Tuesday, 27 March 2012

The fetishist

Bob Georgeson, The fetishist, 2010. Photomontage

My son, who runs a very successful fishing blog, told me on the weekend that the only reason I get any visits to this site was that I had the word 'eroticism' listed as an interest. Could it be true? So, just to whet your grubby appetites...

PS Fishing guru Rex Hunt says that 'catching a fish is man's second biggest thrill in life'. I like fishing too...but give me a choice...well...

Sunday, 25 March 2012

That is such for practical purposes though not in name or according to strict definition...

Bob Georgeson, Explosion and The moment I had been waiting for, Mixed media, 2012

My original idea was to have an online presence for my art and thought that a blog might be marginally more interesting than a static image repository. I wanted to be able to 'point' interested parties (like prospective gallery directors) at a site so they could get an idea of what I did and where I was coming from.

Then I started to think about the 'blog' becoming the art work in  itself. This had great appeal because of my distaste for being 'curated' and having to deal with art wankers, not to mention the cost and stress of mounting exhibitions that few people see because I happen to live in a remote part of the planet. In this environment I can control what I want to exhibit and how it is presented, and reach a far greater audience than in the 'physical' world. Like many other artists around the world I am also concerned about the way in which the conventional art 'system' works and is controlled, and look for ways to exhibit in, and support, non-elitist public spaces.

Virtual art is a term usually associated with computer generated imagery and gaming, but art displayed in the virtual environment is a relatively new concept. I had been flicking through an art mag recently and thought how do you know that these images of installations are real? And since so much of our experience of art comes from reproductions in books, magazines and the web does it even matter? British man of letters Samuel Johnson said a very long time ago that 'a room full of pictures is a room full of thoughts'. Does not the thought linger regardless of the medium?

It may be hard to make money out of it but as an artist with a dismal sales record anyway it really doesn't make much of a difference, although it would be nice to get funding for large scale installations and the video work that I want to pursue...

The title of this post is the definition of 'virtual' from The Concise Oxford Dictionary. I hope you find it helpful...

Saturday, 24 March 2012

You staring at my girlfriend?

Bob Georgeson, You staring at my girlfriend?, Photomontage 2009

Built like a battleship, or just titanic proportions? 

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Steps to becoming a submerging artist

To become a submerging artist you must:
  • Be over 50 years old
  • Never have attended art school or left prematurely after arguing with a lecturer over principle
  • Know how to spell Caravaggio without looking it up
  • Detest being curated
  • Think that grant is a man's name
  • Never been seen wearing white sand shoes
  • Think that mentor is a mint flavoured European sweet
  • Strive for originality
  • Not possess thick framed spectacles with square lenses and angular sides
  • Believe that art should be accessible
Feel free to add your own criteria...

Friday, 16 March 2012

Toe be or not toe be

Bob Georgeson, Untitled, 2010. Photomontage

I am interested in online collaboration...

The above work goes back a while. I kinda like some of the things happening in it but always wondered whether it was just stating the obvious, and needed some other element to 'finish' it. As a consequence it has sat in the cupboard until now. Here is your chance to win a signed original Bob Georgeson artwork posted to the address of your choice! Suggest ways in which this work could be improved, other than the obvious 'stick it up your #$%&' or 'put a match to it'. You can also send me the elements you want added. I will cut in suggestions and let's see where we end up...

You can collaborate by posting a comment, or by email (which can be found on my profile)...

Wednesday, 14 March 2012


Tracey Moffatt, Laudanum (detail), 1998

Tracey Moffatt's Laudanum is one of my favorite works in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia. Rarely on display the immense tableau is at once mysterious, erotic and controversial (a perfect 3 out of 3 in my book!). Perhaps it's infrequent appearances are for the above reasons. After all the National Gallery stirs up more controversy with its sometimes questionable acquisition policies than it does in promoting 'out there' art. But that's another story, and what has it got to do with copyright? Read on...

In sourcing much of the material for my photomontages from existing print publications, I have been asked on more than one occasion about copyright issues. I am aware of the Copyright Act 1968, and in principle agree with its premise. I would be the first to jump up and down if I thought I was being ripped off! The Act acknowledges that artists refer to other artists work and 'appropriate' material for their own use. The Act says there is a problem when a 'substantial' portion of another copyright owners work is used, and when 'profit or gain' is to be had from use of the same...certainly defining the latter point is easier than the first.

For my own work I use material sourced from Op shops and second hand shops. One could argue that this material was already in the 'public domain'. I also think that if other well known artists can get away with blatant copying then why is my work suddenly different. At least I change the context or meaning of the original source. And if a copyright owner should object to my use of their work and I have made profit or gain from it I would give them the money. It would be foolish to contest such an issue in court...

I prefer to think of my work as 'paradigmatic plagiarism', where the original source is changed in such a way to create an entirely new tone and meaning. I first came across this term when reading critical studies on my favorite Romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who lifted large slabs of passages from German idealist philosophies. Excuses are made for Coleridge because he suffered from bipolar disorder and was addicted to opium tincture, also known as laudanum...

Thursday, 8 March 2012

International Women's Day

She said this morning that she was going to clean the bathroom and vacuum the floors. I said 'You can't do that on International Women's Day', to which she replied 'DON'T TELL ME what I can and can't do on International Women's Day!' and added, with finger wagging perilously close to my chin, 'and DON'T call me dear!'. I crawl back to my studio...

Later in the day I say 'Why don't you put your feet up and relax while I cook dinner'. She says nothing...

Bob Georgeson, She rests her tired legs, 2011

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

There's no time like the virtual

Bob Georgeson, Worlds in Collision #1, 2012

Ines Rojas, Director of the Museu d'Art Virtual de Barcelona, stands in front of Worlds in Collision #1, a six-channel digital video installation at the 2012 Barcelona Biennale...

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Desecration in the Church

Bob Georgeson, Time of Desecration, 2012

...for Alberto Moravia, who's Time of Desecration is one of my all time favourite novels, and for all those babies who have pissed on the priest at baptism...

Thanks to Suzanne for modelling...