Tag Archives: Anselm keifer

Peter D. Cowboy 

glasses & gun close up

Peter D. Cowboy  alias Rhody O’Dork odork sheriffsays he’ll be coming to BALTIC with me and, as you already know, when he says that there’s nought I can dae aboot it (that’s me Geordie heritage talking noo).

Am away frae ma compooter a few days after I post this, am on the trail as O’Dork puts it.

a beuys influence

Above is a bit from a buk on Keifer I bought last time I wer in BALTIC. (O’Dork bought a yeller plastic doll which he’s bringing to the show).I am an inbetweena. I do these performance ting and I create images, artefacs and buks. So I look forward to ma latest show, ‘How to explain Veus on the stairs to a live audience at the Baltic’ and keep an eye on my stall at the same time! Well I got this split personality and so we should be Alright Now by the Free.

Alright am ready, nearly.

madgrad earings an fleurs sm

Ps here’s ma girl getting her MA at Courtauld & St Clements this week. Proud Pete.

expecting on stairs at tate brit smtate

And. I saw this lady on the stairs at TATE same day, I feel a painting coming on, oh no, I did not aks her permission.

Keeping up with the Broons?

Keeping up with the Broons?

I hope youse all got down and di some yoga on the longest day as it wer internatural yogic day! I did. I did my first ever solo on me own alone astanga session and i nearly got into the balance position in a head stand, not quite, still work to be done, isn’t there always?

acrawl alonehere’s Apulhed doing yoga, getting down to do ‘child-pose’.

 In my past two blArts I went on abart Firstsite Gallery Colchester’s new beginnings under new appointee Anthony Robert’s leadership.  Am sure they’ll fare better in his hands but now I return to my own progress thru mi arts.

Before going any further I must say am living on ‘bonus-time’ when am 64. I attempted to ‘make it’ as a artisbloke between 1969 and 2015. I amn’t ‘trying’ to suck seed any more. If you don’t make yer fist million by the time yer 30…40…50…60, yer not going to mekkit, are yez? So am not making it but am still proud of my lifework which is by no means Opuscule. I been lucky too; Van Gogh, Watteau, Modigliani all died before they were 64, as did D H Lawrence.

A lot is happening in the second half of 2015. I shall be 65 in October and could just retire to ma garden, which is Hugh, but you know I won’t. Ting about my garden is I get down thur and I tink about say Lennon or some other rich bloke what ‘made it’ but they never had the time like I do just to pull up weeds in their garden or chat with a little robin.

robinbig & spider sm

The good ting about not ‘making it’ is my time is my own and I do what I choose to do for my ‘art’. There’s no expectations.

In just under 3 weeks time (soon!) I shall be at Artists’ Book Market at BALTIC where my major work, Venus Stairs, will be on display and I’ll be doing a ‘talk’ about it. I did offer it to some other galleries but BALTIC are the first to take up my offer. And they have been great in the run up. They’ve got a good venue in which to do the show, complete with AV facilities and the promise of back up for technical tings. Like James Brown did before me, I Feel Good. (but Ed Sulliman don’t look too good now do he?) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t08ejaQqWjY All I got to do now is; make the new book for that fair, work out my routine for my ‘intervention, practice it, hone it, get the powerpoint done…not much then, no pressure.

So this is the plan:

Pete Kennedy Performance 12 noon Saturday 11th July at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead:

venus on stairs working sketch
venus on stairs working sketch

‘Venus At The Stairs’

Using my painting Venus Stairs (inspiration taken from paintings by Marcel Duchamp, Nude Descending a Staircase and Oskar Schlemmer, Bauhaus Stairway), my Big Clay Pot and some accompanying books Artist I shall be presenting a performance including Luke E Walker and others’ music, my poetry/senryu* readings & little dances.

I shall read a number of my Kerouac influenced ‘Senryu-Pots’ or ‘Haiku-Nots’.

*“…whereas haiku deals with nature & seasonal reference senryu does neither, senryu is specifically about human nature & relationships.” (Regina Weinreich). Kerouac wrote what he called Beat Generation Pops, hence my ‘Senryu-Pots’ or ‘Haiku-Nots’. Those who come to it can aks more questions then.

I shall bring my Big Clay Pot, which contains six etchings & poems on scrolls. The Clay Pot, itself inspired by the Kabir poem of the same name, is very important because a set of 4 ‘books’ on my table and much else in my body of work arose from it.

a venus delux open sky blu + logo sm

I have created, especially for BALTIC, a book, called Venus Stairs (which gives insight into the process and influences in the making of the Big canvas version of my Venus Stairs image), that will be available at my table with lots more of my recent books and ephemera.

What’s keeping up with the Broons? Well, one of my greatest graphic influences and inspirations is that phenomenally gifted and hard-working artist Dudley Dexter Watkins http://www.comicvine.com/dudley-d-watkins/4040-55871/ . Such was his gift that he was given dispensation during world war 2 to stay in Dundee so that he could continue drawing comics for Thomsons where he created Desperate Dan, The Broons, Oor Wullie and Jimmy & His Magic Patch. The latter is up there with Hermann Hesse’s Journey to the east as my greatest inspiration. I could NEVER ever deign to say I was ever any where near as good as him, he was for me better than Frazetta, and Frank Hampson the creator of Dan Dare http://frankhampson.blogspot.co.uk/ . For me only Rick Griffin http://www.myraltis.co.uk/rickgriffin/bio.htm  who created the artwork for the Grateful Dead or George Herriman http://www.georgeherriman.com/biography.html   can touch his robe. Altho’ Robert Crumb who uses similar technique to Watkins is good and I love his Mr Natural. I mention Watkins & Crumb as drawing influencers in my book Venus Stairs because when I was stuck and couldn’t work out the composition I decided in a moment of inspiration to let loose and draw like they do/did. It released me and I eventually cracked it.

Then there will be the book fair at Hadleigh (Sat Nov 14th) at which I am hoping to reveal my new version of The Shrewd Idiot to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the launch of my first artist’s book, Apul One. All I got to do, after Baltic, is cut down 300 pages of type etc into a beautifully designed and layout-ed artisbuk. No pressure, but the robin may be squeaking to himself awhile.

In the ‘Fall’ my article about the influence of 4 German practitioners is going to be published in The Journal of Artist’s Books (JAB) Chicago, thanks to Brad Freeman for his interest and patience. Work I done throughout my life has always had its precursors and inspirers many of whom turned out to be German, funny that.  Don’t worry about my workload cos that article is ‘in the bag’ already.

keifa 8 balances 2 selves sm

Here’s one of my German influences what I drew at the RA, he’s holding ma drawings. I sent this to the RA but they sent it straight back to me saying they don’t look at unsolicited picture’.

Also, there’s going to be a new ‘illustration’ what I dun in Karen Dennison’s poetry&pictures call & reply book in autumn,The sequel to the Book of Sand pamphlet will be called Blueshift.

Then in 2016, wennam an OAP, am thinking of trying for an exhibition in Colchester Library to launch a artis-book am doing about my home town boys what went to fight in the Somme and most did not come back. The war to end all wars they said, just like they had said back in 1815 after Waterloo.

apulamahere’s Apulhed hoping beyond hope that one day we’ll all live in Peace.

Just off to get ma skates on.

My ‘Artist’s Books’ From Slack Space to BABE (11 & 12 April)

So what is an artist’s book? Or what is my artist’s book? In answering the former I can point to some beautiful examples of the form, well no it’s not a ‘form’ as form indicates rules to bind you by, there isn’t a ‘form’ there is just the ‘difference’. The difference is such that  artist’s books are often difficult to file in a library. They often have no side panel recognizing ‘title’. They rarely have isbn’s or all the detail about who published it and the artists’ rights. AND THEY CAN BE UNIQUE IN THE COMBINATION OF MATERIALS THEY JUXTAPOSE. So in Slack Space this week there are artists like Chris Rushton

chris rushton sm

and Miranda Campbell (& Others) who stretch the ‘form’. Chris’s work exquisitely combines her dyed textural papers and folds and tears and cuts into forms.

slac 020

Miranda makes leather bound books but also creates these wonderful things with cracked logs, feathers and curled paper with words on which would look odd on a library shelf. Anselm Kiefer makes unique books in which he uses plasterboard or lead or paper or photos as his base and then he sticks them in acid and throws mud on them and buries them and all sorts of stuff as he approaches each book as an individual work much as he does his ‘paintings’ (he’s not at slack!).

keif bukbird merged

I find his work inspiring with its freedoms and its ignoring of norms and mores (moreys? Morays… moray eels are like his books scarey). But I guess one day when I have shed the fetters of the ‘books’ I have in the pipeline I shall follow his example and make more one-offs and make em big and make em so cumbersome they can’t leave my garden where I’ll mekem wid loads of rubbish and muck and I’ll burn em and kick em and all that cos I once did karate so I can kick like a gud en. I joke but am not joking. I love it when I see the craft in book artists like Kate Bufton at Book Transformations https://twitter.com/BuftonKate and  Fiona Dempster at Paper Ponderings http://paperponderings.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/purely-pencils-part-ii.html both of whom produce voluminously but there’s a sense of control and craft there which altho I admire I wish to break free https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEKVLjXO2Fk I’ve fallen in love with difference, in fact I’ve always loved her. My work is different. At present I am not cutting and folding and binding with dexterity but I am writing about my heroes, what I call mystics; artists, poets, thinkers and Joseph Beuys the shaman. And that leads me to my ‘performances’ which are part of my books. In fact I can cut the strut, fold my limps and unbind my-self thru the dance I do at my ‘talk’ or ‘reading’. And what are books for if not to be read, or scanned. In fact at the first (Slack) reading from my collaborative work with David Jury which is on display at Slack I realised something wonderful. His prints are stupendous and my words are whatever you decide they are

ves 6 sm

but when I put them into an amalgamated form where I could read them as one piece the possibilities are enormous. There’s no video of me doing that yet, so you’d have to invite me to your place if you want to see it for yourself. Last year or was it 2013 I did an article in which I promoted the idea that a pot with writing on was a book cover

the book of gnolidge
the book of gnolidge

and the scrolls around it or dropped in it were the pages. Now am saying my reading is part of my book. Beat that Anselm!

I am not taking the pot to BABE but you should see it on the powerpoint projection in the entrance to the Arnolfini. I am really looking forward to meeting you all at BABE.

 http://www.arnolfini.org.uk/whatson/babe-2015-bristol-artists-book-event

I shall be the last one of BABE’s ‘Performances and Readings’ (Meeting Room, Arnolfini) on the second day, Sunday 12th April

cast in arranged order:

 2pm Judy Kravis of Road Books

2.30pm Graeme Hobbs, Colva Books – Hill Pond. The pieces I wrote were instead of photographs – written photographs.

3pm, Field Study International – Emanation action.

3.30pm Nancy Campbell and Donna Williams – Poems in BSL and English about language learning and extinction.

cover of six mystics intro
cover of six mystics intro

4pm Pete Kennedy ‘readings’ – Inspired by Kabir’s poem ‘Inside This Clay Jug’ (transformed from Rabindranath Tagore’s translation by Robert Bly and recited by Pete) Also, various renditions (with masks) from the original book on Six Mystics- G Batch (G…iorgi Ivanovitch Gurdzhiev. B…euys Joseph. A…ngeli Silesii. T…enzin Gyatso. C…arl Gustav Jung & H…ermann Hesse.), and Inside This Clay Jug and Inside This Great Jug.

Here’s Mercury going into the mystic with one of the most beautiful and touching moments ever recorded. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3RJLOyGVf0

Namaste

ps The featured  image at the top is of Paula MacGregor’s book in the show presently on at Slack Space.

Drawing on Rembrandt inspirations

I done a flurry of London visits & reported them in my last couple oblArts; Poetry Library (A Happy Man) & Keifer (Books of lead fly in the R.A). This week I saw the new Rembrandt show at National Gallery (which was the first London gallery I visited as a kid of 10 years in 1961 and I sent my dad away so I could just sit and look at the Leonardo cartoon fer an hour or so). Of course I love his self portraits but the best in show are the etchings, the way he works the surfaces of the different takes and the surprise that he printed them on Japanese paper which was being imported by the Dutch East India Co. in the 1600’s! despite her overt military history epitomised in their fascination with the sword there’s been ages of producing beautiful pots, paper & calligraphy there. For me Rimbrandt is unequalled in the fields of oil paint & etching. F H Haagensen was a great etcher who was probably inspired by Rembrand’s technique, as was most certainly Picasso. Funny how ‘great ‘ artists get access to collections of work that many of us never see. Auerbach  http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2014/aug/29/frank-auerbach-painters-painter-freud-tate-retrospective  and Lenkiewicz http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/Robert-Lenkiewicz-s-estate-settled-decade/story-17699462-detail/story.html in their separate ways took inspiration from the Dutch Master too and so did I, take a look at my Van von Maan painting below

van on sax oil sm

Van von Maan

 keifa hd

keifer

k c bloova

ken campbell

herman hd

josef herman

We live in an age where the ability to ‘draw’ is almost scorned (by some prevalent ‘successful’ artists and their agents) but it is deeply embedded in my psyche and I love drawing in the different ways I do. Over the years I’ve sat and drawn Keifer, Josef Herman, Steve Berkov, and others with Lord Bath, Feliks Topolski and Ken Campbell amongst my ‘sitters’. Oh and by the way, I do love rembrandt’s self portraits which put him up there as probably the best chronicler of the process of aging with their insight into his very soul, that goes without being said, burram saying it. And you know i do a fine line in self portraits misen th’ knows:

d’y mean pete kennedy?

best self portrait
this is ma best self portrait innit, catches the spirit widdin!

The skill was hard earned and am reluctant to desist. I shall draw til I die (drawing?) I draw cartoon like with my Apulhed-man, in surreal sketches with my Squidgerats. I draw inspiration too from the work in many media by those who have achieved before me. So I read folk like Philip K Dick, Vonnegut, Mervyn Peake & Brautigan in the hope that some of what I see may rub off on my outputs.

And it’s the same with poetry, although I write my ‘poems’ from a deep sense of apart-ness I don’t try to write ‘like’ anyone (else). But I am inspired by some. I write intuitively I write what comes and I don’t try to write in any grammatically ‘correc’ way. Interestingly when I wrote the ‘poems’ for Inside This Earthen Vessel they had little or no full stops nor commas. As I began the collaboration with david Jury some punctuation crept in but often I do not have it in my writing (like I do not adhere stricktly to ‘correct’ spellinks). Both of these avert-tions allow me to be free(er) and (more) inventive.

I am reading Beckett’s translation or transmutation of Apollinaire’s poem ‘Zone’. I don’t exactly agree with his changes, great writer tho he was, but I do note that Apollinaire has used no punctuation. A WRITER WRITES WORDS. So my punctuation in  Inside This Earthen Vessel is the gaps I left. I write this thought then I stop & drop to the next line. Often in poems they start each line with a capital. OK that’s fine, that’s OK, I can do that, but sometimes I refuse.wrtiting for me is to do with the jist, getting the gist, of things (tings) of ideas, notions, suggestions… my writing is not scientific like Wittgensteins is was etc.

For me writing is communication, getting what’s in my mind, spirit, soul, experience or view over to others. Some may say that I might communicate better if I spell by convention, punctuate & grammaticise my pieces. OK you’re entitled to your opinions and your conditionings. I am free of those constraints. And I hear you laugh or snigger and say ‘Yes, free of income, free of distribution through official channels, fields etc. But see this face, AM A BoVVad.

 

NEY*

(can’t he even spel nay reight?)

he neighs like a donkey

do they

neigh

nay not never

nay mare

nay

tha’s not ritten

an udda poym

lad

?

who fetched the cow?

nay not eye

norri

nor I

 Next weak am in Oxferd to see a bloke gie a tork abArt William Blake, now there’s a proper poet bloke man. And an etcher?

*I bought an lectric typewriter t’other day, I just decided that this will be the first poem I type using it. I thought I’d try my fingertips at tie pin sum concrete poyms. Just like what Henry Chopin and his lot did. Vache dis spaced oot.  https://apulhed.wordpress.com/2014/05/01/henri-chopin-and-others-who-got-forgot/

Anselm’s alchemy: Books of lead fly in the R.A.

keif bukbird merged

flying lead  books

If you glance upwards as you climb the stairs in the RA you’ll see books made of lead seeming to lift off under wings of lead. That, is, MAGIC! And it continues thru Keifer’s show in which he transforms lead into gold leaf, makes an horrific mantrap look like a spider.

 a trap

[editor’s note- Sorry, that’s the best I can do, I cannot find an image of the painting cos a little SS-Oberaufseherin, Miss ‘More then me job’s Worth’, came and stopped me taking photos and I cannot find it on the web. I detest the policy some galleries have, most in fact, of prohibiting photos, music & theatre do it too. It’s counter-productive. The more folk can see the stuff the more folk are invited to go see it ‘in the flesh’^ see foot o post.]

But she couldn’a prevent me from drawing the damned tings

a mantrap colord

L’Origine du monde, pencil sketch by PK after AK 19.11.14

  a Kiefer pyramid

 In ‘Sand from the Urns’ (from the net) he creates brick monuments from paint and sand on canvas which reminisce pyramidal monumental forms and pays tributes in them to Paul Celan* http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poet/paul-celan  & his lover,  Ingeborg Bachman http://marjorieperloff.com/reviews/songs-in-flight/ . [* never heard of either, so I still have a lot to learn].

for celan + a jug

For Paul Celan by AK, the picture in the exhibition is a bit better than my sketch but now I have added color it looks more like the real ting (not!). aks me if I care, I don’t like Keifer’s art, I love it! And you may notice I have snuck a jug in too.

Whereas van Gogh drew in ink, Auerbach draws in paint but Keifer does both AND he draws in lead, shellac, latex, wire, sunflower as he transforms form like a magician. His translations of what makes a book are astounding to me.

Now for some images what I took at the conversation he had last Thursday morning peppered with words from Imagine Keifer http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b04pzt6g/imagine-winter-2014-5-anselm-kiefer-remembering-the-future

 a scales

 The artists I admire most turn out to be ‘thinkers’ like Rauschenberg, Schwitters

keifa 11sm

and of course Keifer who said , ‘Nietzsche said, “You know the philosopher has to stand, we have to dance” The scale of (my work) is the product of the dance.’

 keifa 3sm

This image shows the scale of many of Keifer’s images.

 keifa 5 points sm

Look down there at what that bloke from Burnley (who Hamburg knocked out of the European competition at the quarter finals in the 60s ha ha) has done he’s made a pictorial pun of me balancing different selves, or is that shelves, or am I being a selfish fish?

He’s re-arranging realities, make him an Academicien like what I is.

 keifa 8 balances 2 selves + color sm

‘When you are an artist you know you have to connect things in a different way. This is what artists do, they create a new connection between things’.

{^ another ed’snote, not for you if yer not into football, the beautiful game- One massive example of prohibition going wildly counter to the intent of the prohibitor is my home town football club, Burnley and the reprehensible policy of the then chairman Bob Lord, who was also a big noise on the FA. He thought if he banned the TV cameras from Turf Moor more folk would visit the ground to see live matches on match days. He was wrong. At the time Burnley were one of the top two clubs with Spurs, a fact that remained the case for several years in the early 60’s Burnley were bigger than Man U and Liverpool then! Look what happened. TV cameras do the opposite to what Lord thought, they publicize a club and folk flock to see them. Burnley faded away after Lord, in another of his marvellous decisions, sold local hero Jimmy McIlroy, to lowly second division at that time Stoke. Burnley dropped to the foot of Division 4 and nearly shot out of the league altogether whilst close rivals Man U & The Bill Shankly Pool went on to be European Champs. So if & when you come to any of my shows etc bring yer cameras!}

Falling between two stools, who me? No way Hosey.

Before I begin (at the beginning) I must mention the wonderful BBC2 drama called a poet in NY, http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p01w6llk/a-poet-in-new-york it’s about Dylan (Zimmerman’s inspiration for his stage name)Thomas. It’s very very well done AND you got to watch the dance Essie Davis (Caitlan Thomas) does at 20 minutes in, wow, beautiful and uncannily similar to a dance my girl did when she was a child.

maddie dancin

 

She began to dance naturally and so unexpectedly to some music I was playing for a funeral for a friend (Christina Challis). I took several photos which I then turned into her portrait in my ‘master’ piece, Venus Stares.

a dancer

Took a long time for me to realise that my doing ‘paintings’ was me just merely following in the footsteps of giants but I must admit that since my early days of making art in the mid – late Sixties I never just wanted to idly ‘follow’. I did strike out early on and did portraits with difference. Like this one I did of my li’l sister back about 1968 whilst still in the 6th form.

young girl

my sister aged 14, now destroyed by mice.

Many of my portraits only used the sitter as an excuse to ‘paint’, to manipulate colour, shape and texture on a surface.  Recently I have found an idiom which can hold my idiosyncrasies, digital prints onto canvas. Which I can then leave alone or render, paint, collage, beat up, obliterate, destroy etc. the images which emerge are never meant to replicate the ‘real’ tings…my images are only triggers. For the mind, eyes, senses to take off. My future utube videos will give insight & inroads as well as being part of my art as my blArts are.

 

Do you know that I been held back/down by the weight (wait) of no expectations*? Or maybe, Not Expecting Much. Most everything I achieved was a surprise ( to so many, you? No, not you). * there is a Bruce McLean exhibition coming up at fistite gallery, Colchester in June.

Looking at his work you see a man who spat in the face of expectation, almost, “IF you’re not expecting me to do I can, I shall, I did- up yours.” Now, there is a lot of that in my work too but whereas Bruce got himself (determinedly) into a place where he was ‘expected’ to achieve certain levels (out of art colleges# etc) I did not.

# Art schools have been vetting stations for artists-to-be for years, I declined to go/avoided them determined to prove my worth by sheer hard work and my innate talents. By my old friend Percy V. Rance. Rancid may be a better name? It doesn’t work. Sadly after 45 yearns making art I remain Anon., arsk me if am bovvad? Well actually I Yam cos, like me ole mate Van Coff, I’m skint. But my brother won’t send me no cash (he’s Scottish true & thru by the way, as am I and am mean as mean can be). Galleries dealers market all missed a trick by ignoring me BUT they keep an age old trick up their sleezy sleeves, they get you when you die. Sadly for them I ain’t fixing to die anytime soon, so everybody loses. Except you that is you can select anything to purchase from my first 45 years output if yer quick enough.

And with expectation comes a certain belief or disbelief. ‘I can’t believe he’s done that,’ or ‘I thought, if anyone would do that , he would.’ Followed by sales, accolades, recognition. In my case these tings didn’t follow cos the expectations weren’t there. Therefore no sales etc. most everyone in the establisherment (and that includes art colleges) would not ‘see’ I did it. Consequently, like Van Cough, I never sold a sausage. In fact am tinking of starting a new publicity campaign in Germany, home of some of my art heroes like Dieter Rot, Jo Beuys and Anselm keifer. Maybe there they’ll get my achievements, my originality, my contexts. Like. My ‘Books Called Enbuk, In A Plastic Box’ (after D. Roth). And my ‘Rubbish Art’ like ‘Bedpetes’. Some people see my art as opuscule, but some (you?) love it.

stool puns

my play on stools pun

Let me explain my use of stools.

Both  Dieter Rot & Richard Hamiltoe used stools in their works. So did van Gogh. So did Beuys with fat on. And Gerhard Richter

http://www.gerhard-richter.com/art/search/detail.php?5617 did a skit on his one time tutor Beuy’s fat chair.

Hamilton said of the adverts which triggered his visual pun on toilet matters, ‘Some adverts make me wax quite poetical. None more than the series by Andrex showing two young ladies in the woods. His ‘poetic visual puns manifested in several photo/paintings of women crouching; ‘Girl with Skirts up’, ‘Girl with Trousers Down’ and ‘Girl with Tights Down’. He’s dealing with a number of ideas/issues here like the way Andrex used the notion of heavenly bliss in dreamy landscapes set in forest glades to advertise toilet roll. And the fact that even the queen uses the toilet daily, queen of the slipstream, yes i know. And Rot used the turd in his work in many forms, from number twos themselves to rabbits made from cow claps (?).

http://www.dieter-roth academy.de/Essays/das_weinen_das_wahnen4.pdf see also http://www.frieze.com/issue/article/this_mortal_coil/

.I suppose we could call their contributions The Turd Reught, or A Herd of Turd, or The Art of Turds?