems unreachable to us mortals. https://www.nytimes.com/books/99/05/02/specials/joplin-obit.html

And ere’s a littul poym fer yor kerlecshun:

 

I’ve always bin abit diffrunt.

I was always out of the norm(-an-wisdom).

I meyd sure o dat

All wheys.

 

An now am sixty fibre

And I steal got no-wur man

Still at th’botham off the heath

Anni dinna care

 

No matta worri dun

Dint seam to werk

Always told me

That I wer a burke

 

Never not no gudenuf

To brake doon the gardenia

To redibrek the camel hea

Always keept on nokkin…anni cunt cum in

 

e e cummons came and wint

I surely did ma stint

I paved me clues

And I never tuched Dora

 

I wiz der runt

Of za litter azure

Like me ole whaka

Kennet Patcha

 

(hey thet rymed and thus not allured

D’y meen allowed?

No am never a loud

Man)

 

Ex hippie-pete, ‘It’s the way ah tell ‘em’.

 

This blog is ©pete kennedy 2016 (Nobody else would admit to creating the tripe on it any old how!)

Advertisements

Credit is due where credit’s due!

Fairness, loyalty & dedication are three characteristics which I admire. Below are some stories where folk have not been due credit for their shows of fairness, loyalty & dedication. One is my old friend KP who in my mind should have been new year’s honours listed for the part he played in keeping Macaronis going. Then the great footballer of my youth Jimmy McIlroy who gave his fairness, loyalty & dedication to the small town I was schooled in ‘up th’North’. Examples of men who gave all to a cause yet then the cause didn’t rightly honour them. This continues my beef about our not telling people we know how we admire them as a matter of course. It’s too risky we feel, we don’t like to commit. If you feel it inside, your head, your body etcetera, just let them know, “I appreciate you/this/what you done etc”. You’ll feel a buzz when you do it and they will know you feel good about their efforts.

ken perry when younger kp when younger

I had been preparing an obituary for my old friend KP. On approaching a national newspaper which he had read every day to run it they seemed very interested to do so but when they asked one of his line managers at the firm he spent all his working life at who told them he was ‘only an engineer’ and that his name on a patent was merely for ‘an aerial’ they said they no longer had time for him. That’s their decision and they must make them but I find it rather sad that the word of someone who he had probably had to tolerate throughout his working life had now even in his memory scotched a due memorial. I believe the paper got it wrong as they misread the signs although they have been given a bum steer.

However praise be to The Guardian who have published an online obituary  http://www.theguardian.com/education/2015/sep/03/ken-perry .It’s already had 105 ‘shares’ by 2pm friday. Bless.

I informed the paper that KP was very instrumental in developing Over The Horizon Radar (OTHR) and when they contact his ‘superior’ to gain an ‘expert witness’ statement the man said KP did not invent OTHR, that was done by the Americans & Russians in the 50’s, according to him, but I had never said KP ‘invented’ OTHR, just that with his input, knowledge and management some big advances were made and that he was instrumental in gaining a massive contract with the Australians to install the system in Jindalee. His managers (senior, sic) did not credit him during his work life although they kept him on for 7 years after he retired aged 65 and this ungracious chap seems to want to continue their lack of grace-full recognition. However, there are many at his company who say he saved it from earlier extinction with the Jindalee contract and it has been said that some of the 600 employees who were sent out to Australia, who by the way now say they invented OTHR, became considerably well moneyed. KP did not. http://www.dsto.defence.gov.au/innovation/jindalee-operational-radar-network

jimi maket2 sm

Jim McIlroy was brought over to Burnley as a youth in the 1950s and became possibly their greatest player of the modern era. I am certain George Best would have seen him play for Ireland in Belfast on some of the 55 times he represented his country and Best must have been influenced by Jimmy’s style of play.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_McIlroy Jimmy had affiliated with not just the football club but with the town of Burnley itself on his arrival. He never left the town even when sold down the river to Stoke in 1963 he continued living at Burnley and commuted to Stoke. Stoke was a strange place for a man courted by the big Italian and Spanish clubs (Barca) who refused the lure of big money for the meagre pittance at Burnley because he loved the drizzly cotton mill town so much, he still lives there now in his declining years.

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/down-memory-lane-mcilroy-still-the-prince-of-burnley-28499825.html

Nearly 50 years after he left in a bombshell revelation that the club had transferred him to a team in a lower division the club honoured him by naming a stand after him. I want them to further honour him by erecting a statue in his honour and I have created a maquette for one for them. (this image is in ‘my burnli’ folder mi pics)Jim remained totally faithful to the club despite Bob Lord’s despicable actions. Lord as far as I am concerned ruined Burnley F.C. when he turned the TV cameras away when Burnley were a top club in the early 1960s in the misguided belief that TV would keep fans away from the ground, in fact quite the opposite was true. http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/11545047.Clarets_legend_Jimmy_McIlroy_is_the_toast_of_Burnley/?ref=mr

I am pleased to say someone high up in BFC has emailed me and asked me to send some photos and other details about my proposed sculpture to him. He added that they have already named a stand after Jimmy Mac, but really, that’s only the cost of the paint job to sign-write his name on a stand that would have gone up already. Nearly every club in the top divisions has had one, two or more scuptures erected to past heroes. Arguably there are few players bigger than Jimmy at Burnley, except maybe Tommy Boyle in the 1921 team which went the longest run at top division level of games without defeat, a record which stood over 80 years until Arsene’s Invincibles!

on a sadder note when I contacted ‘Clarets Mad’ to see if I may muster some support for the idea they got back and told me there’s at least 30 players who deserve some form of commemoration. So, I guess I should shut ma trap whilst I still can. Maybe I should make ma sculpture of my hero in my back garden, like the one of my dad who ran football teams and gave the cricket league a cup when we couldn’t afford cheese to go in our bread! Good old Big Jack Taff.

taf side view

Maybe because the program was an advert for the forthcoming Tate Pop Art show Sooke didn’t mention R B Kitaj, one of my top 10 artists of the 20th century whose skills far outweighed those of his more famous younger contemporary Hockney whom he influenced a great deal. http://biography.yourdictionary.com/david-hockney

“It is a widely held belief among those in the art world that…Jacob Kramer in Leeds viewing an Alan Davie exhibition in Wakefield in 1958 pushed Hockney towards the type of work that is considered avant-garde. Alan Davie went on to hold a considerable influence over Hockney dramatically represented by a series of ‘abstract expressionist’ canvases that Hockney produced during his first year at the Royal College of the Arts. That year, 1959, another individual that held considerable influence over the work produced by Hockney was American artist R. B. Kitaj. Kitaj’s work was of commonplace scenes as well as contemporary people and events. While Kitaj’s work discreetly affected the British Pop Art movement, it profoundly affected Hockney. Hockney’s keen awareness of the times around him is directly attributed, in many critics’ opinions, to Kitaj.” Encyclopedia World Boigraphy.

http://032c.com/2013/r-b-kitaj-and-david-hockney-collage-of-a-lifelong-friendship/  “Ron was a great influence on me, far more than anything else; not just stylistically – he was a great influence stylistically on a lot of people, and certainly on me – but in his seriousness too.” Hockney in 032c Issue #24 — Summer 2013 Page 176 – 185.

Talking of deals Kitaj had quite a raw deal from the media, so much so that a war broke out between him and the press- http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2013/feb/10/rb-kitaj-obsessions-tate-war Nevertheless Kitaj kept a foothold in his adopted London until his death. http://www.jewishmuseum.org.uk/kitaj