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Preview: Optimism as Cultural Rebellion

Optimism as Cultural Rebellion

Updated: 2018-03-06T19:23:04.067+00:00


NEW URL - Please Adjust Your Links


Please visit the new home of my blog and portfolio:

The Kiss






Skate at Somerset House! SHOWstudio presents: Matthew Stone



On Friday December 4th on behalf of SHOWstudio I will be DJing for Skate at Somerset House!

Book now on 0844 847 1520 or HERE.

Tiffany & Co presents

SKATE at Somerset House

Skate beneath the stars in the heart of London this winter, as Somerset House ice rink celebrates its 10th birthday. The Skate Café & Bar is a great place to meet, with a range of hot foods, beers, spicy mulled wine and plenty of bubbly. Spectators are always welcome, so bring some friends and relax in the bar after your skate. Open all day and into the night, Somerset House ice rink is London’s favourite winter tradition.

"One of the most impressive skating backdrops in town - arguably in the world"

Time Out, The Best Of London 2009

17 November 2009 - 24 January 2010

Book now on 0844 847 1520 or HERE.

Katie Shillingford





(image) I'm guessing from this Facebook profile picture, I found out who got it!

The Free Art Fair


On Sunday at the Barbican I gave away this large-scale artwork "Ways of Becoming Each Other (Detail)" for free. It was part of the Free Art Fair 09, organised by Jasper Joffe.

I'm not sure who got the piece, but I left a post-it in the back promising to sign it if the new owner gets in touch! Does anyone know who has it? I'd love to document it in its final resting place.

Matthew Stone




Simon says



Street Dance








First Thursday 05 at Bistrotheque



First Thursday 05

This Thursday at Bistrotheque from 8pm they will give away a limited-run of 100 posters featuring artwork drawn by me.

I will be delivering a short lecture set to music on the role of the shaman in relation to that of the artist.

Matthew Josephs will dj until midnight.






Stone Circle









Age of Optimism



Happy yet, not to concrete.


It is my feeling that this (perhaps enforced) reappraisal of values and global context will have a long-standing effect on the art that will be made.

We occur as the melody and thoughts on what it is to be contemporary, shifts. Post Modernism flounders sopping our feet, knowing that the new ways of being are happy yet, not to concrete.

The first urges and attempts to facilitate a "re-modernism" will fail and be forgotten. A new stance(s) will emerge that embraces the complexities of Post Modernism, but rejects its empty, pacifier Nihilism.

We must preserve an ever-expanding diversity and tolerance thereof.

I am known for speaking about Optimism, which I define as being the vital force that entangles itself with and then shapes the future. Rather than being a rhetoric charged but passive "hope" my "Optimism" actively designs and then through bold action shapes the future.



(image) Detail from FutureHindsight series 2007

Few know of what I speak now,

And of those who don't, even less suspect.
But the time has come to be direct.
I walk the earth, but my home is above,
Peopled with strings, a world of love.

True on earth, hardship brings community.
How dare I justify self-imposed immunity?
Our rarefied land of nobile sublimity,
Extracts and catalogues all of divinity.

Upon our strings we soar on high,
Our thoughts as sound adorn the sky,
Partnered concepts find chords of truth,
Fractured themes bend to youth.

And with these gifts we can bestow
Fleeting clarity to those below,
The greatest artworks for all the ages,
and hero songs upon history's pages.

This is an excerpt from the Poem/Story "FutureHindsight" I co-wrote with Richard Elms in 2007.

When is a RULE not a RULE?


(image) "Everything is Possible" (Detail) - 2008 - Photographic print on vinyl and wood.

At one of my regular artist salons, I set the group task of generating a set of rules for artist's behaviour. This is clearly an odd task and was not one that many were particularly happy to engage with! The general consensus was that we did not have the right to prescribe the actions of others. Some refused point blank stating that there should be "No rules!", which somewhat mystically became rule number 7.

I set the task because I wanted to think and hear about the personal "rules" that my friends subjected themselves to. Even if they weren't prepared to believe that these rules should be applied universally. Perhaps they aren't even rules at all.

The rules were actually written on a cloth napkin, smeared with chocolate cake and then tied around the neck of a glass water bottle. At some point I will upload a picture of the napkin.

Please add responses and your personal rules in the comments.

These are the rules that were generated by the salon.

(As they were being created we acknowledged that at any time they might need to be destroyed entirely.)

1. No cocaine
2. Must be beautiful
3. Learn how to draw (respect doodles)
4. The work is more important than the man
5. Be informative
6. Shut up about the art-world
7. No rules
8. No work about money
9. Have discipline
10. Don't repeat anything more than three times
11. No irony
12. Psychological danger - Do it
13. Fuck semantics
14. Fashion is not art
15. Art is not fashion
16. Be totally convinced of your ideas at the same time ready to relinquish them entirely
17. Trust intuition
18. No hierarchy of education
19. Be melodramatic
20. Storytelling is SO important