Tom Fogarty Face Cartoon

Upside Exhibition / Downside / Darkside

This is a picture of me by Paul Shinn. It was part of of a bigger picture that featured the faces of 100(?) of his other friends. Presumably, he only chose the lookers out of his 367 Facebook friends(+)…

It was part of an exhibition he took part in called Upside; a collaboration between him and some other London artists, depicting that in life which makes them happy. Or some nonsense.

Other contributors include Yuki Nishimura, Arina Orlova and Elli Chortara. Check out their stuff, it will do you good.

Personally, I’d like to see a follow-up called Darkside, or Downside – exploring all that is rotten in the psyche of these young artists. William Burroughs once said (I think), “all true artists should be at war with the world“. And this is a mindset I agree with – this is what makes me tick. I want to see what scares people and what makes them sad – it’s far harder to explore what disturbs us (we are naturally drawn towards stuff that makes us happy). I made an influence map recently, and most of it is by artists who explored the darker side of life – Francis Bacon, Munch etcetera (although there’s a lot of happy, camp stuff in there too).  Although I can appreciate that Picasso was good, it’s only really his blue period that appeals to me, or his Weeping Woman.

Maybe this is why tattoo art appeals to me; it is reckless, stupid and brave; it borders on self-harm, and it is permanent.

Either way, I look forward to checking out their future work, and I hope they do a follow-up soon. Boom Shanka…




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