Saturday, 10 May 2014

And now for something completely different

As some of my friends will have noticed, my new hobby is making bite-sized chunks of Insta-Art with the amazing arsenal of iPhone photography and digital manipulation apps available. The erstwhile Philistine and untalented oaf can now buy a smartphone, drop a few dollars on some apps and annoy their friends and family on a regular basis with their new Dali or Van Gogh persona.

I used to paint badly in oils as a young man, and my thing was the most English landscapes imaginable. I would spend hours and days producing crude simulacra of Turner skies and Constable countrysides.

Of course, this was supposing I wasn't in the kitchen working on my KISS portraits. I no longer remember why KISS had to be painted in the kitchen - save for perhaps the alliterative connection, as a gift to my future writer self - while my cod Constables and crudely turned-out Turners were done in my bedroom.

( I'm not sure why KISS and dead Englishmen were my biggest artistic inspirations as a young Australian growing up in Townsville, either. A spot of reverse snobbery or some proto-cultural cringe perhaps. The Australian countryside was often parched, red and dusty, occluded by gluts of gum trees, the smooth white trunks reflecting and intensifying the fracturing crystalline light and the cruel sun that made us squint and gave us skin cancer. The sun in Australia doesn't have a proper ozone layer to keep it in check. Like some lair or lout, it is off the leash, out to lunch and on the lash. It was harsh and hot and hard enough to live in and under, let alone to want to paint. )

My iPhone stuff is a fair distance from hay wains and bruised skies of my youth. My art, like my life, now dwells in the screeching mosh pit of the subconscious, with darting runs down the rabbit holes of the fantastic and through the looking glasses and lobster telephones of the surreal.

The illuminati meeting of wacky hash tags and incantations accompanying most of my Insta-art posts on Facebook and Instagram are simply a list of the apps used and a few groups for fans of surrealism.  

I've posted some of what I think are my best Insta-art moments here for posterity and your viewing pleasure, pain, feigned interest or vehement repudiation. 

Some of the stuff is a bit dark, but it's done in a spirit of fun and discovery and to fuel my new fascination with symmetry, which is a portal into some very strange worlds once you figure out where to find them and how to look. 

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