Monday 19 December 2022


I always think that the idea that art is somehow precious is quite laughable. People treat art with far too much reverence. It's basically what has turned art into a commodity. Creating fictitious standards, competition in the art world and notions of good and bad art has played right into the hands of the money men. It's only art for goodness sake!

Everyone is an artist. You don't need a piece of paper to tell you that you are an artist. You don't need anyone's permission to be an artist. You just need to do it. The only values that art really have are the ones that the artist has in the joy of creating and to those that consider something to be art are the joy of viewing/experiencing a piece. These are the reasons why I hate the concept of NFTs and embrace AI picture generation. Art is in the eye of the beholder as Duchamp illustrated. Art is what you want it to be. All art is collage in one form or another. AI is just an automated way of creating collage. It's here to stay. I suggest you get over it and embrace it. Nobody will die from it. Lighten up folks.

Generated by Dall·E using: Is AI art and what really is art?

Friday 16 December 2022

All hail the Christmas tortoise

When the festivities begin do you ever think about the Christmas tortoise?

This time last year we were in France. In total we spent 87 days there, which is just inside the 90 day maximum restriction that the fucking idiot Brexit voters imposed upon us. We were there from early December 2021 until the end of February 2022 and we had a great time. We spent the first 6 weeks in a place called Lézignan-Corbières, a commune in the Aude department in the Occitanie region in southern France. We really liked Lézignan-Corbières, it’s small but has most things you need. It’s bigger than a village but smaller than a town. Even though it’s not that big it definitely punches above its weight. They also like to celebrate Christmas, and thankfully these things don’t start as ridiculously early as they do in the UK. The high street had a Christmas market which came alive in the evening. A tannoy system in the centre played Christmas flavoured songs. Sitting out on a cold winter's evening, wrapped up warm, drinking Alsatian beer and eating a pretzel was a very enjoyable experience. The town was lit up with lights and there were extra illuminated Christmassy things in front of the Marie. Behind the high street was a park which had been decorated with lights in the trees and bushes along with various festive models and structures to form a Village de Noel. In amongst the Father Christmases, reindeer, penguins, igloos, slays and snowmen was an illuminated giant tortoise. The Christmas tortoise? How have I got to my late sixties without knowing about the Christmas tortoise? What is the meaning of the Christmas tortoise? Does anyone care?

We don’t really celebrate Christmas, but for me, knowing about the Christmas tortoise has enriched my life, and it will always have a special place in my heart. Seasons greetings all, however you spend your time.

Friday 9 December 2022

Did somebody say... ...Just Stop Oil?

I support the Just Stop Oil campaign. Their cause is a just one. They are protesting for the good of humankind.

“Oil is causing the climate and cost of living crisis, making us poorer and destroying everything we love.”

We do need to end our dependence on fossil fuels, and fast!

As an artist I also don't have a problem with the just stop oil protests directed at galleries. Stop treating old art like it's something precious. All art is ephemeral. Don't blame the protesters, the problem lies with those that have turned art into a commodity. Capitalists, and governments that serve them. Who's going to look at art when the last human dies because we've destroyed our environment? Priorities. The human race needs to get its priorities right!

Monday 5 December 2022

Jesus on a unicycle

 As a digital artist I’ve embraced technology where I’ve seen value in it and dismissed it where I can’t. I think some of you will be aware of my contempt and dismissal of the Emperor’s New Clothes that are NFTs. I've also been avoiding AI* in the main because I couldn't quite see how useful it might be. I do have one picture that I created a while back that includes some AI, thanks to my Twitter friend Trundle, but I've never really been tempted to take it any further. Then the other day I read an article in the Guardian about how artists are using AI to create art and I thought, perhaps now the time is right to delve a bit deeper.

My attitude to AI can be summed up as this: You know how natural fabrics breath and synthetics don't. Well the same applies to art and AI. As far as I'm concerned AI will never take the place of humans totally. At best AI is a Bri-Nylon shirt that can only be improved by the addition of human creativity. Add that creativity and you could have the art equivalent of a polyester cotton shirt. It will always need human input. But one thing that is certain is that it's the perfect Dadaist tool.

I've created an account with Dall.E 2, which is some online software that creates pictures based on written instructions that you give it. I plan to use some AI generated pictures in my art where appropriate. I’m still working on a piece that uses the first few images I created with this particular software, but below is an image totally created in AI. As you can see it has limitations. Artists really do not have anything to fear from it. Well certainly not at the moment.

The instruction that I gave it were: “Jesus with a middle eastern complexion riding a unicycle in a supermarket. Father Christmas is being crucified in the background.” This text was inspired by a conversation I had on Twitter with Groggy and Neill where it was suggested that perhaps I create a picture with Jesus on a unicycle. I thought it would be interesting to use AI to generate such a picture. As you can see from the picture, it’s not very good at following orders, and it doesn’t know what a unicycle is. Oh well, early days.

created using Dall·E 2

*AI = Artificial Intelligence. Software that is designed to learn and grow its knowledge derived from the tasks it is asked to perform.

Sunday 27 November 2022

Migration is a human right

Humans like other animals have always migrated. Countries are meaningless. They are artifice. Countries exist to oppress. They help the rich and powerful to maintain the status quo.

Having said that, I fully accept the need for a collective to organise themselves to provide Maslow’s principles for one and all, within that collective. But collectives and their location should always have a degree of fluidity. Nothing is set in stone.

Borders are a nonsense; 'Controlling borders' is never going to be truly successful, and in the future it will just become impossible. Because of the climate catastrophe that we have helped to create, environmentally and economically, people will find it intolerable to stay where they are in some parts of the world. Mass migration will be the result of centuries of imperialism. Centuries of ‘the west’ exploiting and oppressing others around the world and plundering natural resources. We should welcome migrants, try to improve the world and tax the rich out of existence. We can provide for all, we just have to eradicate hate.

One world. One love.

Thursday 24 November 2022

RIP Wilko Johnson

 I was very sad to learn yesterday that Wilko Johnson had died. He was truly a one-off. There was nobody else like him. He was a great songwriter and a truly mesmerising performer. It's a great shame.

Sunday 1 May 2022

Mayday, Mayday

 After the revolution we will obviously celebrate May Day properly. A celebration for the proletariat. There will also be anthems. Music has to be a key part of the new republic. The obvious anthem is L'Internationale:


But I think I can suggest a better one. There's a radical song from the sixties that was way ahead of its time and sung by the peoples' performer and heartthrob to many a mother and granny, Matt Monro - We`re Gonna Change The World. Give it a listen, it'll change your world.

Tuesday 26 April 2022

English Fuckism

The arrogance and brutal cruelty of the English ruling classes along with the stupidity of the English working classes make for a very dysfunctional, xenophobic and inward looking country.

English history is littered with cruelty to its people and even worse to those in other countries. All empires are evil and the British Empire* was no exception, reeking havoc wherever it went. Unfortunately the way that our history is taught and reported is always with a pro establishment stance. They feed just enough patriotic, gold-plated horse shit to the plebs to keep them feeling great about themselves, whilst behind their backs they are robbing them blind and shitting on them from a great height.

England is shit and it mostly always has been shit and it wont change until the sheeple wake up. Meanwhile the elite practice what can only be regarded as English Fuckism, a unique form of fascism peculiar to these lands. A philosophy which basically offers a great big fuck you to anyone in the world that isn't part of the English ruling classes.

As George Orwell said, "He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.". This has enabled the ruling classes to feed the people with enough propaganda so that, again as George puts it, "The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them." Mission accomplished.

Until we eradicate the old order and their English Fuckism we will never be able to take back control or level up. We will just continue down the path of serfdom enabled by divide and conquer bigotry.   

*I realise that I've flipped between British and English. It was intentional. The English ruling class controlled the empire. Any other way of looking at it is just pretence.

Saturday 23 April 2022

St George - Middle Eastern warrior

St George wouldn’t have known who the English were, basically because as such they didn’t exist. He may have vaguely heard of a distant, cold and wet land called Provincia Britannia, a godforsaken part of the Roman empire, with its barbarian natives, but that would be all.

He certainly wouldn’t have known of the ‘flag of St George’ as that was an invention by the Italians in mediaeval times.

He was born in the Middle East, most likely Turkey, was in the Roman army and is included in some Muslim texts as a prophetic figure. He has absolutely nothing to do with England, nor does his flag.

If you want to read more about him you will find this very useful.

It’s ironic that George is associated with much of what flag-shaggers would hate, but given that most of them are going to be illiterate knuckle draggers, they will never have bothered to find out. Ah, the blissful ignorance of the bigot.

I might add that I don't subscribe to the concept of saints, patron or otherwise. It's all part of the superstitious nonsense that religion is. I just like debunking the myths. There really is no such thing as the English (or British come to that). No, you shut up!

Saturday 26 March 2022

Wrong conclusions can be jumped to

Where possible I try never to explain a piece of my art. It is up to the viewer to take from it what they want to take from it. If it makes them think then that pleases me. If not, if perhaps it just reinforces their own prejudices, then so be it. You can argue or stimulate those with closed minds.

My art comes in two types. The first is where I wish to convey a message or an idea that I believe in and the other is about illustrating a thought or phrase that pops into my head in a serendipitous way that I’ve seemingly not controlled. I may not even agree with the notion I am conveying; sometimes an artist just needs to agitate. Think of it as the equivalent of giving someone a good shake.

The job of the artist should be about amusing and getting people to think. Without thinking we are lost.

Thursday 3 February 2022

Liberty starts in the mind

Black and white thinking is one of the greatest dangers to society. It’s why the UK is in the mess that it is. Unfortunately it is due to having too many lazy and ignorant people in the population. People who expect easy answers because anything too difficult or abstract proves impossible for them to digest and comprehend. But, as I’m very fond of saying, nothing is ever black and white. What’s to be done about it? I’m not totally sure. Somehow we need to educate people. And when I say educate I mean help them to be able to think critically and in abstract ways. Education is not about filling peoples’ heads with assorted ‘facts’. Education should be about setting people free. I doubt I’ll live to see an educated populace. I’m not sure it will ever happen. I’m not sure people want to be set free. 

 Liberty starts in the mind.