Did I go to the movie theatre in the year 2015 to view ‘Jurassic World’ & ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ because I love Chris Pratt & Anna Kendrick so, so, so much & I also ‘totes’ follow them on Twitter?

A) Yes!Movie.html
B) NO!skirt.html



  of   Not Taking It


Power Horsecock. Oil on canvas, 7ft x 10ft, 2017.

     Over the years and especially lately I have been told, “Don’t take it personally,” or “nothing personal,” trite phrases, which are usually followed by some insulting criticism, which I almost always take personally. 

     Now, I understand why people say it is important to develop a thick skin (another arts cliché), because detaching yourself from your own work, in theory, enables you to look at it from another perspective. Or that by developing a tough hide you are able to accept and receive criticism more readily and ultimately benefit from it. 


     It just happens to be a nearly impossible task and I have yet to meet a single person in the arts who does not take it personally, even though each one of us have issued the same preface to the pointed remarks we make to others. 


     We are all guilty of saying, “You can’t take it personally” even as we are all guilty of making a mental hate journal of the those who have slighted us in this same respect.

     I played the “don’t take it so personally” card recently in an argument and it dawned on me that its main use is, ironically, to insult someone. It has become a strategy to use the expression, for the specific purpose of making it personal. By saying to someone “don’t take it so personally,” you are establishing that this argument is now, in fact, personal. It doesn’t need to be true to be effective. 

     This is personal.

     Furthermore, so many artists interweave their personal identities into their own work. Even if you do not prescribe to this methodology and your work has nothing to do with your personal identity, contemporary reading of art is often riddled with notions of personal identity—as in, this painting is made by yet another “straight white male painter.”

     The personal is inescapable so why pretend that we don’t take it personally?



      In this context, you would have to be a sociopath not to take your personal identity, personally. That being said, it would not shock me to discover that some higher than average percentage of artists could technically be characterized as psychopaths or, surely, at the very least as narcissists.    

     But, trust me, they still take everything personally. 

     Think of what you wear and how you dress and how your own projected personal identity is embedded in your dress code. Every single day, walking on a busy street we all make assumptions about personal identity based entirely on the type of T-shirt someone is wearing.   


      Most of us also project and impose our personal identity in this seemingly superficial exercise whether we like it or not. Think of what a T-shirt says about someone’s personal identity, or what our conclusions about that T-shirt say about our own. Think about how you view someone wearing a T-shirt that announces, “I’m with stupid” versus, “This is what a feminist looks like.” 

     Do you feel compelled to express yourself, set them straight about what they’re wearing, criticize them to their face and ask them not to take it personally?

    I have spent three years labouring over  a single painting. It takes me mere seconds to pull a T-shirt over my head and yet,  you expect me to not take criticism personally?  

     I take painting personally. I work very hard with little to no reward. I occasionally make personal paintings or attempt to impart some personal attributes of my character into a painting.

     I take other people’s paintings personally. Some paintings can literally make me sick to my stomach. An exhibition can bother me to the point that I take it very personally. I have seen titles of paintings that were so stupid they have stayed with me for years. Painting can affect me to such a degree that not only do I want to know everything about the work, I also want to know everything about the person who made it.

  How is this not personal?

     Even in 2017, there is this myth, which still prevails, concerning the single, starving, tormented artist toiling way, day after day at their craft, striving for some pictorial identity or an original aesthetic associated with them alone, something that sets them apart and communicates to the world the nature of their own personal identity. 

     Have you ever tried to achieve the same? Do know how impossible an objective it is? Try it and then try not to take that shit personally.

     What about the other side in this, the age of the artist manager? The brand CEO of the post internet, post analog, post artist-artist (insert whatever term you see fit)? 

     Do you think they don’t take it, all of it, personally? Do you imagine, because they have separated themselves from the labour and the concept, they have also succeeded in relieving themselves of the personal? 


Secrets. Oil on canvas, 22”x24”, 2016.

    Consider that many of these are people who make Patrick Bateman from American Psycho look like June Cleaver. When they sleep, they dream of their careers; they never cease to focus on anything but themselves and what they do. 

     These 21st century art elites are the Pod Bosses of the art world and they take everything personally. You have to do so, in order to be successful in this business and so they work 24 hours a day on themselves.

     In, The Godfather, Michael Corleone famously tells his brother, “It’s not personal, Sonny. It’s strictly business.”

     But let’s not forget, Michael had his own brother Fredo murdered for breaking his trust and going against the family business, proving in the end, ultimately, there is nothing more personal than business.  And if art is anything, it’s strictly business...taken personally.

Promdate (Dreamscape). Oil on canvas 48”x48”, 2016.

A Simple Question: