This past week, I took time out from a busy season of promoting my latest exhibition (‘Tomorrow’s Jobs’: a performance work in which I google random images anxiously in front of a classroom full of plastic dolls) in New York’s Museum of Pedagogical Extrusion, in order to lend some of my hard-earned artistic credibility to the already excellent #teacher5adaysketch initiative.
Over the next five days, I would endeavour to endow the project with my artistic sensibility, bringing a humble sheen to what I knew would be an important movement.
Day 1 passed off peacefully with a work I called ‘Tissues for Nose’. It was largely inspired by social constructivist theory, but I decided to throw in a Rubik’s Cube to comment on the recent rise of cognitive science as a basis for the deepening understanding of the learning mind (for which I will soon design a hat).
Day 2 and I slipped over, in my studio, on a tube of vermillion acrylic. My agent helpfully live-tweeted the ensuing medical drama to my fan. But, despite this setback, I was able to return to the studio, head heavily bandaged, to produce ‘Dramatic Porridge’.
Dramatic Porridge, clearly influence by Hokusai (the great 18th century painter of Japanese water), was like all my works a labour of love. Note the jar of honey, which I ‘seeded’ with an affectionate tribute to my sorely neglected, now sadly deceased hamster. I like to litter my art with allusion. I’m told that it gives my aficionado immense personal pleasure.
Day 3 was a Wednesday. I produced what my agent, dear Prissie Mountain, calls my opus: a photorealistic copy of Sir William Blake’s Newton.
I’ve always been fascinated by science and although I maintain a healthy skepticism regarding his evolutionary theory, Newton remains for me amongst the top 3 scientists of our age, ranking alongside Jeff Goldblum and the professor from Flubber whose name escapes me.
Thursday was a real intellectual and stylistic challenge for me, I’m not shy to admit. I had to represent an object of almost daily use. I was on the point of binning my fourth abortive sketch of my copy of the Innovations catalogue when ‘Eureka!’ – I drew a bin.
Before I unceremoniously reveal the spoils of my final exertion, I should explain that the genesis of an artist’s ouevre often lies beyond his ken. Frequently, what spills from my painter’s quill is what the Muse, rather than the humble I, dictates.
It is for this reason that, on the final day, fully intending (as was the remit of the final task) to depict a subject of great personal significance; fully intending, no less, to depict the visages of those most dear to me (my ever-inspirational and understanding wife and children); it is for reasons of Museful intervention that I did in fact draw a picture (in pencil) of Morten Harket with eyes the size of prawn’s eyes.
I stand by it.
It is my art.
Here is my heart: