Now I've never really been a man's man, nor a ladies man either come to think of it. I often find that this is interpreted by many as a meekness or weakness, and at certain times of extream disillusioned introspection I tend to agree, but at other times when I'm feeling enlightened I catch myself and remind myself that it's okay to not be that Alpha male stereotype, I have no interest in those things, I have no desire to dominate and beat others, I have no desire to be top of the pile or leader of the pack. What I value is a peaceful coexistence that the well read and open of mind label as an anarchic egalitarianism.
Now put that personality into a senior creative position in an international advertising agency, an industry rife with alpha male dick measuring misogyny, it was never going to end well. I found myself surrounded by men who seemed to have taken onboard all the Mad Men still without a sense of perspective or irony. At some point in my tenure as a Creative Director in the agency I bellowed down the phone in hysterical laughter at hearing a fellow creative director with absolute sincerity explain that he was hoping for the design we were working on to be as beautiful as a lady, so beautiful that on receiving the email I would just want to stick my d*ck in it, to wich I just about managed to cut through my own laughter to explain that 'I doubt I would ever have that reaction', that was when I definitely decided that these were not my people, whoever my people where these were not them.
One particular Monday morning, in a Creative Directors briefing session, I had the stark realisation that my fellow attendants were posturing chests puffed out somewhat similar to the hens I had spent the weekend watching. That was when I decided to equate the two worlds and wonder what has happened to masculinity in our age? this was where 'Songs for men in the 21st Century' were born, or as some of my more enlightened comrades referred to them as 'The Dripping Cock Paintings'.
Some of the key influences of this body of work over and above the tail in the description and the continuation of the structure of organising a group of pieces (songs/paintings) of a theme to create an album.
A coping mechanism of using dark humour in the face of difficulty and pain.
And deep down I always wanted one of the paintings to be used as an album cover.
I've love loved the work of Swans since I was a young lad and the The Seer was released around the time I was working on these and was on heavy repeat.