Lehmann Maupin | 540 West 26th Street
change the universe
digging in the gutter
stirring the mud
harming no one
everything under gods hand
As a 2 year old kid i sat on the pavement outside my parents house with my feet in the gutter digging with a broken lollypop stick. I liked gouging and lifting the dirt, it was soothing.
Aged 5, i was dragged kicking and screaming into skool. I didnt like being there. The place was petty, cold and hartless. The only times i felt at all within myself was when we had morning play or did painting. We made pictures with the powder paints, mixing the colours soothed me. This is what ive kept on doing - and protected within myself - thru werking in the dockyard and eventually being expelled from art skool (i was expelled from st martins skool of art in 1981). At st martins i refused to paint in the studios. When asked why I replyed it was becouse I didn’t want to become contaminated. This didn’t go down to well. Also they said my poetry was obsean, so i had to go. But this uncompromising streek is how I have alined myself with the universe: Its very simple and ordinary because it is nothing more than expressing my nature: I’m an artist and doing what i’m ment to be doing: i belive that art can be defined as line and form coming through the hand - the head, and even the hart, have to get out the way.
To the ego ridden individual to become an artist or poet gives them a tin-pot identity and the elevated status they crave. Ironically picture making is undervalued. But digging in the gutter with a lollypop stick can change the universe just as well.
Billy Chyldish, February 2013
“And perhaps in this is the whole difference; perhaps all the wisdom, and all truth, and all sincerity, are just compressed into that inappreciable moment of time in which we step over the threshold of the invisible.”
Joseph Conrad – Heart of Darkness