“Old age ain't no place for sissies.” .. Bette Davis

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  • My Life and Times

    I was born in 1939 BC.
    That’s ‘Before Computers’.

    Luckily I survived the following events in my life, such as

    World War II, The London Blitz, Rationing, and worst of all… Archbishop Temple’s School.




    During the mid 1950s I was enjoying Rock ‘n’ Roll and being a first generation teenager, when suddenly, just like Elvis, I found myself in uniform during ‘The Cold War’…and then




    I became ‘a family’. Which meant that I sort of missed the ‘swinging sixties’, but still managed to look a complete prat in the 70s, just like everyone else.




    During the ‘Thatcher Years’ I lost my hair and a lot of people lost a good deal more. My career fluctuated to say the least as I was demoted, promoted, fired and hired a number of times, but still I managed to stagger on into a welcome retirement and to celebrate 56 years of happy marriage.

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Archive for April 11th, 2011

Great gallery, but why “Contemporary” ?

Posted by Big John on April 11, 2011

This week sees the opening of the £17 million ($26+ million) Turner Contemporary Gallery in Margate. I can hardly wait; for as those of you who were familiar with my blog a couple of years ago will remember the one subject that was likely to raise my blood pressure was the ‘Turner Prize’ for contemporary art.

Although I considered most of the exhibits in this competition to be crap, what really pissed me off was how the so called art experts sought to justify them and, as art critic Brian Sewell said, … “apply meaning to the meaningless”.

Here are a few examples …

A box of sweepings from an artists’s studio floor … “Despite the abject nature of the material, and the fact it is rubbish, there is a mini-drama going on. The objects are active within the box itself. They have emotional and associative resonance, and can communicate meaning“.

A garden shed …  “Poetic . . . a buttress against the pressures of modernity, mass production and global capitalism”.

A supermarket check-out with a dummy sitting on a toilet surrounded by rubbish, and another with it’s head in a bird cage  …  “Incredibly carefully composed and precisely placed and formed from ready-made objects we find in the everyday world … as well as incredibly personal objects — bowls that she’s fed her family and her children from.” …  ”They are drawn together to form a story, but not a story that’s specific or defined.”.

A 6ft. x 6in. piece of timber on a gallery floor … “The act of having to physically lift your leg to cross it announces that you are going into a different space. Entering the space may promise a revelation or enlightenment”.

Bits of driftwood and old traffic cones …  “The reflection of an inner psyche as represented by a metaphorical landscape”.

Athletes running around a gallery  …  “a metaphor for the capacity to build art out of nothing or the sisyphean struggle of life” … ”offering an obscure metaphor of today’s looming paranoia and  existentialism” …  ”at the same time an ascetic gesture of disarming simplicity and an ironic invitation to re-imagine a new destiny”.

I could go on, but at the risk of boring you I would ask you to guess what the next quotation refers to ? …

“Based on nothing in the real world. Rather, they grow through some painstakingly rigorous process of organic accretion to construct quasi-geometrical patterns that mimic nothing you know of but are increasingly intriguing for the way that they work, for the way that they trap an unsettling sense of movement or play with unexpected visual illusions and spatial relationships”.

That’s right … Easy wasn’t it ?  …

…    It’s a rather good painting !


Posted in humour, rant | 2 Comments »