Saturday, 22 October 2016
I grew up on Merseyside in the 1960s and 70s; the Beatles were Number 1 and Liverpool FC won the League in 1963-4, again in 65-66 and didn't finish outside the top 6 until 1993-94 when they were top again. Between 1972 and 1992 they won the league 11 times and were runners up 7 times.
I supported Liverpool, because they were local, but also because they were, self evidently, the best. Liverpool managers Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley were not merely respected for their winning ways, they were loved. No-one ever loved Alex Ferguson or Harry Rednapp. No-one.
Growing up I sometimes wondered why some other people didn't support Liverpool. Obviously Scouse Catholics supported Everton, but, as I understood it, there was some catechism that said they had to.
Finding myself in Portsmouth this afternoon, as Pompey fans left Fratton Park, following a home defeat by Notts County, I reflected on this. What a noble thing it is, I thought, to drag yourself to Fratton Park and watch your team being beaten by a team that isn't even the best team in Nottingham. (Forest were beaten at home by Cardiff City)
But it wasn't always this way. Once upon a time Portsmouth FC won the FA Cup.
Reflected in My Dog Sigh's latest, and possibly largest, eye is the Portsmouth team of 1939, holding captain Jimmy Guthrie aloft, brandishing the FA Cup. Portsmouth beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 4:1 in the FA Cup final at Wembley. As there were no cup finals during WW2 Portsmouth got to keep hold of the cup for a few years, allowing them to boast they have held the cup for longer than anyone else. (For the record LFC have won it 7 times)
Jimmy Guthrie and his team mates were paid £20 each for their Cup Final appearance. While that was probably a better day's pay than your average working man it was still less than the members of the band who played before the match received. Quipped Jimmy "I'd have been better off playing the cornet".
This latest My Dog Sighs mural is a collaboration with Snub23 although there's no transformer style robots to be seen. The wall, despite the T*sco sign, belongs to http://brilens.co.uk/
Another feather in Portsmouth's cap
Friday, 14 October 2016
New York Loneliness, My Dog Sighs, 2016
First off, our old friend My Dog Sighs. In New York. And in Southsea.
My Dog Sighs, Brooklyn, photo by @zurburan1
The day the world turned day-glo, My Dog Sighs
available now from www.mydogsighs.co.uk - going, going, gone
The day my pad went mad, My Dog Sighs in the Dog House, Southsea
Next up, the very wonderful Flora Borsi, from Hungary. She's been to Austria this week picking up awards for her amazing photos. At the same time her art has been displayed in Shanghai as part of a celebration of Hungarian culture. Photos below are from her FB page. Find out more at www.floraborsi.com.
Jimmy Cauty was once half of the KLF, the K Foundation, The Justified Ancients of MuMu and all the rest with Big Bill Drummond. For the past few years he's been working big time with small scale (1:87) figures having a riot, a riot of his own. He has created a post apocalyptic world in miniature.
Aftermath Dislocation Principle (ADP) Riot tour, Jimmy Cauty
picture from L-13
The exhibition is housed in a 40ft shipping container, travelling around the country, visiting 36 towns and cities that have riots in their story, Currently in Stoke on Trent, I caught up with it a couple of weeks ago in Nottingham.
ADP Riot Tour, Nottingham
Aftermath Dislocation Principle (ADP) Riot tour, Jimmy Cauty
To view Cauty's work there are peepholes strategically placed in the container.
graffiti added by the Great British public
AS OF 16TH JUNE THE ADP RIOT TOUR HAS BEEN AWARDED £49,000 BY THE ARTS COUNCIL OF ENGLAND IN SUPPORT OF WHAT THEY'VE DESCRIBED AS AN OUTSTANDING PROJECT.
So, as predicted we are now FUNDED BY THE STATE FOR THE STATE or FUNDED BY THE PEOPLE FOR THE PEOPLE or maybe WASTING TAX PAYERS MONEY AT 36 HISTORIC RIOT SITES AROUND THE COUNTRY, or even: PROVIDING AN OUTSTANDING and CRITICALLY ENGAGING ARTWORK FOR FREE TO A DIVERSE RANGE OF COMMUNITIES ON A NATIONWIDE SCALE...
all pictures by The Corn Poppy unless otherwise stated
Muggles, Miss Wah, Southsea
Piece after piece juxtaposed two images or concepts with that juxtaposition being the whole message. Snow White with a Machine Gun, Hitler reading the Beano. You know the sort of thing. You didn't stop to look at the brushwork or consider the style or composition. You looked for the joke, then you moved on.
I left Tate Modern (a place that I had visited because I like contemporary art) and went to the National Gallery (a place I tended not to visit because I had no interest in classical art - through being bored stupid by it at school). I was (needless to say) overwhelmed.
Standing in front of a painting and realising you are standing in front of the greatest painting in the world is an amazing feeling. Then taking five steps to the right and realising that this one is even better.
Sticker Art, Strong Island, Southsea
All this useless beauty.
British Art Show 8 is currently in Southampton. There was one video installation which held my interest start to finish but not much else. So I went to Southsea looking for paste-ups, stickers an stencils. Are they great art? Not really. Are they an interesting diversion? Yes. They're the urban equivalent of bright red corn poppies in a field of green.
Paste up, Southsea
Have you seen this cat? Or slipper?
Wednesday, 12 October 2016
The Corn Poppy, Southsea
I went to a street art festival a few weeks ago and took hundreds of pictures. This will keep the blog going for ages I thought. But looking through the pictures I questioned why I should post them. These weren't untutored bursts of expression from idiot savants; these were professional illustrators and art students painting out of doors. There was some good art but not so much graffiti. The big pieces, the marquee pieces, were striking, impressive but . . . something was missing. It was all a bit mainstream.
Even the surrealism that affects much modern graffiti is ordinary. The experimental is now conventional, the experimental is now conventional. In a world where Donald Trump is a contender for the world's highest public office you have to take surrealism (and satire) to a whole new level. The conventional is now experimental.
The mainstream and I parted company decades ago. It was a mutual agreement. I didn't want to do mainstream and mainstream wanted nothing to do with me. I didn't want Uncle Walt being the arbiter of my cultural experiences, I didn't want a life soundtracked by the Top 20 (any more), I didn't want my time orderd by tv listings, I didn't want my choices to be made for me by Sunday supplements. So I sailed off my own sweet way.
I could say more but it'll only cause a scrap.