Saturday, January 29, 2011

Death of Days...By Ian Rees

Couple of skate kids I know in Barcelona have just put this video together. It's got a real nice sense of pathos to it...very romantic.

check it and let me know what you think.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Recently I was involved in some filming for BBC2. I was asked which painters inspired my work.
My standard answers to this question are Picasso, Turner and the New York city graff writters of the 80's....Jose Parla ran through my mind, but I didn't mention him as he is not an inspiration at all, he is just someone whose work I quite like and has some similar stylistic concerns to myself. We are very different artists however, and our work come from and goes to different places.
When I mentioned Turner, the critics involved (Charlotte Mullins, David Lee and Roy Bolton) generally agreed they could see something in this...itself a huge compliment. They also said that the graffiti influence was apparent though were less convinced about Picasso.  I confess that nowadays this is more due to his work ethic and self conviction than anything, though his early portrait of Ambroise Vollard is the single most significant image that took me from spraying graffiti on walls to actually buying a set of acrylic paints and making my first 'proper painting'!
Portrait of Ambroise Vollard, 1910, by Pablo Picasso

Charlotte Mullins then asked me about contemporary painters like Callum Innes.
This is really not a straightforward answer, though I said 'yes...and Mark Francis...'
Again they do not directly inspire me, BUT I really appreciate the quality and beauty in their work. They are definite 'markers' of what can be achieved through painting.
Two Identified forms, 2007 by Callum Innes

Untitled monotype, 2003, by Mark Francis

This got me to thinking about a couple of other names whose work I really love. One of the most significant is a good friend of mine from when I studied in Chicago. She is not so well known in the UK, but I really believe her work will be widely sought after in a few years time. Her name is Carrie Gundersdorf

south east trails, 2007 by Carrie Gundersdorf

To me, Carries work is sublime in it's beauty. Carrie takes as her start point the traces left by stars and other astral phenomena. This actually distracts me when I think about it too much, preferring to focus purely on the formal beauty....these paintings have their own soul. What more do you need?!?!

star trails, 52 minutes. 2007, by Carrie Gundersdorf.

One of Carries main influences is another Chicago based painter called Michelle Grabner. I have admired Michelle's paintings in the past, but it never really went beyond that. Recently however, I saw a new body of work that looks amazing...

(above 3 images all by Michelle Grabner. I do not have titles or dimensions for these pieces at this stage.)

The other painter of this ilk who I would say is an inspiration is Sean Sculley. The fundamental thing about Sean's work is it's physicality. It is big and it's tough...but it is beautiful in it's own right.

I find it a bit amusing that Michelle's work is made in the context of 'men and women painting'. To me it is so unimportant...a bit like the question raised recently by that fool Andy Gray about if female officials should be allowed to control male football games.
If a person can do the job well, let's just get on with it and appreciate it. End of!

news just in:
a guy who I regard as my 'mentor' (Geoff Pattison) used to know Sean Sculley from his time up in Newcastle and they were both friends with another painter called Steve Joy. I had not heard of Steve before, but his work looks pretty interesting too:

Interesting to see gold and silver leaf being used in these, I have done a few with gold leaf and have 4 new ones in my studio now. would be good to see one in the flesh sometime.

Below is one of my older gold leaf works:

Monday, January 24, 2011

Rock n Roll

the discussions about exactly where Rock n Roll started will always go on...but MAYBE, just maybe, it was with Sister Rosetta Tharpe....peep this clip:


Sunday, January 16, 2011

graffiti wall, moll de Barcelona Jan 2011

 Here are MOST of the pieces from the wall just across from the Moll De Barcelona roundabout.  immediately above and below are two of Barcelona's more prolific painters Noler and Sonar...

this wall constantly changes...will do another post from here in a couple of months and you'll see the difference.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Works: Card and Mixed Media

New work, on it's way to a gallery in Hale, UK. They are mixed media pieces, all framed and measure about 25cmx25cm.
I see them as sketches for ideas...but these ones are definitely inspired by Alice Coltrane.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

morning doodles

a couple more ashwan doodles made in the iphone app 'brushes'...

more later....

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Return of the Life pt.i. 3ftx3ft oil on canvas by Ashwan.

Painting from a series inspired by this tune:

also, every time I hear this, I just have to pull out the original sample. Minnie Ripperton is incredible.
check out how she hits and holds THAT note!


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

more kix

Bank underground tube stop as part of the Dopplarity show, also at Hiscox art gallery. circa 2001

above, the Ashwan contribution: Fat Laces 101.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

BRANDNUTOPIA- Ashwan and CalendarGirl

here is a cut from a few years back. a collab effort between Ashwan and Calendargirl called BRANDNUTOPIA. it is a kicked back 'bristol style' trip hop effort. Additional dj cuts are provided by CURIOUS.
this tune never saw the light of day unfortunately, as the project it was due to come out on got scrapped at the last this is an underground trip hop gem. feel free to share it with your peeps, but please spread the word about all the artists involved.
Calendargirl currently has a new project called KARLA,  and a new single has just hit the stores from her. you can pick it up HERE.  go and show love by spending a few cents to download.
Curious is the multi talented emcee, poet and deejay that I have worked with many times since the last millennium! sounds like a long time when you put it like that...and it is!
His main thing right now is spitting wisdom at spoken word events such as WORDAMOUTH. keep an eye on his blog for more info.

MK on mixcloud

for those who don't know, DJ MK is the man on the wheels of steel behind Dizee Rascal and Roots Manuva. I first met MK in the early 90's when he was coming up in the London scene at carnival there. He sold me one of his was DOPE! I need to dig it out and upload that ish. MK has had skills for time and is one of the most respected hip hop dj's in the UK, but still seems to have kept it underground, despite hosting radio shows with KISS FM. To me this is because he is all about the music and none of the nonsense.
more recently MK has turned his kitchen into a venue for a live stream internet 'tv' show called 'funhouse'. filled with big name guests, this is purely for the love of the beats. it is the closest thing to pirate radio I have heard (or seen) in a long while.
keep an eye on MK's blog for updates and info.