Monday, June 15, 2009

The Hunger-Artist.

 This rave is a carry-on from the previous post where I bitch about the hard slog of the non-careerist artist. I am absolutely spewing about yet another outrage committed against my saintly self so be prepared to get splattered by my vitriol.

When I was a kid I told my father that I wanted to be an artist when I grew up and his face dropped, although a working-class man he knew what was what and that it meant a life of toil, tears and troubles. It's bad enough that a wannabe artist has to face Big Powers along the way, "experts" with millions of dollars and governments behind them, who are like Cerberus dogs at the Gates of Hell tearing to bits many applicants hoping to be hung in their hallowed citadels of Art.

But when you get shat on by talentless brain-dead nobodies with 7 cents worth of power on the doors of back-alley galleries it's infuriating to the point of me getting violent and wanting to kick arse. My friend Richard Machine had updated my cyber-gallery at with a new links page and as I was perusing the various titles I came across "Kings Cross Art" and checked it out, and here's the bad-arsed story about the kind of low-down dirty tricks that get perpetrated against the hopeful all along the way.

About seven years ago I got a call from a moronic booze-hound who thinks he's a poet but is really a bag of bad breath. I call him Robert Baywatch because he's notorious for hanging around the life-drawing classes at the Booze-on-tap Gallery and perving on the naked pussy of the models. He asked me to submit my latest prize-winning drawing to a book of his arse-wipe poetry that was just being published and I said OK, thinking about no payment as per usual but it's cool to help him out. He then stated that I would have to pay him $300 for the privilege of being included to which I replied that I was long over paying to get published, I was always hoping to be paid, and therefore I refused my art to him.

The alcohol-pickled deadhead waited like a crocodile and got revenge a couple of years later when, after I won the People's Choice Award at the Images of the Cross Contest, he had the power over who got hung at the Booze-on-tap Gallery and asked me to politely fuck-off with my painting, after only three days, while the exhibition carried on. I complained bitterly about this, writing him a poison-pen letter, I have no power except with my pen, using it as a sword. Now I've discovered he's got extra revenge by colluding with some fuckwit student from the art college to post a page about a show of mine but excluding my work totally from the walls.

The chief librarian at Kings Cross Library asked me to put on a show of my drawings, posters and paintings depicting Kings Cross for the "Kings Cross Arts Festival". Gavin Harris and I worked for weeks on the show and called it "Cross Crazies." I had 21 works to fill the venue, but being ever the naive co-operative fool, I thought why not give a young friend of mine a chance and invite him to show two works alongside mine, then we invited a third artist to also show his stuff. I didn't have to do this but I am just not that cut-throat competitive, elitist or exclusive and it's always been my downfall. I foolishly never flashed that in this tough time of 7 billion wailing, scrambling humans, even the art-world is ruthless, the top of the heap involving such enormous fame and wealth it's worth betraying anyone and everyone for the prize of being the "world-reknowned artist", if one is soul-less enough to want it that bad.

Years later I find this page "Kings Cross Art" put up by the slime-bag Robert Baywatch in which he mentions my name so that if you Google T.Z. his page comes up, but there's not one photo of my art there, there's Nick's two images, both of which you'd never guess were about Kings Cross, and then there's photos of a poetry reading given by the little zombie, Robert Baywatch, his name mentioned twice. What the pea-brain actually does is literally show what a bastard he is, it's there for the thinking person to see, my show but no pics of my work and his name pushed, tho he has nothing to do with Kings Cross Art. What to say about talentless alcoholics, do they even have lives? This guy looks like one of those velociraptors out of "Jurassic park", red leather face, bird-brained and vicious. Young female artists have told me he's always trying to sleaze onto them with his 7 cents worth of power he's dredged up from the Booze-on-tap Gallery.

And he's just one of the arts-holes I've met in the long travail slogging up the pyramid of shit that is the Art world. There's three posters of mine for sale for near $1000 each at the Joseph Lebovic Gallery that were not bought from me, they seem to have been stolen from an archives somewhere and the Gallery didn't even put my name on two of the works though my signature is all over them, they've bullshitted that the work is from "Guttersnipes", my studio tag at the time of production. I hand-printed these posters while on the dole, spending all my money to make them, going without, starving, the proverbial hunger-artist who eventually disappears, the designs stolen, the artist never having existed.

There are 16 of my posters in the Print Collection at the National Gallery in Canberra, again most of which were not paid for, the money collected by the "Dirtworks" and "Juicytoil" Collectives. They excluded me from the Catalogue they got printed up, "The Walls Also Speak", I'd paraphrase it with "also crash down upon the artist's head" as that's what the rush to fame and wealth involves. They've got me down as a member of their bullshit collectives when I was never invited to participate in any of their kudos/money/decision-making processes and I printed all my works as an independent artist, paying them all costs involved. After seven years of slaving at the Tin Sheds, when a job finally came up to teach silk-screen printing and I applied for it, the "Juicy-toil" bitches knocked me back, giving the job to an arsehole who'd just walked in the door, (they got rid of him several weeks later as he tried to crack onto the 'feminists'.) Now they got me in the records as a member of their 'Collectives' and my work is "Copy-writed", to whom I'd like to know as I can't get access to it.

I am a street artist, with no connections and powerless, except for this one little Blog where I state all this "for the record", it's not just my side of the story, it's the truth. One of the many underlying threads running throughout this Blog is the travail of the artist, the heights and pitfalls. Lucky for me I don't put all my existential eggs in that one "arts basket", I have a great life with fantastic adventures and beautiful friends and all those arts-holes can't take that away from me. I'm not the greatest artist in the world but I'm not the worst, eyeball the works above as proof that I do have some reason for calling myself an "artist". As much as some arts-holes try they can't wipe me from the many walls where my work has hung and still exists, scumbags like Baywatch will long be forgotten but my work will live on and that's my real revenge. (Wank wank but what else can a scruffy alley-cat do?)

If you enjoyed this story please go to the WEB address above and consider buying my book of tales about growing up anarcho-queer, rock and roll punter and mystic adventurer in Australia and India of the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s.