Wednesday, 18 March 2015

The American D.ream

The American D.ream
Acrylic and marker pen on bed-sheet canvas

God Bless America. God bless its lovely, flag worshipping, gun-toting, rootin' tootin', land of the free. The 'I heart NY' clad, cheeseburger quaffing glamour pusses. The dreamers, creamers, internet-memers, Justin Biebers; consumers, pet-groomers, baby boomers.

Being fairly normal British lads immersed in the mundane, we're interested in American culture; hypnotically drawn to the pearly white false smiles and endless streams of commercial glamour. We can't wait to spend our hard earned cash on the sugariest candy, fill our chubby bodies with illegal E-numbers, artificial flavours and squeezy cheese. Our wannabe idols oil their bodies, HD their eyebrows, fill their lips and perfect their tan-lines. The 'American Dream' has become an aspirational life-goal for not only Americans but for every other bog standard Westerner - Dan Bilzerian WANTS YOU, and we've been conscripted.

Welcome to a world where we surround ourselves with fake-luxury and fake-tits - just make sure you're on the guest list. Stand to attention (impotence won't be tolerated) as we pledge allegiance to the flag of the American D.ream. After all, we're only (sort-of) human.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Don't go chasing waterfalls

'Click here to see 25 of the most beautiful places on earth. You'll be AMAZED by #25'.

You won't. Number 25 is a photograph of a waterfall, somewhere in Vietnam... a heavily photoshopped photograph. The scene is undeniably beautiful; a window into the free-spirited paradise no doubt being lived out by some inheritance lucky back-packer. Although the picture doesn't take into account the swarming, unbearably sticky heat in that particular paradise, the putrid stench of the surrounding jungle, the leering toothless perverted tour guide that led you there, the numerous seeping bites all over you that have kept you from a good nights sleep for days. 

Its easy to see the appeal of browsing glossy internet lists of amazing bucket-list destinations - starry eyed basic bitches get a chance to dream of all the things they want to brag about on instagram. #dreamscometrue. Even more basic bitches might even save up their tip-money (by not paying their parents rent for a few months) and get a chance to go to these shangri-la worlds of sedated tigers and posh-voiced hostel bunk-buddies sharing wi-fi codes and stubby cans of heineken.

"Any tips for beach-parties in the Ko Samui dude?"

Truth is, those of us with shit-tinted glasses aren't really that interested in feigning culture on the dusty streets of Thailand. Once all the hype and internet bragging wears off you'll find yourself back in the same mundane job, back at Mum's house with no savings and a dormant STI.

Serial cynics Grimes & Jones are here to tell you not to feel so bad about your lack of ambition, don't let insecurity drag you on an 8 hour journey round the world to 'discover yourself'. Endless hours reading Buzzfeed, watching VICE Documentaries or applying for your Aussie VISA won't make you feel any better - its time to get familiar with your surroundings. You can buy warm, shit beer, pop a few E's, see a miserable tiger and dance on the beach at Blackpool too you know.

Don't go Chasing Waterfalls is an installation piece by short-sighted northern misers Grimes & Jones. Constructed using a large piece of blue builders tarpaulin masking taped to a wall with a post-it note stuck in the middle with the title daubed on. Flowing from the roof to the floor It is a crass, pound-shop alternative to all your waterfall visiting dreams, a tasteless fast-food sustenance to subdue your misleading sense of adventure. It serves as a reminder that sometimes it's better to settle for a comfortable, achievable second-best.

Don't go chasing Waterfalls,
Post-it note, biro and masking tape on tarpaulin

Monday, 2 March 2015

Love Lockdown

Living life trapped in the (c)rippling bodies of two relentless little boys isn't easy. 

Every week we make plans to revisit our blinding golden youthful days of productivity, to be irresponsible, to gather our paintbrushes together and to be carefree, slender and horny again. Then we realise we've got the gas man coming round on Tuesday evening so we cancel. This process of constant premature ejaculation has existed in our (self-described) 'masturbatory' process together for a while.
Thankfully the beauty of an art career is that there are no deadlines, no commitments, no pressure to be inspired, and no rules. Otherwise we'd have been P45'd and humiliated in the boardroom in front of all of our sweaty peers ages ago.

So, in a pathetic attempt to conquer our responsible, distracted and comfortable minds we conjured up a plan! 

2 men, 2 sleeping bags, a list of painting titles, 3 bags full of high fat foods, 2 bottles of gin, 16 beers, some pink lemonade, a blow up doll, an Xbox, FIFA 15 and a smelly studio room in Wakefield all combined to create the weekend from hell.


The plan was that we could, in theory, shut ourselves in our studio for an entire weekend and by stimulating our bodies with constant booze and sweets we'd manage to create a year’s worth of new paintings in one massive orgy explosion of creativity. The plan was fool-proof. 

Day 1:

We arrived Friday evening equipped with the all the important technical tools and vigour of real life art-superiors.

The first thing anyone notes when being forced to spend any sustained period of time in our studio is the inconvenient importance of taking off any clothes that matter to you. Every corner of our once shiny white box room has been soiled with the left over crud of previous paintings or the casual drunken cake-toss. When intending to sleep in a room it is important to filter out the necessary hygiene hindrances such as 4 week-old Double Cream. The wounds of last month’s messy presentation of Miniature Hero 2015 'Mary Berry' were still sticky and smelly - so yet another joint trip to the bogs seemed an apt way to start our evening!

Cake Farts

One cake-dump later and we were set to go! 

My Rifle, My Pony & Me

8 games of FIFA later and we were set to go!

Snacks for Spacs

One consumption of massive pizza and chips later and we were set to go!

Ok, what we're trying to say is - old habits die hard. We fucking procrastinated for ages and ages - we drank some horrible drinks, had some perverse conversations, did some smelly farts and got very, very cold.
Eventually, at about 1am we decided we'd build a canvas with our consumption greased hands and impatient attitude.
Cue the creation of painting number 1 - The American D.ream.

Bed. Cold, hard, worst-nights-sleep-ever bed. Well deserved prison of shit-behaviour and poor life choices. True romance.

We awoke dry-mouthed and shoddy - ready for the next day of our creative marathon.

Day 2

A few awkward morning boners and a shivering desire for callousness led us to escape to next door’s Subway for a tea and a good half hour bitch about the other customers. We feel it is always important to start the day with a bit of light-hearted nastiness; a bit like brushing your teeth, it cleanses your soul of all the immoral plaque that stains your mind. Amused by the thought of a dusty looking bloke ordering a 6-inch Italian with "just onions" and our agreed theme of the day 'Robots' we decided to write a poem:

Do you wanna build a robot?
Or ride a bike around the hall?
Do you wanna climb a tree?
Or just sit in here with me?

In this room that smells like onions,
But not from yesterday,
These onions are forever,
...and the onions shout "Hooray!"

We fumbled our way back into the studio and decided we were going to do a painting of grown-up geek culture (perhaps inspired by the Pokémon t-shirt wearing onion bloke in Subway). Research is essential to the practice of any super-scientist, and we are no exception - so we skulked off down to our local Games Workshop to ogle the smelly ogres and the goods on sale, and came away with a wealth of knowledge and expressions to use.

Because of this hard-graft, our second painting fell together nicely - Love, Sex, Magick.

Cue loads of self-congratulation and more FIFA. Too much FIFA in fact. We knew we were due visitors and had only created 2 paintings in the space of 24 hours and panicked... but we cunningly innovated a new work out of our big blue dust sheet we had masking taped to the wall. 'Don't go Chasing Waterfalls'.

God we're clever.

Our visitors arrived; we welcomed them with loud hammering, spastic DIY, pizza and winter flavoured beers (delightful). Another canvas built and primed in the presence of our beautiful fanbase. 

Then, in a true moment of inspiration (our best of the weekend) we decided it was time to stop all this horrible laborious art behaviour, put our comfortable shoes back on and to go home to our warm beds. 

I think the moral of the story is - do some stuff that you want for a bit. But don't do it for too long - because then it will become a nuisance and you won't want to do it anymore. Everything in moderation as they say. Spending over 24 hours in each other’s company has further cemented our love of one another, and our dislike of having to do as we're told (even when we're the ones telling it). Our untameable appetite for artistic creation has to balance its self against our desire for luxurious experiences, yet again we have exposed ourselves for what we truly are:

Distracted, ambitious, soft-hedonists. Art-superiors.