11 Sep

I must thank b Gallery (sic) for spamming me again. Apparently they’re devastated and in the depths of despair because I have “not taken advantage of [their] invitation.” I also found a beloved pet bunny boiling in my kitchen, though that may be unconnected. If they hadn’t reached out to me in this way, I would never have bothered checking out their website and I would have been deprived of some much needed belly laughs this week.

ROLF FUCKING HARRIS. The caption for this was going to be “Terrifying. Looks like he’s just about to deal harshly with two little boys with two little toys. It puts the lotion on its skin…” but I think “Can you tell what it is yet?” is less controversial.

Because whose work do b Gallery sell in their “Fine Art” (again, sic) section? Well, I spoiled it in the title. Only ROLF FUCKING HARRIS and DAVE LEE TRAVIS, MOTHERFUCKER. And some other people who all paint in the same sort of figurative 1980s lowbrow novel cover I-use-oil-paints-so-I-must-be-a-proper-artist style. Paintings of dogs, sexy young ladies, (NB: imagine this latter phrase in a lecherous old man voice), yachts, lighthouses, that kind of shit. No sexy young dogs or dogs sailing yachts, though. Gap in the market, there. The only work of The Hairy Cornflake’s that isn’t obviously a Ringo Starr-esque bit of Photoshop filter fuckery is apparently done in homage to Robert Palmer’s seminal 80s pop video celebration of sexy young ladies who also look a bit like high-end sex dolls, Addicted to Love. Avant garde! It’s appropriation of mainstream media tropes, like Christian Marclay’s Cock! I mean Clock!

Unfortunately it turns out b Gallery has a strict apartheid system. Ordinary painters of pets and sexy young ladies (but never sexy young ladies kept as pets, you fiend, this is a decent site for decent people), even if these Fine Artists have been “spotted” and “invited” by a “talent spotter”, are not admitted to the upper echelons where elite contemporary artists like Dave Lee Travis and Ringo Starr deploy their MS Paint skills with devastating insight. No, these lesser Fine (or less fine) Artists are obliged to pay a sum that b Gallery doesn’t specify up front in order to become a “member” of the directory.

Talk about taking advantage… Oh, I’ve got a member for you, right here.

Did Rolf and Dave have to pay an annual subscription for their “free” showcase and “free” e-mailout, like all these other Winsor & Newton monkeys who got talent spotted? In any case, I’d like somebody at b Gallery to tell me how it’s possible to spot something that doesn’t exist. It’s quite a feat. Maybe they just use those nudie airport scanners to see through peoples’ clothes and into their wallets, where their main qualifications and talent evidently lie.

Incidentally, something isn’t free if you’ve paid for it, even if you’ve done so indirectly. I know it’s easy to get confused about the subtle differences between such complex and abstruse concepts as “free” and “paid for”, but luckily I’m here to set b Gallery and everyone else straight. If you pay for it, it isn’t free. If it’s free, you don’t pay for it. If you’re a professional artist, you get paid to make and show your work, or somebody buys it from you. If you’re a hobbyist, you pay to do your hobby and good luck to you. I hope you enjoy yourself and give yourself a lot of pleasure  by engaging in your hobby (no, you filthy beggar, not that kind of pleasure. b Gallery is a decent gallery, a b gallery). But I’m afraid nobody really thinks your art is any good, except for your mum and that woman from accounts with the centre parting and the wonky eyes. And your mum’s just being nice about it because she’s your mum, anyway.

Of course I’m totally flattered and gratified that a b Gallery talent spotter spotted my talent, and they invited me to join even though I’ve never done a fucking painting in my life except at school or for fun because I work mainly in video, installation and performance, and I’ve done so for over a decade. They invited me despite the fact that I’ve written extensively– and indeed I am something of an activist against– parasitic businesses that exploit the desperation and naiveté of aspiring artists. So, overall, some excellent research on their part before they decided to try and pump me for money using crude pressurising sales techniques and psychological judo that obviously works on some of the dimmer bulbs operating in the realm where people are pleased to call themselves artists. These pay-to-play vanity galleries are really not much more advanced in the internet bottom feeder ecosystem than Nigerian email scammers. At least the Nigerians are entertaining. “Dear Sir or Madam Ms Gantry, I am Amfrom Ngeria, duaghter of late ambadasor to United States of England who recently pass away and am willing deposit you $560,000 when you joining b Gallery with such famouses as Mr Rolf Harris and Dame David L. Travis.”

What does that irritating lower case “b” stand for, anyway? Honestly I could sit here all day offering cogent, insulting and obscene suggestions, but I’ll leave that to you instead, dear readers.

DAVE LEE TRAVIS, MOTHERFUCKER. Might as well face it, you’re addicted to smug. Also, “It puts the lotion on its skin, or else it gets the hose again…”

And finally:


  1. Alistair 22/09/2012 at 5:45 PM #

    Oh, and by the way dear readers and not so dear b Gallery or any other arseholes who think they can milk artists with impunity: the UK’s Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 explicitly bans (quote) “Describing a product as ‘gratis’, ‘free’, ‘without charge’ or similar if the consumer has to pay anything other than the unavoidable cost of responding to the commercial practice and collecting or paying for delivery of the item.” e.g. saying a showcase is “free” when the only way to get that showcase is to pay a subscription.

    Artists. writers or anyone else who encounters similar bullshit (not free “free” stuff, false advertising, “prizes” that are not what they seem or don’t exist at all, etc.), please report it to the Office of Fair Trading. Most other countries have similar legislation.

  2. Alistair 28/02/2013 at 12:46 AM #

    PS: I wrote this before all the stuff came out about Jimmy Saville’s revolting sex crimes, and before other allegations (some justified, some spurious, some as yet unproven) started to surface about seemingly half the light entertainers who worked at the BBC in the 1970s. Obviously I can’t stop people Googling, but seriously, there’s no information here about whether Rolf Harris or DLT were/are perverts and sex criminals or not because I don’t know… even though I rather presciently made (joking, not accusatory or insider knowledgeable) reference to Harris’s ‘Two Little Boys’… I’m sure I’m nowhere near the first person to do so, he kind of walked into that one didn’t he?
    I DO know that Travis and Harris (“Htravarris”) have committed crimes against art with the work they have for sale at b gallery. Guilty, the canvases should be confiscated and destroyed humanely.

    • Alistair 22/04/2013 at 9:57 PM #

      Well, tie me kangaroo down sport, Rolf did indeed get into a spot of bother, didn’t he? Considering changing the name of this blog to Minority Report.

      Apparently the media are saying they kept his arrest secret until now, except they didn’t because I could see all the hits here from the media in my site log after November 2012, which is when he was arrested. Silly professional (sic) journalists, don’t Google “Rolf Harris sex offender” from your work computer if you want to keep something like that secret.

      • Alistair 29/08/2013 at 7:03 PM #

        Doh! Now Rolfaroo’s been charged with nine counts of indecent assault and four counts of making indecent images.

  3. Alistair 07/07/2014 at 6:04 PM #

    Aaaand Rolf’s been convicted. The people who are now dumping his paintings because he’s a sex criminal should really be asking themselves what they saw in these paintings to begin with. Get your eyes tested, dear.

  4. Alistair 24/09/2014 at 6:40 PM #

    The Hairy Cornflake just got the hammer from the man in the wig, too. Verbs like “thrust” and “grab” have been used in combination with nouns like “knickers” and “breasts”. Apparently at the BBC he was known as The Octopus and like many of his colleagues he got away with groping young women and making them fear for their jobs for many years, which sheds an even creepier light on his “artwork” [sic] depicting sexy, leggy ladies. I hardly thought that was possible, but there you go. What a scumbag.



    […] civically minded light entertainers Dave Lee Travis and Rolf Harris, who have recently been helping the police officers of Operation Yewtree with their enquiries. […]


    […] of a bad horror novel, as its dated and creepy style might suggest. It’s just so ugly. Even Rolf Harris is a better painter of royal parasites, and he’s appalling. They […]



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