In the last few weeks there have been some dramatic world events. I refer of course, to when Charlie Sheen went a bit crazy and when Rebecaa Black taught us where in the week Friday features (before Saturday).
The videos went viral (metaphor I just came up with for things that are popular on the internet much like a disease or virus is popular). Discussion of them brought people together across social networking sites (these are sites which were recently invented as a substitute for water coolers after the 8 glasses of water a day myth was debunked).
However they also highlighted the terrible nature of the internet. That is, to rejoice in ridiculing others, be it for their troubled mental state, lack of talent, or love of double rainbows.
I watched the lackeys who quickly flocked to smile at Charlie and encourage him to go on tour rather then go to a psychiatrist or read my pitch for Hot Shots 3 (it’s basically a spoof of Dancer In The Dark). Then I watched the Friday video and read about not only the creepy company who promise to make these children into stars but also the vile abuse that was launched at the 13 year old Rebecca Black purely for being so so so excited about Friday (which comes after Thursday).
I was horrified at how the world was so happy to use, spit up and chew these people, though possibly not in that order. It chilled me to the bone.
But then, just as I was rubbing some heat and life back into my bone, I suddenly noticed their giant Youtube hit count. And I realised that maybe I could use them and this mass awareness to help get more Newsart out into the world.
Surely if it was in the name of art it was ok to use mental illness and child expolitation? Even noble perhaps? Especially if it gave me increased google traffic?
So I set about making a beautiful artwork.
I bought these geese as a metaphor about the celebrities whose dignity and privacty has been sacrificed to satiate our incessant hunger for a rich, buttery pate of mindless, shallow and mocking entertainment.
I force fed the poor creatures to make their livers fat and juicy, a perfect metaphor for the lies, drugs and empty compliments that have been force fed to Sheen, Rebecca and countless other celebrities or celebrity wannabes.
Then I read that Charlie is now going on tour and Rebecca is working on a new song called LOL. So I chased the geese around the backyard, partly as a metaphor for the wild goose chase that Charlie and Rebecca are clearly on as they try to retain some control over their sudden infamy, but mostly because one of the geese had somehow got hold of my house keys.
Then I tried to make them give birth to some golden eggs as a metaphor for the dangers of seeking fame and wealth too soon and all at once, but they weren’t having it.
Finally I put video of myself chasing the geese around the backyard on YouTube (accompanied by amusing sound affects). I was hoping that it too would go viral as a circular metaphor for the fleeting and worthless nature of internet fame (and also so that I could direct the google traffic back to my newsart…maybe sell some t-shirts!!).
Unfortunately people found that the pairing of the title ‘Charlie Sheen’s Attempts To Retain Control and Dignity’ with footage of me chasing geese was ‘misleading’, ‘confusing’ and ‘so shit wtf lolz’. Soon the comments became too abusive and somehow turned into a debate about America’s involvement in Afghanistan until eventually I had to take the video down. Ironically I felt the opposite of LOL. Ironically.
The King’s Speech has won Best Film at the Oscars and so Black Swan has been a massive disappointment to me.
Obviously this is because, firstly, it somehow managed to be a dance movie WITHOUT the ballerina being taught to chill out her prissy ways (and maybe even find love?) through some after-school dance lessons from a hip hop dancer living on the wrong side of the tracks.
And secondly, because I bet on it to win, both at the bookmakers and in my artwork.
All my preparation to represent the Oscars had gone into rounding up these black and white swans. As a homage to Black Swan I was going to teach the swans be more passionate and brave, just like the molesty French guy did in Black Swan and with similar teaching methods (by just ordering the swans to forget about technique and instead masturbate a lot).
As time was precious I had to find a way that these swans could represent The King’s Speech instead. Luckily I realised that the English white swans, or ‘Mute’ Swans, could be used to represent King Colin and his stuttering ways.
Mute swans are called Mute because they are less vocal than other swans. Their poor voices have even led to the myth of a ‘swan song’, the Mute swan’s first and final beautiful song it sings just before dying. This has also been used to describe an actor’s final performance of their career, leading me to wonder if Colin Firth is planning a retirement announcement soon. But this would seem ridiculous given his sudden awards success!
The Mute Swan’s closest relatives are these Black Swan which are found in Australia. They have no speech problem and instead utter a far reaching bugle-like sound that is often mistaken for a feisty Antipodean speech therapist with no respect for monarchy or tradition.
I also found that Mute Swans are usually gentle but are very defensive of their nest, particularly from World War II Nazi threats. And amazingly, Mute Swans were given Royal Status in the 12th Century, almost as though the monarchs of old KNEW one of their descendants would one day be contesting a Swan Lake ballet film for the Best Oscar.
This would mean they also predicted the advent of cinema which is, quite frankly, astounding.
So now I had established the clear link between black and white swans and The King’s Speech, I set about training the Mute swans to become better public speakers, using all my Aussie charm and lack of respect for authority.
Unfortunately the swans were quite confused after my weeks of ballet training (that was so heavily focussed on my repeating in a French accent “go ‘ome and touch yourself”). They didn’t understand why we were switching from ballet to public speaking and refused to watch my recording of the Oscars to understand (they resented the furore over Ricky Gervais hosting the Globes so were very anti awards shows).
I realised I needed to regain the swans’ trust. I researched EVEN more, sometimes delving as far as the SECOND paragraph in several Wikipedia articles.
I discovered that when swans were given royal status, this made eating them an issue of getting permission from the Queen herself. It led to a practice known as ‘swan upping’. I tried to clarify what this involved but after already ordering the swans to masturbate heavily this sounded like too much to put them through.
After some time, however, I was finally beginning to feel progress.
Unfortunately I turned my back for just a couple of hours and immediately a hip hop dancer from the rough side of town snuck into our studio. He only did one sexy dance with the swans but it immediately taught them that not only can ballet and hip hop exist together but their combination can make you feel more alive then you ever have! And it makes the dance routine even more current/late 1990s!
I had completely lost the prissy swans to his urban charm.
It seems, unlike ballet and hip hop, the Oscars and swans do not mix. Just ask Bjork who had that one try to strangle her one year. Though she’s probably sick of swan ballet/hip hop questions.
This week the enormous sums being offered to football stars sparked outrage across the UK.
In these harsh, cold, dark, smelly, unattractive times with our failing economy and only one Royal Wedding to pin all our hopes and dreams on, the anger is not surprising.
Many Brits feel that these giant sums are unjustified to young men playing sport. Young men such as Andy Carroll who are then perceived to spend the money on extravagant nights out and court appearances for drunken behaviour.
I decided to show the world who we should really be appreciating and treating with respect and awe.
I collected a group of carers, charity fundraisers, lawyers who work pro bono (once I found out that this wasn’t a sexual thing) and doctors and nurses working for Medicins Sans Frontieres.
I then told them the great news; that through one of my generous art benefactors, I was able to reward them for being the real heroes in our world! Their salaries would now be the equivalent of Premier League footballers!!
Some of them would even be paid as much as £50,000 a week (the ones who were better football players got slightly more than the less skilled players because I still hadn’t figured out an alternative way to grade their pay).
Their joy at this news was wonderful. And yet, to my horror, I saw them quickly become used to the idea and begin to squander the cash immediately!
The ink on the cheques was barely dry (none of them had internet banking which was also a hassle I won’t go into now) when they began throwing their money around. Suddenly they were buying large houses (with adequate disabled facilities for the people they were caring for) or splurging on drugs (for the underfunded Medicins Sans Frontieres) or even settling court cases (for the pro boners)!
They were behaving just like the immature footballers we had all judged so harshly.
And it didn’t stop there. When two weeks later I gave them the news that the salaries I had bestowed on them was less of a real thing and more of an artistic idea of a salary, a metaphor if you will (please say you will), they became enraged!
I can’t even begin to describe the spoilt behaviour as they shouted and used foul, offensive language (eg. ‘this is the worst art I ever heard of’ and ‘no one cares what you think’)!
As a final act of appalling aggression, they trashed the sculpture I had made to represent this whole idea of removing the divide in professions. It was a beautiful, giant statue of a footballer groping a nurse and made out of beer cans.
This was a metaphor for the idea that no matter what our income or level of fame, we’re still actually all equals who can touch each other’s souls or, failing that, each others’ naughty bits on a drunken night out.
I called it ‘When souls touch/rub up against each other in the toilet queue because the queue for the womens was massive after one of the toilets started overflowing and then we got chatting’.
This is all that is left of my art, along with the lesson we have all learnt from this, that large sums of money change even the most noble of person or profession and make them act like jerks who don’t appreciate great art.
England and Australia are currently at a draw in the Ashes cricket series. This is about as far as my understanding/interest of cricket goes and I’ll be quite amazed if I got that fact right.
But as it still tis the season and the cricket seems important I thought I should make a Christmassy artwork about this event before the holidays arrive.
Due to a current overabundance of snow in London I thought I would do my bit for the country and gather up some of it into this snowman. I’ve used him to depict what I see as the English attitude to competitive sport.
In the UK they have this children’s Christmas movie they watch every year. I was recently introduced to it. The film is called The Snowman and it is incredibly boring, depressing and disturbing, all at once.
What I can remember from the bits I managed to stay awake for is the following…
A small child makes a snowman who comes to life. He (the child) then sneaks this adult (who has had no police background checks and refuses to even speak) into his house. He tries to stop him waking his parents, almost as though he instinctively knows his parents would be disturbed to find them alone together.
The snowman then abducts him from the home, takes him (on a motorbike!) to a party with other snowmen of unknown backgrounds and character. I then fell asleep but apparently Santa was at the party. Maybe some other things happen, though I doubt it.
They then return home and the boy wakes to find… that the snowman has melted to death!
It ends with the boy standing silently weeping over the corpse of his new friend. Credits roll. Merry Christmas!
The English find this tale of death and loss FESTIVE!
A story of a boy hanging out with a friend who has melted to death within a day of meeting is not happy. I think the English are the same about their sport.
They hope that they will have many days of victory and joy and happiness with their national sporting teams. They even let themselves begin to get excited occasionally.
But when they then fail everyone immediately says they expected it all along. They stand with their shoulders slumped in the snow, staring at yet another corpse that was once their dreams of victory, and they sigh and say ‘this is just how it has to be’.
They resign themselves to the philosophy that it was to be expected; the English team always loses and the snow man had to melt before too much fun could be had.
All that is missing from the usual English cricket match is a sorrowful choir boy singing ‘I’m walking in the air’ to accompany the team walking back into the changerooms.
Whereas while the English are watching this fun cartoon of death over the Christmas holiday, Australians watch the yearly Boxing Day cricket test. Hence we are less imaginative or musical in our cricket support during the festive season but at least we get straight to the point.
So this artwork is a snowman to represent The Snowman who represents England’s melted dreams of success in sport.
And my main point is, if the English win the Ashes then they’ll be happy for a bit but eventually they will go back to being depressed and standing in a cold puddle of dead hope and lost childhood. And also it’s just a game so let’s not get worked up about it and I don’t even watch it so who cares.
On the other hand, if Australia win then cricket is awesome, as are we and our non melty snowmen, and in your face England!
Anyway, Happy Christmas. I’m going to spend it surrounded by snow and making snowmen friends who I then play cricket against. Let’s see you grip a bat, melty! One nil Australia!
*Oh, I forgot, the most annoying part of the Snowman is there is NO talking throughout. It is all to music. How long do they think a child’s/my attention span is?!
Oh and also the cartoon is unrealstic because even a magical motorbike-riding snowman would be unable to get around amidst the transport chaos Britain is swamped in at the first signs of snow. For shame Snowman!
Because it tis the season, I’ve decided to do Christmas themed art for the news.
Just like Santa, the pre-election Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg promised us all manner of treats if we were good; a vote for free higher education, the scrapping of Trident and… a wooden sword for Timmy (I haven’t refreshed my memory on the Lib Dem policies for a while).
Today, however, he and his party have helped the Conservatives vote to dramatically increase university tuition fees. This has resulted in outraged protests around the UK for several weeks.
Nick Clegg lied to us just like our parents did about Santa.
Santa was a beautiful lie and so was the belief that a vote for the Lib Dems was a direct vote for their policies.
Hence I had no choice but to take this effigy of Santa Claus down to the protests in London today and set fire to it. This clearly demonstrated voter anger over the Liberal Democrat betrayal.
Surprisingly the nearby students were really upset by this. Some of them even screamed but I discovered this was because I had set fire to the Santa right where a man dressed as Santa has been collecting money for charity just seconds before.
However once I explained that the effigy engulfed in roaring flames was not that Santa, or the real Santa, and furthermore that Santa was not real, they continued to be upset and seemingly confused?! And some of these were even mature age students, old enough to be parents (I’m assuming the small children standing there belonged to them) yet they seemed too immature to understand the political comparisons as I shouted ‘Santa is burning to death along with his lies!’.
It made me wonder if these university students understand what they are protesting at all.
To try to help matters I then drew crude images of the Easter Bunny being violated (as a metaphor for the violation of our innocent belief in the fairytale of a mutually beneficial Coalition that prioritises the wishes of the people and not the stronger party’s agenda and also brings you chocolate hopefully).
Unfortunately they wrestled the pornographic rabbit drawings off me and pushed me away before I could explain the analogy.
Now all I can do is hope that these aggressive students get lumps of coal instead of degrees in their graduation stockings! (wait… if Santa was fake why did I continue to get coal every Christmas?)
Prince William is to marry Kate Middleton. For two days the world has been excitedly discussing the ring he chose, upcoming royal memorabilia and whether they will scale down the wedding amidst these harsh economic times.
Firstly I want to point out that with all this talk about austerity and rings and so on, everyone keeps forgetting the simple, happy fairytale that is at the heart of this news.
I am referring, of course, to the joy that must be being felt by every single ‘official royal correspondent’ around England who FINALLY has a reason to be interviewed and asked for opinions again after years of a Royal News drought.
They must be as giddy as a bride on her wedding day as they stand by for interviews 24/7, pretending furiously that
a) They have any actual extra information to impart that normal reporters don’t already have
b) they have an important function in society and shouldn’t be euthanased now while the laws are still wishy washy.
But now, onto the news artwork.
I was disgusted at the angle that the business sector in London immediately took on how much money could be made out of this. A tale of young romance was instantly being assessed purely in pound values.
I even saw a man discussing how his factory had been planning the tacky mugs, plates and spoon memorabilia for this event for the last two years. They were actually tracking the pairing of twin souls simply to plot their profit through cheap trinkets!
What they are ignoring is that this is a beautiful expression of what is unique about Britain. William and Kate’s love is warm, comforting and calm. It is nourishing yet not too flashy. Above all it is thoroughly British and well mannered.
Just like a good cup of tea.
To represent this very British love, I made this tea pot and filled it with warm, loving, English Tea.
As I didn’t want to make it too flashy, I used quite cheap materials. I then realised that the money I saved on these materials meant I could afford to make many copies of it.
I wrote the title of the piece ‘William and Kate’s engagement, 2010’ on the outside of each copy.
As I was transporting them back to my studio via a flea market, I accidentally tripped and they fell, in neat order, onto an empty market stall. Several passers-by immediately offered me money for them as they saw my art as a way to remember this great event.
Of course, that is why I make art, so I was only too happy to sell them, at just twice what they were offering.
I had some more copies made and have already made a small mint. And as the Mint is where coins with the queen’s head on them are produced I guess, in a roundabout way, she would (officially) approve my tribute to her grandson’s important life decision/mass-manufactured, low-quality teapots.
The mid term elections have resulted in a heavy blow to Obama’s Democrats.
The Republicans are now the majority in the House of Representatives which means gridlock on any decisions. Voters angry at lack of progress on the economy have voted to now tie the hands of their President, making any policy change extremely difficult.
Once you understand that politics is a game, it becomes surprisingly simple.
Much like chess, it is merely a matter of guessing what your opponent will do, several moves in advance, and always having a new strategy ready.
To demonstrate this I set up a chessboard. To represent significant players in American politics I made the pieces human sized (I chose to only represent the politicians who are primordial dwarves).
I then let the games begin. Because of the election results, whenever a piece attempted to make a move I had to inform them that the move had been blocked by a new majority from the opposition and they would have to try another move.
Every move was blocked.
After eight hours of not moving the game had become incredibly boring, no progress whatsoever had been made and everyone watching was unemployed.
Eventually it was agreed that if pieces moved more towards the centre these moves would be more acceptable but by then it was time to choose a new leader of the game and I had to go find money to fund my campaign to be the next chess challenger.
I ran on a platform of changing the game to boggle and harsher treatment of benefit cheats.
This morning I arrived at work to find a terrible smell coming from off milk in the work fridge which, as we now know, directly represents the current state of Japanese politics.
I quickly checked the papers and sure enough, the Anonymous Artist had once again impressively predicted important diplomatic rumblings in Eastern Asia.
A giant row has erupted between Russia and Japan after Russian President Medvedev visited a chain of Pacific Islands. The Japanese insist they were stolen by Moscow 70 years ago after, after World War II. Full story here
Since the break up of the Soviet Union no Russian leader has visited the diplomatic-nightmare territory. Until Medvedev now ignored Japan’s pleas to stay away and did just that.
And of course it has erupted in a foul, political mess that will once again cause a stink throughout all of Japanese politics.
This exact series of events was clearly reflected in how we all pleaded with Joel not to open the old milk at the back of the fridge. Everyone knew it was the reason for the odour, even if there wasn’t official agreement on the matter, but Joel insisted on blundering on in regardless and dredging up the past/rotting milk.
This is a fairly straightforward and repetitive analogy from the Anonymous Artist again but they did have to correctly time the milk going off with when they guessed Medvedev would want to make a firm statement on Russia’s position in Asia. And they had to guess that Joel would want to eat Weetabix this morning when he is usually a orange juice and breakfast bar type guy.
So taking all these factors into account, it is good to see the Anonymous Artist once again focusing on Asian economic relations and territorial disputes while still giving us a simpler problem of contained off cow milk rather than soy milk ingrained in the carpet/Japanese parliament.
The UK Government announced the biggest spending cuts in decades today, marking the beginning of the Age of Austerity (two Ages after the Age when Elves first came to the land).
Inspired by the Government’s calls for the nation to start tightening its belt, I have followed this advice with my own art this week.
Hence I have recycled an old and cheap artwork which I have used several times before. I have also made sure it has several interpretations and meaning, giving it optimum value for money.
So to represent the Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne’s approach to economic management, I lured some pigeons to a pile of vomit on the pavement (I was unable to make myself sick this time but luckily a passing banker coming down from a giant cocaine binge happened to be ill right at my feet).
Just some of the many meanings the viewer gets for free from this bargain artwork are the following:
The pile of VOMIT is able to represent the following…
- The ‘mess’ that the Coalition claims Labour has left our finances in after a 10 year binge, followed by this purge before passing out in a neighbour’s front door and wetting themselves (I assume).
-The familiar/regurgitated ideology of Thatcherism that is evident in many of these cuts, yet these cuts are even harsher and chunkier then Margaret Thatcher’s (who was coincidentally being ‘ill’ in hospital the day the cuts were announced, probably intentionally trying to add to the metaphor).
- Fears of these cutbacks leading to a double dip recession and returning to the poor ecominic situation we have only just begun to emerge from are as unappealing as returning to a meal you already ate and found so distasteful you threw it up on the pavement.
- How attempts to make the Private Sector absorb the half a million newly unemployed Public Sector workers will result in force feeding a full sector until the redundant workers are rejected and regurgitated onto the hard pavement of the welfare system.
-How George Osborne sometimes looks like a pile of vomit.
-The happy, waddling British public who rather than get angry and riot like the French are currently doing are happy to potter about and eat whatever scraps are left for them on the pavement or run in front of people awkwardly rather then just flying to the side, even though it’s CLEAR that you’re walking in a straight line towards them.
-The Blitz spirit. These pigeons/the British public understand that times are tough and so will be happy to make do with rationing/vomit. The pigeons that represent the British public will probably then be actually cooked by a British mother embracing the Blitz spirit and feeding her human children this poor meat/British public metaphor, indicating the class system in all its horror somehow.
- There are widespread accusations that these cuts are going to hit the poorest in society hardest and who is worse off then homeless, unemployed pigeons with little to no chance of getting into a good university?… Otters?
-Also the pigeons are here behaving as vagrants who aren’t being shooed away because drastic cuts to police funding will mean fewer frontline officers to deal with pettier crimes such as vagrancy or eating vomit.
- How Osborne and Cameron sometimes look like waddling pigeons.
So it is my sincere hope that once we become more accustomed to the new austerity measures, we will soon be as content, nay, ecstatic, as pigeons eating from a pile of vomit. God willing.
This news story, like Mel Gibson, screams one word. Freedom … (hopefully with a more convincing accent and less accusations of anti Semitism).
The Chilean miners are free. The world is at their feet and it’s oyster shaped.
I thought about how they had gone from such a desperate situation to now being the most famous men in Chile with movie deals and talk show hosts lining up to be offered to them on a plate or stand in a room and chat to them respectively (and rarely the other way around).
I wanted to convey through art all the freedom and opportunity waiting for these miners.
I set up this giant ferris wheel for the art audience to step into and be taken slowly to a grand height. From here they were able to look out on a beautiful, clear, sunny view and see all of London (for at least five days in the year). The beauty and magnitude of the vista was an obvious metaphor for the wide world of possibilities and freedom to go wherever they wish that these miners now have.
Unfortunately, on the first run, there was a minor technical fault in the gears. The wheel ground to a halt within 40min, leaving all the passengers of the small, cramped pods stuck within.
So far we have not been able to get them moving again but hope to have the pods unstuck and the people inside freed before Christmas. Definitely before the oxygen runs out or they have to start having the awkward ‘who should we eat first’ conversation.