Who here doesn’t like an idiom? We certainly do. We haven’t painted one for a while so have decided to rectify that with ‘Sleeping with the fishes’. It’s unclear what led Tony 2 Chains to end up in this position but it’s clear he’s been here a while as there appears to be an octopus living in his brain cavity. It must have been bad though as they appear to have stapled his lips together. Harsh.
I’m pretty sure everyone is down with ‘sleeping with the fishes’ but if you’re unfamiliar with the idiom it’s an old school gangster cliche which means to be killed and have one’s body disposed of in a sea or other body of water. Apparently the earliest recorded use was in 1833 but the phrase was popularised by the 1972 film The Godfather. Mario Puzo’s 1969 book on which the film was based doesn’t actually contain the phrase but there is reference to a large dead fish wrapped in a bulletproof vest to signify the same thing, although the phrase itself isn’t used. So now you know.
All Deino Grey had ever wanted was to travel the world. Her sisters had held her back this far but she’d never left home and needed to get out from under their feet so she set out to do just that.
Her first thought was to become a singer on a cruise ship as her sisters had told her that she had a lovely singing voice (they were lying for their own nefarious purposes) but she got sacked after her first song aboard the Symphony Of the Seas. The reasons for which were never fully explained. She next tried the profession of fisherwoman but all she could ever catch was flotsam and jetsam. It was most frustrating.
Eventually, Deino settled on saltiest of seadog professions, piracy. It turns out she just had a natural ability for it so now sails around the world taking what she wants from whomever she likes. So there.
It’s A4 and made using acrylic, paint pen and pencil. Drop us a line to give her a new home.
My life has been a lie. How can I right this colossal wrong? Can I speak to trading standards about the fact I’ve been mis-sold fish fingers my entire life. FISH DON’T HAVE FINGERS! It’s a fact. I’ve checked and double-checked. I even took up fishing for a while just to prove my point. So today’s piece is as much a public service announcement as it is art piece to vent my feelings on this most foul of lucifer’s lies. Fish do generally have teeth though. And this fish is, in fact, the pacu fish which is a close relative of the piranha and has teeth that look pretty much human-like. I’m not joking. Look up ‘pacu fish teeth’ if you don’t believe me.
As with all the pieces I’ve been doing recently he’s a bit of mixed media magic featuring some spraypaint, crystal resin, dymo tape and whatever else I was using.
It’s day 43 of Barry’s round the world adventure and after a drunken bet with a trustafarian red snapper in Thailand he’s ended up in the polluted waters around Fukushima in Japan. Barry, however, isn’t very impressed. It reminds him of nothing more than a night he wishes he could forget that he spent in the murky waters of Magalluf bay back on day 4 of his travels. He’s pretty sure he’s going to wake up with a similar sized headache however and just hopes he doesn’t catch anything because of it.
Will Barry ever make it round the world or will complications from his trip to Fukushima catch up with him before then? Stay tuned to find out… This bad lad is currently for sale and is A3 in size and has been made using the magic of marbling inks, imagination, paint pens and acrylic paint.
With rain a distant memory and sunshine predicted it was time to get out of the house to get some painting done. A few calls later and we’re on our way up to Bethnal Green to do our thing on a wall next to Deep Sea car wash. It just so happened that I was painting a canvas which had a water based theme when we got this wall and so it felt like fate. We would do a bigger version along the same lines as the canvas. So far so good.
The wall was some old school brick that hadn’t seen a lick of paint in it’s entire life and was quite dusty so it was massively thirsty for paint but other than that it was pretty much plain sailing. Some appreciative local bobbies even popped by in their fancy interceptor car but once i’d given them the old ‘these aren’t the artists you’re looking for’ line they passed by without another word. Apparently they were called by a concerned member of the public who thought we were committing an act of criminal damage. As if! Cheeky tinkers.
Anyway we thought we’d celebrate diversity and the majesty of the female form in all it’s glorious variety with this one. So rather than a waif-like supermodel we’ve gone for a slightly larger boned lady with this one. She does, in fact, look a bit like an American tourist with her Hawaiian shirt on but rest assured she’s just trying to blend in whilst finding the secret of the oversized koi carp that are swimming around her. My favourite touch was the chain (which was already fixed to the wall for some unknown reason) and the anchor which we added after finding some suitable hook like things to hand the chain off. A big thanks to Dan and Nelly for help finding the wall.
In progress shot – I really liked the fish at this point and we were wondering whether to reapply the stencil or not. We finally agreed we should but may explore this style a little further…
So there we were back home for Christmas with a load of paint we’d brought over when Mother Nature turns up blowing an absolute hoolie. With that kind of weather we didn’t need any more of an excuse not to paint and decided that having a couple of festive drinks indoors seemed to be a much better idea. That was when our older brother said we could paint the big wall in his back garden for the kids if we wanted – and as any self respecting artist will know that’s like a red rag to a bull.
So with no plan whatsoever we ended up going for a nautical theme. And having some fish falling in love. I’m not really sure why but we had to decide on something. Thinking about it it was probably because the fish was the least offensive and most kid friendly of what we had with us. We also only had 4 hours to complete the wall as we were booked in to take our nephews ice skating – but then again that’s how we like it – a deadline to actually make us pull our fingers out. So off to work we went making as much submarine mess as we could, which is actually bit tricker than you may think. It was at this point that my brothers little rats said that they wanted to join in and who are we to stop budding creativity in its tracks. Armed with every sort of way to apply paint to a wall they jumped on the wall with unnerving gusto, so much so that I felt bad when they had to be reined in a bit…
Finally, with the light failing we’d just about got to the point of completion. A somewhat fishy scene of piscine passion,
This piece was a commission for a fellow Manx compatriot living in London – so truth be be told this was a fun one to do as we know just the kind of thing us humble islanders like. The idea behind this one is pretty simple as they say the Isle of Man is just 80,000 alcoholics clinging to a rock in the middle of the Irish Sea. Which is completely untrue. Only about 72,000 are alcoholics…
As you can tell we’ve really gone to town on this piece and done plenty of screen printing, a little embroidery and some hand work & distressing – for that ‘found in an attic’ aged look. We’ve seen fit to include Blinky the fish (from the Simpsons) as Sellafield (a nuclear reprocessing plant) is pretty much exactly opposite us on the Cumbrian coast and has always been a cause for concern for those living on the Island. We’ve included some mysterious map co-ordinates that should hopefully have a little meaning to the recipient along with various other elements (like the triskele and ambigram in the bottom right corner) which should hold some intrigue for him. I’m also still slightly obsessed with the distressed looking crests so am particularly proud of how they’ve come out.
Cling to the Rock ( To remember list)
Cling to the Rock (To visit list detail)
In fact, the biggest shame about this piece is the fact that we forgot to take pictures before we sent it to the framer so most of the shots we have (obviously!) feature a lot of reflections and don’t really do it any justice. Oh well, you live and learn. On the plus side though we’ve really enjoyed working on maps so expect more before too long…