Posts Tagged ‘The Artist Taxi Driver’

QC Jolyon Maughan, ripping lying spiv Gideon Osborne’s claims before parliament to SHREDS! The Artist Taxi Driver, Mark McGowan
Osborne has said that reducing the top rate of income tax from 50p to 45p raised an additional £8bn from the highest earners in its first year. Speaking in the Commons he said the revelation “completely defies” predictions made by Labour that cutting the rate from 50p to 45p would cost £3bn and give top earners an average £10,000 tax cut. HMRC previously estimated that cutting the top rate from 50p to 45p would cost the Exchequer £100m.
Osborne said:
“Under this government the richest pay a higher proportion of income tax than under the last Labour government. Indeed we have just had numbers out this morning from HMRC which for the first time show the income tax data for the year 2013/14, which is when the 50p rate was reduced to 45p.
And what that shows is that actually there was an £8bn increase in revenues from additional rate taxpayers, which completely defies the predictions made by the Labour party at the time and shows that what we have are lower, competitive taxes that are paid by all.” ( Guardian Reporter )
I don’t have the number to which Osborne refers but it is broadly in line with what was forecast in May 2015 which showed a projected increase in income tax paid by additional rate taxpayers of £7.1bn.
Does this increase vindicate, as Osborne suggests, to the tune of £8bn of extra receipts the decision to cut the 50p rate?
Reader, it does NOT!
Tax receipts were artificially low in 2012-13 (because people delayed receiving income until rates fell) and were artificially high in 2013-14 (when those delayed receipts were received). Combine those two numbers and you may well explain your £7bn jump.
Please Read More here, see graphs included: Jolyon Maughan QC

Rob Hutton and Damien McBride, a former spin doctor and an advisor to Gordon Brown has just confirmed on Radio 4

The entire lobby of the Houses of Parliament – the Rat Pit – operates on

“Obfuscation, Diversion and lying about lying…”

I believe we have an entire generation of politicians who are utterly dishonest and it is the collusion and symbiotic relationships between mainstream media and professional

politicians that has corrupted Westmonster forever. We need and must demand change.

  • Yesterday these things happened:
  • Nigeria has had it’s first democratic handover of power since it achieved independence.
  • Podemas in Spain made dramatic gains in Spain’s regional elections.
  • Italy rescued 3000 people in the Med.
  • in Syria – Rebel coalition takes last government-controlled town of Ariha in northwestern province, monitoring group says.

Yet what have the BBC and Sky concentrated on FIFA Corruption, FIFA Election, FIFA “more of the same shit” and the weasel David Cameron racing around Europe trying to get everyone to like him and failing.

Austerity is a Scam a Hoax a Fraud!!!

Austerity is ideological the idea is move public monies into private pockets

‘Art as a Weapon’

My favourite quote (and one that motivates all my art outcomes) George Grosz –

“My art was to be a gun & a sword; my drawing pens I declared to be empty straws as long as they did not take part in the fight for freedom.”

Peter Ulrich Weiss, vols I-III, ‘Aesthetics of Resistance / Die Asthetik des Widerstands’, (1975-1981) said:
“Meaning derives in the refusal to renounce resistance no matter how intense the suppression and it is in and through art that new models of political action and social understanding can be found.”

Mar 2, 2015

Staff at the National Gallery London held a 5-day strike against privatisation. This is a report on the Day of Action against Mark Getty, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Gallery.


National Gallery Strike against Privatisation

by Drift Report

CLARA speaks to Mark McGowan (The Artist Taxi Driver)

The National Gallery is attempting to outsource all 400 gallery assistants to a private company. The Board is made up of Getty and Rothschild Billionaires, Heseltine’s wife, and ex City Hedge Funders.

The PCS Union rep was suspended hours before the worker’s first industrial action. The same is happening to public art galleries as is happening to the National Health Service. Privatisation by stealth.
Build a bonfire put the Tories on top
pt1 –

pt2 – 


The Elites are practicing what Joseph Nye called Soft Power. This is not what capitalism is about, it should more correctly be called CORPORATISM. The binding together of Fascism and corporations.

Transkategorial (adj) | instances of fuzzy categories | there are so many mediums to use now. How do I choose how I engage?

I’ve been getting increasingly interested in collaborations with artists and activists – and what really interests me is the growing interest in collaborative practices in relation to contemporary art and politics. I’d like to start investigating fuzzy categories.

Even if I can never change things. Maybe I can offer a resistance?


George Henry Lewes (1817 – 1878), (author of The Life of Goethe) said:

Philosophy and Art both render the invisible visible by imagination.

Martin Heidegger  (1889 – 1976).

The most thought-provoking thing in our thought-provoking time is that we are still not thinking.

Noam Chomsky (1928)

Modern industrial civilization has developed within a certain system of convenient myths. The driving force of modern industrial civilization has been individual material gain, which is accepted as legitimate, even praiseworthy, on the grounds that private vices yield public benefits, in the classic formulation.

Now, it has long been understood, very well, that a society that is based on this principle will destroy itself in time. It can only persist, with whatever suffering and injustice that it entails, as long as it is possible to pretend that the destructive forces that humans create are limited, that the world is an infinite resource, and that the world is an infinite garbage can.

At this stage of history either one of two things is possible.
Either the general population will take control of its own destiny and will concern itself with community interests, guided by values of solidarity, sympathy and concern for others,
or alternatively there will be no destiny for anyone to control.

As long as some specialized class is in a position of authority, it is going to set policy in the special interests that it serves. But the conditions of survival, let alone justice, require rational social planning in the interests of the community as a whole, and by now that means the global community.

The question is whether privileged elite should dominate mass communication and should use this power as they tell us they must — namely to impose necessary illusions, to manipulate and deceive the stupid majority and remove them from the public arena.

The question in brief, is whether democracy and freedom are values to be preserved or threats to be avoided.

In this possibly terminal phase of human existence, democracy and freedom are more than values to be treasured; they may well be essential to survival.

The most effective way to restrict democracy is the transfer of decision-making from the public arena to unaccountable institutions: kings and princes, priestly castes, military juntas, party dictatorships, or modern corporations (the arche?).

John Dewey (1859 – 1952)

In an imperfect society (and no society is perfect)… fine art will be an escape from, or an adventitious decoration of, the main activities of living. But in a better ordered society than that in which we live, an infinitely greater happiness than is now the case would attend all modes of production. We live in a world in which there is an immense amount of organisation, but it is an external organization, not one of the ordering of a growing experience, one that involves, moreover, the whole of the live creature, toward a fulfilling conclusion.

Works of art that are not remote from common life, that are widely enjoyed in a community, are signs of a unified collective life. But they are also marvellous aids in the creation of such a life. 

The reconciling of the material of experience in the act of expression is not an isolated event confined to the artist and to a person here and there who happens to enjoy the work. In the degree in which art exercises its office, it is also a remaking of the experience of the community in the direction of greater order and unity. – Art as Experience, (London: Allen & Unwin, 1934) pp. 80–81.

‘‘Art has been,” according to Dewey (Art as Experience, p. 348), ‘‘the means of keeping alive the sense of purposes that outrun evidence and of meanings that transcend indurated habit.”8 In presenting a subject matter as a focus for thought and emotional attitude, distinctively fused to the imaginative exploration of material, art provides the evidence of things not seen. – (invisible?)

Contemporary philosopher Simon Critchley (in his book Infinitely Demanding) proposes a notion of post anarchist politics as resistance to state power on behalf of an ethical Call.

In a combination of Levinas, Badiou, and Lacan, Critchley deploys the notion of the subject as constituted by its recognition in an unconditional ethical Call engendered by the experience of injustice and wrongs.

– The subject emerges as a reaction to the traumatic encounter of the helpless suffering Other (Neighbor), which is why it is constitutively decentred not autonomous, but split by the ethical call,

“a subject defined by the experience of an internalized demand that it can never meet, a demand that exceeds it, an infinite demand“.

Things which do not exist yet – Simon Critchley

This is the whole point – logic of the event – to focus on those things which do not yet exist in order to bring to nothing the things that are.
The question here is simple: how are we to behave?
This is the infinite demand of art – to be in such a condition so that those things which do not yet exist might be brought about.

And that the things which are brought about are not finite.

The infinite demand is not a finite demand. It is not a demand that can be met. On the contrary.

It is like the work of love in Kierkegaard. In Kierkegaard (Works of Love) is the emphasis on the rigour of the commandment of love, on the nature of belief/faith, ‘be it done for you, as you believed’, refusal of the certainty and security of faith, faith is something that one must win at each moment, and not in some external way, emphasis on inequality (the speck in the other’s eye, the log in mine), then from 351 it gets really good: you have nothing to do with what others do to you, inwardness, this is reality, 352 infinite love, need for solitude, ‘everything you say and do to other human beings God simply repeats; he repeats it with the intensification of infinity.’ Inwardness again. ‘Here in the noise of life he perhaps does not discern God’s or the eternal’s repetition of the uttered word’.7 Need for resonance and repetition, 353, it is not just a question of sitting in sickness unto death and listening for the repetition of the eternal. No, but we need the rigor of inwardness in relation to love…


Adamson Hoebel (1906 – 1993) Regents Professor Emeritus of anthropology at the University of Minnesota, describes culture –

as an integrated system of learned behavior patterns which are characteristic of the members of a society and which are not a result of biological inheritance.[3]
Distinctions are currently made between the physical artifacts created by a society, its so-called material culture, and everything else,[4] the intangibles such as language, customs, etc. that are the main referent of the term “culture”.
Culture is central to the way we view, experience, and engage with all aspects of our lives and the world around us.
Thus, even our definitions of culture are shaped by the historical, political, social, and cultural contexts in which we live.[5]—Consumed cult.










Mark McGowan, ARTIST TAXI DRIVER Curates – CULTURE IS NOT YOUR FRIEND: – The Elites want to control the Avant garde. The largest buyer of art in London is married to an Israeli arms dealer. Art is on it’s ARSE.





Adjective: seeking or intended to subvert an established system or institution.
Synonyms: disruptive, troublemaking, inflammatory, rabble-rousing; seditious, revolutionary, treasonous, mutinous, rebellious, renegade, unpatriotic, dissident, insubordinate, underground, undermining, discrediting, destructive…

 Veronese and the Inquisition Paolo Caliari “Veronese” (Verona, 1528 – 1588) was one of the greatest painters ever, But he was also a hero of artistic freedom. Veronese was the Ai Weiwei of his time, a brave man who stood up to authority – and won. He was hauled up before the Inquisition and accused of disrespect for Christianity. Veronese’s painting The Feast in the House of Levi can be seen today in the Accademia Galleries in Venice. It is full of jokes, gaudy jesters, drinkers and fashionable people – oh, and Christ is there too, somewhere in the carnival crowd.

Who’s the vandal:

Ai Weiwei or the man who smashed his Han urn?

An attack on the Chinese artist’s installation in Miami has been condemned as an act of vandalism. Why is smashing art only acceptable if an acclaimed global artist does it?
A “protest” at a Miami art museum raises some questions about what exactly art is, now. A man called Maximo Caminero has smashed an artwork by Ai Weiwei, one of the most famous artists of this century and a hero to many for his defiance of the Chinese state.
Caminero’s proclaimed motive – that the Perez Museum in Miami should be showing local, not global, art – is pretty daft (I didn’t know they had Ukip in Florida!?), but he has accidentally punched a massive hole in the logic of contemporary art… For the “vase” that was smashed is actually a Han dynasty urn that Ai Weiwei “appropriated” for his own art by painting on it. The Han era in China was contemporary with the Roman Empire in the west. In other words, this is a major antiquity made by a Chinese artisan roughly 2,000 years ago. But that’s not why the urn is valued at $1m or why its destruction is world news. No – it’s because it was part of an installation by Ai Weiwei. It is the Ai Weiwei artwork, not the Han dynasty object, that is being mourned. Perhaps it is not really an antique at all. If it’s a fake,and therefore subversive, that makes the entire installation more likeable. If it’s not a fake, then surely Ai Weiwei, and not Caminero, is the vandal who ruined a whole bunch of antiquities by painting them whimsical pastel colours?

In the exhibition Ai Weiwei: According to What?, at which the vase was smashed, an array of repainted “Han urns” are shown in front of a sequence of black-and-white photographs of the artist smashing one. This artwork is called Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn (1995) and for me it is Ai Weiwei’s most provocative gesture. I feel highly provoked. It shows the artist letting go of an elegant object made with intelligence, imagination and love more than 2,000 years ago and letting it smash to bits on the ground. There is no apparent doubt about the authenticity of the Han artefacts Ai Weiwei uses in his art. He bought a batch of them in the 1990s and started by painting them before creating his photographed performance Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn in 1995. What does his attack on Han art mean? I could see it as a devastating satire on the modern world’s alienation from the past. Ever since the Chinese Revolution began in the early 20th century, political and economic ruptures have cut off China from its ancient culture. Is Ai Weiwei parodying that? Or is he mocking western art-lovers who think all Chinese art is ancient? Ai Weiwei certainly does capture the industrial world’s disconnection from making, our loss of crafts and even of basic respect for them. But he also embodies these cynical attitudes as he smashes that lovely old vase. He seems to invite further violence to art – even his own. This is not the first time an Ai Weiwei appropriation of a Han urn has been smashed. In 2012, art collector Uli Sigg was filmed smashing an urn in emulation of Ai Weiwei – except the one he smashed was one of Ai Weiwei’s most famous works, Coca Cola Urn. Since Uli Sigg owned it, he was free to do so. So – smashing art is interesting if an acclaimed global artist does it, and even if an art collector does it. But the guy who walks into a museum and smashes it is a vandal?

Ai Weiwei

S.A.C.R.E.D, 2013

Ai Weiwei, S.A.C.R.E.D., 2013, Installation at Chiesa di Sant’Antonin, Venice as part of Disposition organised by Zuecca Projects and the Lisson Gallery.

Walking into a church in Venice and finding six large black crate-like boxes would be a fairly odd regardless but add couple of dozen other art lovers into the equation, wandering around the space and climbing on little black boxes to peer intently into the crates is a distinctly strange and somewhat unsettling experience. Like most churches in Venice, Chiesa di Sant’Antonin, a fourth century building extensively reworked in the Baroque style in the mid seventeenth century, has a rather ornate interior. The austere black boxes that dominate the floor of the space are an incongruous sight; once one gets beyond the immediate visual confusion, the context raises some interesting questions. S.A.C.R.E.D. is one half of Ai Weiwei’s exhibition Disposition, this installation tells a personal story. It was his investigations into the Sichuan earthquake – the subject matter of Straight – that set Ai Weiwei at odds with the Chinese government; S.A.C.R.E.D. tells the story of what happened to the artist when he was arrested without warning in 2011 and held for 81 days under suspicion of ‘economic crimes’.  On his release, Ai indicated that he was not permitted to talk to the media – including Twitter – so telling the story of his detention seems a risky strategy. To anyone who has read Barnaby Martin’s book Hanging Man: The Arrest of Ai Weiwei or seen Howard Brenton’s play The Arrest of Ai Weiwei, staged at the Hampstead Theatre in London 2013, this is a familiar story, indeed the staging of Brenton’s play bore a close relationship with Ai’s own installation, nonetheless there is something shocking about the experience of peering in to the fibreglass dioramas that inhabit the iron boxes and watching the guards watching the artist.  Ai is watched at all times by two guards. They watch him sleep, shower and shit; they watch him eat, they pace the cell alongside him as he exercises. The only time the guards are absent is when Ai is being questioned; then he is with his interrogator and a notetaker. The relentlessness of the scenes played out in these replicas of his cell is both powerful and draining but there’s an air of absurdity about the dioramas and the use of fibreglass that lightens the mood; it is never less than clear that we are looking at models – and here the larger than life artist is smaller than life-size.  There are a of layers to peel back. Firstly there’s the voyeuristic fascination with watching and with examining every awful detail of the cell and its unpleasantly grubby toilet. The solidity of the cast iron boxes is all the more awe-inspiring in contrast with the flimsy appearance of the patched up interior space; in a way there are parallels here with the idea of human vulnerability in the face of the powerful machines of state. If Straight is Ai making a stand, using his position as a major international artist to speak out on behalf of others in his country whose voices will never travel, then S.A.C.R.E.D. is him facing the consequences of his actions. Given his profile, Ai’s detention was never going to see him disappear without trace – his arrest was inevitably major news around the world – but the threat was very, very real and his experience of those 81 days can have been nothing less than terrifying. In that respect, S.A.C.R.E.D. is perhaps Ai’s nightmares made solid. – Ann Jones, Permalink

ai-weiwei-s-a-c-r-e-d-2013-installation ai-weiwei-sacred-2013-exercise ai-weiwei-sacred-2013-questioning   Ai’s latest exhibition runs until April 2015 and he has taken his work to ALCATRAZ prison, I wrote about it here.

Dictators in fridges:

Eugenio Merino

Spanish artist Eugenio Merino (b: 1975, Madrid) has stuffed mannequins of totalitarian leaders into chiller cabinets. It’s just what we need in this age of burgeoning nationalism. Eugenio Merino – creator of Always Franco, and others – is being taken to court, accused of damaging the honour of the late Spanish dictator. ALWAYS SHAMELESS:

Always Bush, 2014. Eugenio Merino.

It seems incredible that General Franco is still oppressing artists in Spain from beyond the grave. The dictator who rose to power by defeating Spain’s Republic in the 1930s civil war and ruled until his death in 1975 might seem to be a forgotten nightmare in today’s democratic Spain – but an artist has succeeded in provoking a foundation that preserves his memory into taking some distinctly intolerant legal steps. Eugenio Merino is being taken to court – for the second time – for works he has made using the image of the authoritarian ruler. His work Punching Franco is a lifelike head of Franco designed to be used as a punchbag; the Franco Foundation says it is “demeaning”. He has also been sued for his work Always Franco, a lifelike figure of Franco inside a fridge. He has now extended this out to create a whole series of dictators in Coca-Cola branded fridges.

Jake and Dinos Chapman:

Insult to Injury | Goya prints

Over the years, and weaned on a diet of the former YBA’s pickled animals and unmade beds, the British public has become remarkably difficult to shock. Could that be why Jake and Dinos Chapman, bought a collection of Goya’s most celebrated prints – and set about systematically defacing them? In a work entitled Insult to Injury (2003), the brothers Jake and Dinos Chapman managed to raise the hackles of art historians by violating something much more sacred to the art world than even the human body – another work of art. chapmans-great-deeds-against-the-dead-from-insult-to-injury-2003 The Chapman brothers’ first translation of Goya’s prints was the work The Disasters of War, an installation of small-scale sculptures of each of the etchings. Though here there is the relentlessness of multiple gruesome scenes, the work lacks the overwhelming impact of Great Deeds Against the Dead, an impact that comes from the human scale of the figures. The Chapman brothers of course, couldn’t stop there. Reworking Goya’s images of destruction wasn’t enough so they set about intervening with the actual images. Having bought a copy of the Goya portfolio and worked on top of the images, giving the figures cartoon-like clown and animal heads. There’s no doubt that this is a controversial work. The prints were made after Goya’s death, though they were made directly from his plates and the set was in mint condition so of considerable significance. Prints are, of course, a reproducible medium, so the set wasn’t unique but it was, nonetheless, important. The Chapmans have described their act as ‘rectifying‘ the etchings though others have, inevitably, described it an act of vandalism. The question remains: why have the Chapmans gone to all this trouble? As far as I can tell, there is no rhyme or reason to their interventions – aggressors and victims receive equal, indiscriminate attention.  There is no  pattern in the choice of figures to have been disfigured.

Mark McGowan:

The Artist Taxi Driver

 {Published on Oct 27, 2014} With over forty two thousand subscribers (of which I am one) and well over eleven million views to his Youtube channel and over forty thousand Twitter followers, Mark McGowan (b: 1964, London) is a street artist, performance artist and prominent public protester who goes by the artist name Chunky Mark and more recently The Artist Taxi Driver. By profession, McGowan is a London taxi driver and visiting University speaker and Art tutor. McGowan is known internationally for his performance art including shock art, street art and installation art, and as a stuntman, internet personality, video blogger, social commentator, social critic, satirist, political activist, peace activist, and an anti-establishment, anti-war, anti-capitalist, anti-monarchist and anti-power elite protester. McGowan entered the mainstream news in the early 2000s for his unconventional, satirical, sometimes comedic / ironic, and often absurdist approach to public protest and demonstration. “Chunky Mark” conducted hundreds of performances in the UK and dozens around the world, stirring up some international attention, further debate on “what Art really is”, controversy; and both support and mockery alike from intellectuals, the art world, private corporations, the police, the military, the tabloids and the public.  Most often McGowan has not applied for police permission beforehand. McGowan abandoned the Chunky Mark persona in late 2010 and fully adopted the “Artist Taxi Driver” persona for his YouTube web blog on, where he daily films himself (most often) alone in his taxi between fares, wearing dark sunglasses, and in which he rants passionately and emotionally about the news and issues of the day. Since March 2013, the Artist Taxi Driver through his YouTube and crowd funding he has/or is in the process of making documentary films. The first entitled This Is Not A Recession, It’s A Robbery, then The War Machine (2014) and currently in production Westmonster The Movie. McGowan is critical of the British royal family, is a Republican, and claims he has never voted since “all politicians are the same” and the developed world has become “kleptocratic” rather than democratic. McGowan is a licensed Hackney carriage driver around Inner London and the Square Mile, which he refers to as the “the City of London, the City of Corruption”. In the past McGowan has worked with the Scottish Arts Council, the University of Central England in Birmingham, and spoken on the issues of public art and how it can relate to protest at the Royal Academy of Arts. Although he’s shunned by the professional art world McGowan is renowned for bold protest performances such as Artist Eats Fox (2004) for which he slow-roasted and ate a fox in order to demonstrate his objection to, “the public’s fixation with a government ban on fox hunting and society’s misplaced priorities.” On other occasions he’s devoured a swan and ​a corgi to protest against the behaviour of the Royal Family. (Specifically, an incident in 2007 in which Prince Philip – allegedly – watched one of his mates beat up a fox with a flagpole on his Sandringham Estate.) McGowan is a strict vegetarian and has said these performances were extremely difficult for him personal on a deeply personal level.

“I turned to performance art because I found it a much more accessible medium to deliver what I was trying to express,” he ​told the BBC in 2003. “The way to engage in art is to bring it into the street, which is what I’m doing – not by putting it in the White Cube or the National Gallery.”

His most recent press interviews were with The Guardian here and online with journalist Dawn foster here.

Neue Sachlichkeit kunst

The New Objectivity

(neue Sachlichkeit kunst) The New Objectivity was an art movement in the German Empire of the interwar period. It found it’s expression in different art forms such as painting, visual art and at the same time in the new medium of film. The term The New Objectivity was coined in 1925 by Gustav Friedrich Hartlaub, for a highly acclaimed exhibition downstream of expressionist art in the Kunsthalle Mannheim. The time frame of the New Objectivity is commonly associated with that of the Weimar Republic equated: 1918 to 1933. {Gustav Hartlaub, ‘‘Introduction to ‘New Objectivity’: German Painting since Expressionism’’ (first published in German 1925), pp. 491–3 from Anton Kaes, Martin Jay, and Edward Dimendberg (eds.), The Weimar Republic Sourcebook. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995. 1994 by The Regents of the University of California.} It began immediately after the First World War with the themes of many artists devoted to socially critical visual themes and ended in 1933 with the takeover of the Nazis and the subsequent Gleichschaltung of the media. The New Objectivity is usually divided into three separate streams: the realism (Verismus), classicism and the Magic Realism. Methodologically, they involve a range, and sometimes a combination, of Marxist, feminist, structuralist, psychoanalytical, and other theoretical procedures.


In Verism the New Objectivity is designed as a political art, dealing  critically with the Weimar Republic and with the socialist and communist solidarity goals. The most important representatives of the New Objectivity were Otto Dix , August Wilhelm Dressler , Birkle ,Christian Schad , George Grosz , Conrad Felix Müller , Bernhard Kretzschmar , Georg Schrimpf , Karl HubbuchWilhelm Schnarrenberger , Rudolf Schlichter , Eberhard Schlotter and Karl Rossing . The Verists developed one of the most well-known topoi of New Objectivity in the form of provocative representations, often to the grotesquely exaggerated, using the old masters techniques. The Verists – one wants to speak of the ‘‘left-wing’’ – tear the objective from the world of contemporary facts and projects current experience in its tempo with a fevered temperature. {Note: a form of Verism was adopted in the opposite political direction, with the development of some artists toward National Socialism. Examples included; Sergius Pauser in Austria and Ernst Nepo.} Of all the artists of this movement, the polemic graphic art of George Grosz (Ger. 1893-1959) is best suited to the theme of subversive. From the age of 23 (1916), Grosz became involved in the political upheavals in his country and in December 1918, he became a member of the Communist Party. George Grosz and Otto Dix (Ger. 1891 – 1969), illuminated a chamber of horrors in which the whole of Germany found itself after the 1914-18 War and the inscriptions of shabby stupidity and demagogic vulgarity that underpinned on the Republic. By 1933 the power of the Nazi regime increased and George Grosz’ name was most frequently mentioned as an enemy of German Culture. From 1933 on, however, Grosz had abandoned the political motifs that had previously characterized his drawings. He escaped Germany for the United States, where he eventually settled.

“Berlin, February 5, 1919. Called on the painter George Grosz this morning… He said he would like to become the ‘German Hogarth’ – to be deliberately concrete and moralistic in his work. He wants to preach to the world, improve it, reform it…” – the diary of Count Harry Kesler.

George Grosz pillars of society - Stützen der Gesellschaft

Pillars of society – Stützen der Gesellschaft

George Grosz while painting; Pillars of society - Stützen der Gesellschaft

George Grosz while painting; Pillars of society – Stützen der Gesellschaft



List of References

Aisenberg, Beatrice, : Grosz’s Political Position: False Commitment, False Testimony. dissertation, Jerusalem University, 1998. Backett 1976: J. Backett, The Twenties in Berlin, London 1976. Benson 1987: T.Q. Benson, “Mysticism, Materialism and the Machine in Berlin Dada”, Art Journal, 46:1 (1987), 46-55. Catalogue Käthe Kollwitz, Drawings, Litographies, Prints and Sculptures, Museum Israel, 1971. Catalogo Goya y el espîritu de la Ilustracion, Madrid, 1988. Grosz 1972: G. Grosz, The Face of the Ruling Class, Frankfurt 1972. Grosz 1974: G. Grosz, A Little Yes and a Big No: The Autobiography of George Grosz, London 1974. Hess 1974: H. Hess, George Grosz, London 1974. Lejeune 1953: R. Lejeune, Honoré Daumier, Lausane 1953. Lewis 1971: B. I. Lewis, George Grosz, Art and Politics in the Weimar Republic, Madison 1971. McCloskey 1997: B. McCloskey, Grosz and the Communist Party Art and the Radicalism in Crisis 1918 to 1936, New Jersey 1997. Richard 1979: L. Richard, Del expresionism al nazismo – arte y cultura desde Guillermo II hasta la Republica de Weimar, Barcelona 1979 (from D’une apocalypse à ses productions intelectueles aux années vingt, Paris 1976). Schneede 1985:U. M. Schneede, George Grosz – The Artist in his Society, New York 1985. Townson 1995: D. Townson, Dictionary of Modern History 1789-1945, London 1995. Willet 1978: L. Willet, Art and Politics in the Weimar Period -The New Sobriety 1917-1933, New York 1978. George Grosz’s friend and Dada comrade-in-arms was John Heartfield. On March 15, 1920, during a confrontation with the army, 50 workers died and 150 were injured. Several shots entered the Zwinger Gallery, damaging a Rubens (Batsheba). The artist Oscar Kokoshka, professor at the Academy of Dresden, published an article in over forty newspapers asking for gunfire to be kept away from the gallery. Grosz and Heartfield attacked Kokoshka for defending holy possessions and for his reactionary conception of art.

Lewis 1971: 94. In their article, Grosz and Heartfield argued: ‘with pleasure bullets flying into galleries and palaces and into Rubens masterworks, instead of into the houses of the poor in workers’ districts’, McCloskey 1997: 65.

In another article published in November 1920 and entitled Concerning My New Pictures, Grosz urged artists to show political commitment in order to promote ART AS A WEAPON for the defense of the workers. In this text, Grosz expresses the opinion that art is secondary compared to the class struggle, and demands that artists express their own personal stance on this question, and define whether they are on the side of the exploiters or of the masses. {Lewis 1971: 97}


Everybody knows something about Dada and Surrealism. Dada, established in 1916 and over by the early 1920s, was an international artistic phenomenon which sought to overturn traditional bourgeois notions of art. It was defiantly anti-art. More than anything, its participants, figures such as Marcel Duchamp, Francis Picabia, Tristan Tzara, Hans Arp, Kurt Schwitters, and Raoul Hausmann, countered their love of paradox and subversion to the insanities of a world-gone-mad, as World War raged and Europe tore itself apart. Dada is seen as iconoclastic and confrontational, Dada revelled in the chaos and the fragmentation of modern life. Art historians have found it convenient to generalise about Dada ‘paving the way’ for Surrealism, but that was only really the case in one of Dada’s locations, Paris. Both Dada and Surrealist attitudes ranged many topics from irrationalism to sexuality, before focusing closely on politics. More than anything else, Dada and Surrealism were ‘avant-garde’ movements. Broadly speaking, art in the 19th century was synonymous with bourgeois individualism. By the early 20th century, several key art movements – such as Futurism in Italy, Constructivism in Russia or De Stijl in Holland, as well as Dada and Surrealism – were contesting any separation between art and the contingent experience of the modern world. Their reasons for doing so were inflected in different ways by politics – Constructivists, for instance, were responding directly to the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia while Futurism was responding alongside of Fascism in Italy – but they tended to share the belief that modern art needed to forge a new relationship with its audience, producing uncompromising new forms to run parallel to shifts in social experience.   TEXT_dada


Defaced Mona Lisa reproduction, by artist Marcel Duchamp “L.H.O.O.Q (She’s got a hot arse)”

For the cultural theorist Peter Bürger, writing in the 1970s, the mission of the early 20th-century European avant-garde thus consisted in undermining the idea of art’s ‘autonomy’ (‘art for art’s sake’) in favour of a new merging of art into what he calls the ‘praxis of life’. BBC Interview with Marcel Duchamp 1968

I tried to to be away from it (DaDa), to keep apart from the group,  the group expression, the group activity of it, I always wanted to make a personal contribution to it. Why? I don’t know, it’s a form of individualism if nothing else? – Marcel Duchamp, 1968.

Situationist International

William S. Burroughs: cut ups

 Disobedient Objects Tools of protest: Disobedient Objects, the V&A’s subversive new show Some of the most powerful exhibits are the simplest ones – things that engage with the more theatrical side of a demonstration and show how the balance of power on the street can be swung with just a bit of mischievous wit.

The ‘inflatable cobblestone’, designed by the Eclectic Electric Collective to outwit authorities at street protests. Photograph: V&A V&A/PR


Rafael Montañez Ortiz (b. 1934) who was born in the United States and is of Puerto Rican descent, was an innovator in the destruction art movement of the 1960s.  He was a member of several artist-activists groups that opposed the Vietnam War and fought to end racial, ethnic, and gender discrimination in the United States.


In his manifesto, Rafael Montañez Ortiz,  discusses the concept of destruction as a new mode of creating art. He validates employing “destruction art” as an appropriate methodology, given the history of war that plagued the twentieth century. Ortiz compares destruction art to sacrificial rituals, thus claiming that destruction art is cathartic because it forces both artists and audiences to purge their violent impulses, and confront their fears of death.

Destructivism A Manifesto

It was Ortiz who conceived and founded in 1969 El Museo del Barrio in New York City.

Greg Sholette:

Dark Matter

Sholette’s ‘Dark Matter’, provides a useful collectivising term for those artists who produce the art world from below. ‘Dark Matter’ refers to all the human creativity that is excluded from the mainstream art world. The book is an interweaving of political contexts, theory, accounts of radical art activity and considerations of the archive, mainly in a US context and loosely related to Sholette’s involvement in a series of political manoeuvres within the radical underground of New York in the 1980s & 1990s.

Links to Greg Sholette’s strata of dark matter:

Candida Television:

Journal of Aesthetics and Protest: 6+:

Howling Mob Society

Critical Spatial Practice:


Center for Tactical Magic:

Yomango!: and

The Yes Men:

Critical Art Ensemble

Target Autonopop:

Temporary Services: including their wonderful Public Phenomenon Archive see also

 Creative Destruction and Art

I think there is a necessary consequence of the human urge to create great art and that is the urge to imitate it, modify it, distort it, and generally degrade it, if not completely destroy it. Douglas Gordon’s 2007 exhibition “Self Portrait of You & Me” series of portraits of celebrities with faces deformed as if by an explosive blast which seem to echo Bruce Conner’s “A Movie,” a 1958 montage of car crashes, nukes and nudes.

Douglas Gordon’s 2007 exhibition “Self Portrait of You & Me”, Warhol’s Marilyn.

Ori Gersht’s “Big Bang I” from 2006, a mesmerising slow-motion video of a flower vase shattering. Gersht also recreates famous still life paintings using real object then films and photographs the things exploding. Self-righteousness seems to justify any act of destruction. In 2001 the Afghan Taliban dynamited the Buddhas in Bamiyan, calling them idols of the infidels. In a Byzantine art exhibition now at the National Gallery of Art classical statues were vandalized in the fourth century by Christians who “improved” Greek and Roman art with incised crucifixes. Christians too lopped of the penises of many a Greco-Roman and later Italian Renaissance statues were “improved” with the addition of leaves. Suffragette Mary Richardson, in 1914 took a meat cleaver to Diego Velázquez’s “Rokeby Venus” at the National Gallery in London (to protest the imprisonment Emmeline Pankhurst, “the most beautiful character in modern history,” Richardson thought it right to destroy “the most beautiful woman in mythological history.”) Tony Shafrazi spray painted “KILL LIES ALL” on “Guernica” in 1974, when Pablo Picasso’s mural was still at MoMA (Shafrazi claimed his actions were an anti-Vietnam War protest and an attempt “to bring the art absolutely up to date” and “give it life.”).

STRIKE! magazine, SPG, David Graeber

Where activism meets art

January 2nd, 2015 London Underground.

 Anarchist Metapolitics & Tactical Frivolity – Simon Critchley

It seems to me that the great virtue of contemporary anarchist practice is its spectacular, creative and imaginative disturbance of the state. Contemporary anarchists have created a new language of civil disobedience that combines street-theatre, festival, performance art and what might be described as forms of non-violent warfare . Recalling the argument of the previous chapter, what one sees in groups like Ya Basta! and Rebel Clown Army is carnivalesque humour deployed as a political strategy. David Graeber describes some of these phenomena with great wit:

Ya Basta! for example is famous for its tute bianche or whiteoveralls tactics: men and women dressed in elaborate forms ofpadding, ranging from foam armour to inner tubes to rubber ducky floatation devices, helmets and chemical proof white jumpsuits (their British cousins are well-clad WOMBLES [white overalls building libertarian effective struggles, s.c.] ). As this mock army pushes its way through police barricades, all the while protecting each other against inj ury or arrest, the ridiculous gear seems t o reduce human beings to cartoon characters – misshapen, ungainly, foolish, large, indestructible. The effect is only increased when lines of costumed figures attack police with balloons and water pistols or, like the ‘Pink Bloc’ at Prague and elsewhere, dress as fairies and tickle them with feather dusters. At the American Party Conventions, Billionaires for Bush dressed in high-camp tuxedos and evening gowns and tried to press wads of fake money into the cops’ pockets, thanking them for repressing dissent. These comical tactics hide a serious critical political intent: they exemplify the effective forging of horizontal chains of equivalence or collective will formation across diverse and otherwise conflicting protest groups. Deploying a politics of subversion, contemporary anarchist practice exercises a satirical pressure on the state in order to show that other forms of life are possible.

Picking up on thoughts about humour, it is the exposed, self-ridiculing and selfundermining character of these forms of protest that I find most compelling as opposed to the pious humorlessness of most forms of vanguardist active nihilism and some forms of contemporary protest (I name no names). Groups like the Pink Bloc or Billionaires for Bush ( a culture jamming political street theater organisation) are performing their powerlessness in the face of power in a profoundly powerful way – Tactical Frivolity!

Politically, humour is a powerless power that uses its position of weakness to expose those in power through forms of self-aware ridicule. This is why the strategy of non-violent warfare is so important. Of course, history is habitually written by the people with the guns and sticks and one cannot expect to defeat them with mocking satire and feather dusters. Yet, as the history of ultra-leftist active nihilism eloquently shows, one is lost the moment one picks up the guns and sticks. Anarchic political resistance should not seek to mimic and mirror the Arche violent sovereignty it opposes. It is rather a question of the cultivation of a pacifist activism that deploys techniques of non-violent warfare or what we might even call ‘tactical frivolity‘.

David Graeber offers a useful distinction between Marxism and anarchism:

Marxism is typically a theoretical or analytical discourse about revolutionary strategy, whereas anarchism can be understood as an ethical discourse about revolutionary practice.

It is this emphasis on ethics as a binding factor in political practice that interests me, as opposed to the silence or hostility to ethics that one finds in Marx’s work and in many Marxist (Gramsci is an obvious exception) and post-Marxist thinkers.

 Joseph Beuys

in the same way that Ai Weiwei uses everyday objects (to make political points)

Hamilton Finlay – Propaganda for the wood elves Propaganda for the Wood Elves 1981;

Propaganda for the wood elves

Photograph 8 1/4 × 5 13/16 (210 × 148) Made in collaboration with Harvey Dwight from a photograph set up and taken in Finlay’s garden at Little Sparta. In conversation with the compiler the artist described the image as ‘an enigmatic emblem. Visual paradox is one mode of an emblem’, adding that it referred to traditional German tree-worship and the violence of nature.

Luis Buñuel, 1953

The Brute

Buñuel is famous for the bookending sections of his career: his Surrealist experiments in the late ‘20s to early ‘30s and his sublimely twisted art films of the ‘60s-‘70s. But between he found himself in Mexico making subtly wicked satires within the mainstream. A lesson in sublimated perversity!
Synopsis: A tough young man who helps evict poor people from their houses finds himself falling in love with a girl who lives with her father in a building about to be demolished.

Peter Kennard (1949)

Walter Benjamin 1990

Walter Benjamin, 1990.

Medium – Photograph, black and white, on paper, Dimensions – 172 x 319 mm

Peter Kennard The Kissinger Mind 1979

Medium – Photographs on paper and ink on card; Dimensions – 365 x 310 mm

Peter Kennard born 1949 Title – Apartheid South Africa Date – 1974 Medium – Photographs, gelatin silver print, on paper and gouache Dimensions – 250 x 210 mm

Thank You all Four Thousand Seven Hundred Visitors

Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda/ Merry Xmas and Happy New Year

It’s been a very surprising year, I never thought I’d get this amount of interest in the work that I’m doing or the items that I blog about. Next year it will be more of the same but zoning in on what I have termed in my M.A research paper as “the aesthetics of resistance”, the means by which we can all express resistance through use of art.

As a thank you, here’s today’s alternative Queen’s Christmas Message from Mark McGowan – The Artist Taxi Driver.

Banker’s Xmas bonuses are up 20% on last year.
Wages are down 21% in real term.
Merry Fucking Christmas SHEEPLE! 


(I will write more later – too much information to process right now – I also have a dental appointment and my child’s Halloween disco! Lol)


Plinth Guy DAN!!! being interviewed by Mark McGowan



The Plinth Guy – the Guy standing on the plinth of the Winston Churchill monument in Parliament square and 100 Metropolitan Police are surrounding him. MP Caroline Lucas Threatened with arrest if she gave him a piece of PIZZA!!!!

The Revolution will not be confiscated – The Blue Tarpaulin – OccupyLondon – The Artist Taxi Driver – Mark McGowan

I used a Blue Tarpaulin as the ground for my artwork for my FDip in 2012 I wrote about it here:

and here:


The Trivialisation of Democracy: The View From Parliament Square? ‪#‎occupydemocracy‬


@PeoplesSELondon: Take a look at this

Protestors in tears.”

@OccupyLondon: More brutal oppression of protestors at ‪#‎occupydemocracy‬ by police .

@OccupyLondon: Police inflicting pressure point pain to remove peaceful protestors aka ‪#‎extremists‬ ‪#‎occupydemocracy‬

@OccupyLondon: Live stream
‪#‎occupydemocracy‬ ‪#‎TarpaulinRevolution‬

The General Assembly of Occupy Democracy held in Parliament Square this evening issued a mass call to defend democracy in Parliament Square on Thurs. 23rd Oct. at 6pmOn 17 Oct 2014, Occupy Democracy began as a call to Occupy Parliament Square for 9 days. 9 Days for peaceful actions, events, workshops and activities based around taking back our democracy.Since the first day, those on Parliament Square have seen nothing of democracy as masses of police are used to break up our peaceful demonstration. The response from authorities to our presence has been heavy-handed, undemocratic and cruel.THIS Thursday we are asking for a show of solidarity, a mass gathering in Parliament Square. If you planned to visit Occupy Parliament Square, 23 Oct at 6pm is when you’re needed most.WE are what democracy looks like…………………………………………………………
The original event that is ongoing can be found here: event text:There is a huge democratic deficit. Political decisions are mostly the product of powerful economic interests. The 1% fund our political parties and our media. The views and opinions of the public on issues like the NHS, energy and rampant inequality are being ignored.We need to shift the power so state decisions reflect the will of the 99%. Loads of people are campaigning on different issues and we need to pull all these threads together. First as they are all symptoms of the power of the 1%, and second because if we’re divided we’re ruled.­­­­­­­­­THE CAMPAIGN:

The goal of the Occupy Democracy campaign is to direct the energy from current single issue struggles into a critical mass that can radically challenge the corrupt and unrepresentative system.


We will Occupy parliament square for 9 days in October, to broadcast and demand the solutions we already know exist, to inspire people to be the active citizens required to take back democracy from powerful economic interests. It will be the launch pad for ongoing nationwide events.The Occupation will be the rallying point to join together from all our backgrounds, using the energy of the amazing actions that will be happening between now and then. It will be the start of a campaign for a sane and just democracy, that isn’t about just voting but about changing the conversation and mobilising people so those votes can really count.

For too long our energies have been taken up by firefighting the worst new disasters to be imposed – fracking, privatisation of the NHS, cuts targeting the elderly and disabled – the list goes on!

To reclaim democracy we need to get on the front foot by channelling the energy from these defensive campaigns into a movement about the much better, fairer, happier world we are for.

The planning of the camp and keeping it alive depends on the help of our volunteers. We welcome anybody to join, and can find something useful to do for any skill set. To find out the details for our next meeting, or to suggest a way in which you can give a hand, get in touch via email: Alternatively, you can join in the work once the camp has started.


This video is a year and a half old and will never age…
I’ve been banging on about The Remembrancer for quite a while, this is the day The Artist Taxi driver finds out about him… FUCKING EXPLOSIVE!

Its here..!
The War Machine – ***The Movie*** Mark McGowan

I donated £5 to the crowd funding project set up by “The Artist Taxi Driver” Mark McGowan for him to make this, his second movie.

Craig Murray, former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan. Speaking at “English Scots For YES”.

He tells us why he is YES and reveals some horrendous truths about the UK/Westminster establishment.

Seriously, listen to the man! A jaw dropping 4 minute deconstruction of British foreign policy

This is no crackpot conspiracy theorist, this man is a former UK ambassador. 

This is an outstanding view of the unbelievably dirty realities that go on constantly behind the dark curtain of our shameful main stream media.

“the UK is a psychologically flawed, pathological state which is a danger in the world…”

He unveils the UK and USA policy of shipping prisoners for torture, some to death.

WMD Weapons of Mass Destruction “They knew for CERTAIN WMD did not exist.”

We did to the United Nations (over the IRAQ invasion) what Hitler and Mussolini did to the League of Nations.



This transcript is from Youtube and therefore needs a lot of editing to correct the speech recognition:

i’d I just like to say I’ve made with
everything a those two speakers a
said a with the single exception when the gentleman said that the
labor party people live without batting an eyelid questioned me to accept MacKay
said Alistair Darling who blinks
furiously when the do BK line
email would seem last night now to come down to question the fundamental
importance because I
also do not hold at all with this idea that we should be had quiet
civilized debate whether you want to come to be independent or not is purely
a lifestyle choice
like whether you have no can you copy when his all over we all have been nice
to each other
and Big Ten a big lead to changes in up its title will at all
might tell you why I I with the bishop on other side became it is ambassador I
was a British diplomat to twenty years
Thursday packing up to the decision I they they’d
a member when I first became a British Ambassador
and when tax in my own flight come up with the Union Jack
flying on it under the Investor you know I love my to
the parent movement for me a every six months after that I discovered that in
the country where I was ambassador
we in the Americans worshiping people in order them to be tortured
and some other would talk to today now as you may imagine
my worldview changed a
it was a second time bet month later we invaded
iraq against will all the
to go to cancel not just without missions Security Council but in the
full knowledge
in the goggles good counsel we would have been looked at I and british
soul all the internal memos the
went to that decision I know for certain I used to be head
up the SEO unit monitored got the weapons of mass destruction
I know people certain I can tell you that they knew they wouldn’t
it was all a mistake it wall
a lie on I think
it is impossible to beat at of the United Kingdom
I think when we invaded Iraq we did to the United Nations what Hitler and
Mussolini did to the League of Nations
and I think what we’ve done since the
where you know the truth is often much Adam
and in the bombing you look Libya disaster not
we bonded we killed 15,000 people when NATO bombs at eight something they never
told you on the
BBC and did it make it better? never.
i’ve seen I saw in with Pakistan I saw gas contract signed by
in phnom the comical Unocal which George Bush Senior
was on the ball too big and gas pipelines
miss Pakistan I’m kazahkstan a
over Afghanistan a down to the
Indian Ocean that was actually what the Afghan war was about
they’d actually had talks with the Taliban and Unocal
to see the Taliban would provide pipeline security
a the person who help those tools is the a
the consultant the Unocal was a certain mister Karzai
the who after being employed by George Bush Senior Consultant went on to become
all over Afghanistan that was a bit plan B
a Taliban do its ten-day it usually
I’ve seen it on the inside is almost always like to love the daughters
it any bitches to others become so happens that within 100
all you have to do you like to do and I can tell you is not an academic
construct a system stinks Westminster stings
the British government is deeply deeply model
they don’t care how many people the killer build if it advances the minute
a who pose no is voting to support
a psychological aside psychologically plausible
pathological state which is a danger in the world
ago the state a state appeared to go to War
to make a few people wealthy that’s why I say
is not possible to be a decent person and don’t know
and we shouldn’t be ashamed to say that