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By the time they opened the first Museum of Rap in Fatehpur Sikri no-one could taste, smell, feel, hear or remember it anyway

Cameron Hayes
By the Time They Opened the First Museum of Rap in Fatehpur Sikri No-One Could Taste, Smell, Feel, Hear or Remember It Anyway, 2006
oil on linen
66 x 100 inches
Photo: Hermann Feldhaus
Courtesy Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York

By the time they opened the first Museum of Rap in Fatehpur Sikri no-one could taste, smell, feel, hear or remember it anyway

Fatehpur Sikri was a city built by a Mogul king to be a perfect city; but it was on high ground and not near any lakes or rivers, so no-one ever lived there because there was no water. In 2004, the National Bank of India opened the first Museum of Rap there.

All the stars from television, film, and music were expected to arrive in cabs and step out of a painting or a limousine onto a red-carpet conveyor belt. The stars then had fifteen minutes to line up behind and then have their photos taken in a wooden picture of Beyonce Knowles, Justin Timberlake, Tupac, or the cat from Friends. Many stubborn stars refused to take their heads out of their image and stumbled around until they accidentally hanged themselves in the wood.

Outside the Museum of Rap, many entertainers have come to cash in on all the hype. Ten-year-old girls have brought their dancing bears dressed as Madonna, Brittany, and Run DMC. A dance school has opened next door for girls to train their bears using only bells, knives, and scissors. Another entertainer painted many different species of animals with black and yellow stripes, and people pay to see them raped by a real tiger.

Not-so-famous rap stars have brought their own spotlights, and have tied capes to small animals, and are dropping them from scaffolds.

Because the way everyone and everything looked was all important, people lost their sense of smell and needed dogs to smell if food had expired, and homeless people carried bees in glass jars to check if their bodies were decaying badly enough to worry about.

As people’s sight strengthened they lost more and more memory, so musicians were able to do cover versions of hits while they were still on the charts. And many sitcoms were able to use the scripts from other sitcoms the day before.

The empty water pipes of Fatehpur Sikri were used to circulate the same three or four scripts through all the TV studios and hopes of the people.

Orphanages make the best skyscrapers

Cameron Hayes
Orphanages Make the Best Skyscrapers, 2011
Oil on linen
78 x 100 inches
Photo: Bill Orcutt
Courtesy Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York

Orphanages make the best skyscrapers, 2011

Orphans make up the best corporations because so many of the people who work in them, especially investment bankers, lawyers, and management consultants, need to win the approval of older men in suits. The more neglected a child is, especially as a boy by his father, the harder he will work as an adult for the corporation.
The rise of conservatism in the working population is a direct result of the increase of absent and negligent fathers.
The Human Resource departments of big companies see a generation of needy workers unconsciously drawn to being patted on the head by rich old white men in suits. HR departments know these people will take work home, work for unpaid overtime, eat lunch at their desk, and adopt the goals and values of the corporation as their own.
Without fathers, these workers still live in the wish fulfilled fantasy world which they and their mothers created. They expect everyone else to know intuitively what they want and how they feel. They believe in blowing out candles, gambling, and throwing money in wishing wells. They pray in front of gym equipment as orphans pray in front of phones that don’t ring for them, empty letterboxes, and taxis that never return their fathers.

In these skyscrapers the elevators only go up. Not to strive to the top through work is to freefall to the bottom. Many workers carry their chalk drawings in their brief cases, and many psychiatrists are sent straight to the top of the skyscrapers to wait for the most successful workers.

 

The rats in the monkey’s cage

The rats in the monkey’s cage, 2011

 

Cameron Hayes
The rats in the monkey cage, 2011
Oil on linen
78 x 60 inches
Photo: Bill Orcutt
Courtesy Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York

At the Mumbai Zoo the star attraction is the rhesus monkeys, and because of this, the zoo management has given them the biggest cage proportionate to their size. They are fed the best by the zoo staff and the visitors who ignore the “Don’t Feed the Animals” sign. The monkeys hang on to the ropes and cling to the car tires tied to the bottom of the ropes.

If you throw some food onto the cage floor, the monkeys will lean down from the rope and stretch for the food. The rats lay in wait for the monkeys to leave their rope prisons and to go for the food. They attack instantly and, all together, chase the hungry monkeys back up the rope or up the cage walls. Then you notice the bloodied bandages around the feet and hands of the monkeys, the faces of the monkeys that never sleep, and their stomachs that never get filled. The rats in India are the meanest in the world, and in the zoos they are the fattest. They bully all the animals in the zoos from the elephants to the lions.

This painting is about the many star attractions in the world which are really miserable and under the control of the rats under the surface.

Exhibition at Ronald Feldman Gallery, New York, 6 January – 17 February, 2018

Ronald Feldman Gallery will exhibit a series of figurative paintings by the Australian artist, Cameron Hayes, for his fourth exhibition at the gallery. The paintings evoke the phantasmagoric worlds of Bruegel, but his scenes address the contemporary world. The paintings, some as large as 6’ x 8’, are visually complex, depicting groups of manic figures in absurd scenarios. Hayes’ vision of the human condition is comic and bleak, yet laced with poignance. The detailed paintings reward a close reading.

Join Cameron who will be in New York to attend the exhibition reception.

Ronald Feldman Gallery
31 Mercer Street , New York
Exhibition reception: Saturday 6th January 2018, 6 – 8 pm

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Image: Martina Navratilova versus Chris Evert Lloyd
Oil on linen, 194 x 254 cm

Martina Navratilova’s dad left her family when she was three and committed suicide when she was eight. Her first coach was her stepfather. She grew up in communist Prague where even if you had a father he was horribly emasculated by the government system. In her mid teens, Navratilova took her complicated psychology to the women’s tennis tour of the late ’70s where players were given mops and aprons for winning tournaments.

Chris Evert’s dad was a tennis coach. As the women’s tennis tour grew, it became clear that women playing for money and fame could not compete against an opponent playing for her father’s love.

 

Elmyr de Hory, Fernand Legros and Real Lessard in the Republic of Poyais in 1969

Elmyr de Hory was a prolific art forger. During the 50’s and 60’s he specialised mainly in the fauves ; Matisse, Dufy ect… Fernand Legros was an illegal immigrant from Egypt and a ballet dancer , who with his lover Canadian backpacker Real Lessard sold de Hory’s forgeries to some of the biggest art museums and most of the biggest art collectors in Europe and the U.S. During the 1960s, they proved the fine art world was as brand gullible as any bunch of teenage girls in any suburban shopping mall.

In 1820, Gregor MacGregor made up a fake country called the Republic of Poyais. He opened offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and London where he sold Poyais real estate and exchanged money for the Poyais dollars his mate printed for him. After months in a boat doing laps of Central America, the few Poyais investors who had survived realised there was no Poyais but refused to accept they’d been duped.


This is Fernand Legros, so desperate for money and so contemptuos of his art buyers he often couldn’t wait for his fake Matisse’s, Duffy’s ect…to completely dry before he showed/selled them to his clients. Here he sells his art to backpackers off a clothes line with one of his young men/boy assistants who he always dressed in expensive suits. To his right is one of the partys he threw with fake celebrities – european royalty.

Here nuns sell fake holy relics in front of their cardboard church. The nuns sell milk from the Virgin Mary with two cows suspiciously grazing behind them along with a Matisse painting by naked women trying to selfie themselves while struggling to include all their fake handbags. The scene is made credible by the velvet rope surrounding it, which is rolled out like electric cable by workmen.


People in Poyais weren’t interested in the painting – just the brand so they showed of their art collection by hanging them on the outside of their houses. To make the crude seem classy, opening champagne arrives in wheelbarrows.

Martina Navratilova vs Chris Evert Lloyd

2014SUL_HayesIn the late 70’s and early 80’s when people watched Chris Evert Lloyd and Martina Navratilova play tennis they saw christians vs. the rest of the world, they saw freedom vs. communism, hetro vs. homosexuality, beauty vs. brawn,  ladieness vs. ambition and fantasy vs. reality . CentreCourt                                                                          Detail 1
Martina’s dad leaft her family when she was 3 and he committed  suicide when Martina was 8. Martina’s early coach was her stepfather. Martina grew up in communist Prague where even if you had a living and present father he was horribly emasculated by the government system which demanded obsequious obedience. The government made the decisions for the family. Many office buildings in Prague have tennis nets painted on the outside of them with distant fathers inside them and orphaned daughters hitting against them, the balls never penetrating and always coming back.wall Detail 2
In her mid teens – chaperoned by middle-aged male communist officials – Martina took her complicated psychology to the women’s tennis tour of the the late 1970’s where the players were given mops , cleaning detergent and ovens for winning tournaments.washingMachine Detail 3

Chris Evert grew up amongst a big middle class suburban family. The family constantly posing with tennis trophies in white tennis clothes and under metres of shampooed blonde hair. Chris’s dad was a tennis coach and Chris – no more talented than her siblings – determinedly rose to the top of her fathers affections with faultless ground strokes and a stealy focus.
As the womens world tennis tour grew in the early 80’s it soon became a celebration of poor parenting. The women playing for money and fame could not compete against an opponent playing to win her father’s (coach’s) love.
Most of the girls farmed out to the tennis tour had barely developed out of the fairytale and pony stage. Underdeveloped and needy they live in hotels and airports, relentlessly compared and assessed , sponsored and then not. Finally – exausted and injured they are leaft in a pile somewhere in a foriegn country with only torn tennis dresses and a suitcase full of plastic trophies. They walk the streets looking for the joy and big hugs their fathers gave them when they won .This is what the painting is mainly about. Begging

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During the looting of the Kerch Museum babies traded with ancient coins

During the looting of the Kerch Museum babies traded with ancient coins by Cameron Hayes, 2002-3, oil on linen, 65 x 100 inches.

Time does not beget wisdom. During the Crimean War the Kerch Museum housed one of the world’s best collections of ancient artefacts. The soldiers of the Russian, Turkish, English and French armies did not wait until the battle was over to loot and destroy the contents of the museum. The battlefield became littered with stolen and abandoned priceless ancient vases, statue rubble, marble arms and legs, historic maps, public records and fragile shields and delicate spears.

The average age of a general in the Crimean war was 77. It was the last war in which inexperienced old Englishmen without military talent or intelligence could buy control of an army of young men. Generals directed a battle from a safe distance and insisted on living a civilised lifestyle despite being on a battlefield. They drank and washed from the top of every stream whereas the young soldiers got Cholera and Typhoid from drinking water from the bottom of the stream. The young men were forever soiling their pants and coughing up phlegm. They became deaf from the close range of the canons, and crippled by the activity of battle, appalling sleeping conditions and worst medical services than the older generals.

The old men were relaxed and invigorated by battle, comforted with the knowledge that in war how old you are is measured not by how far you are from birth but by how close you are to death. So in this environment all the young soldiers were in fact much older than they.

During the looting of the Kerch Museum babies traded with ancient coins, and many of the local children have loaded themselves with looted Hellenistic Period coins. They are finding that despite their wealth they are being ignored at the antique auctions, turned away from the all-you-can-eats and the slot machines merely fire back their coins quite hard and at shin level height. Most tragically their money will not buy them the medical attention, which is reserved only for the old generals.

Some old generals have tied strings of babies around the vegetable gardens to protect them from bombs and erected baby scarecrows. Other generals have tied babies to the front of their horses like fluffy dice. A bomb has landed and exploded in the local fortune teller’s shop, sending thousands of fortunes flying into the air. They are chased by giddy old men through the battlefield and across minefields, while a palm reader has set up shop to service distraught wives who collect blown-off hands and arms in search of information about their husbands.

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Los arboles de mierda de Mexico

Los arboles de mierda de Mexico by Cameron Hayes, 2003, oil on linen, 14 x 90 inches.

This is about a taxi ride in Mexico. The driver speeds and swerves in the chaotic streets, a contrast to the careful and calm way he has cut the outlines of the porno images he has pasted on his steering wheel and dashboard. Le Merced, the world’s largest market, has the world’s largest porn section. Porn is so abundant that the merchants use it to wrap their sales. Porn litters the entire area. When you look down, you realize you are walking in a sea of erections and shiny vaginas.

Behind the porn section is a “park” where old prostitutes lean against trees, which have been fenced off to stop people from leaning against them. From behind the trees emerge pimps with vicious dogs on a chain.

On the right is Garibaldi Plaza where all the Mariachis wait to be picked for a party on Friday or Saturday evening. Couples drive up to be serenaded, and frantic hosts go to audition Mariachi bands. Most Mariachis go to Garibaldi Plaza to pretend to have a gig or to try to get in on someone else’s gig. They pose, prance, show off their outfits and generally do nothing to make it look like something.

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On his birthday Endora gave Darrin a magic mirror which the owner can use to swap lives…

On his birthday Endora gave Darrin a magic mirror which the owner can use to swap lives with anyone he captures in it. When Aunt Clara delivers the mirror she crashes the van and the mirror shatters into thousands of pieces and so everyone in the neighbourhood can swap lives with somebody else, by Cameron Hayes, 1999-2003, oil and glitter on wood, polyptych, 56 x 87 inches overall.

On his birthday Endora gave Darrin a magic mirror which the owner can use to swap lives with anyone he captures in it. When Aunt Clara delivers the mirror she crashes the van and the mirror shatters into thousands of pieces and so everyone in the neighbourhood can swap lives with somebody else with unsatisfying consequences.

Darrin is sick of his life in the suburbs and thinks to himself he is possibly sick of his wife Sam as well. He wishes he could have been a football star instead of being stuck in this life. However, he can not identify any other life which he is certain is a better life than his own; and equally difficult to face is the prospect of abandoning his own unique potentials and “special-ness”. He is doubly thwarted by his own doing, as the successful advertising slogans thought up by himself for the company he works for, McMahon and Tate, have made it more difficult for him to identify a suitable life swap by making everybody feel fat, inadequate, and boring with bad skin.

After many attempts Darrin decides the best way to use his magic mirror is to lean it against his house and run circles around it thus producing thousands of Darrins younger than he is in the present and having the opportunities to improve his own past rather than take another life he is unfamiliar with. In this way Darrin can explore all the possible life choices he didn’t take.

However, this plan is discarded as he becomes obsessed with finding the adult women which were once the young girls he had crushes on before he reached puberty, and uses most of his younger self Darrins for this purpose. He is also desperate to have his younger Darrins re-enact episodes of his childhood where he was personally cruel or allowed cruelty to go unchallenged and victims to go unhelped. Using McMahon and Tate billboards Darrin paints the scenes from his childhood he wants corrected. One important victim of his childhood was a girl with a bowel disorder called Carty Farty, who used to get her clothes from the lost property box and as a child Darrin gave her a grubby old tennis ball for a birthday present as a joke.

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Mengele in Argentina

Mengele in Argentina, 2002-2003, oil on linen, 66 x 100 inches.

After the war in Argentina the infamous Nazi doctor Joseph Mengele is fast asleep in his caravan. He wanted to develop his research about identical twins in his lounge room, kitchen, and bathroom of the caravan that he shared with his maid/lover and her daughter. His patients’ eyes all come from the same gene pool; therefore, they see the world and themselves in a common way. Dog shows – big in Germany at the time – now take off in Argentina, as a way for people to differentiate themselves from one another. Most people try to develop their only remaining physical differences. People try to grow the world’s longest fingernails or nose hair, the world’s strongest beard or stretchiest ear. Ironically in Mengele’s eugenic paradise people walk the streets proudly displaying their intentional deformities cultivated to achieve a sense of individuality and self esteem. People look for skills that would set them apart from the Mengeleian Argentineans, like growing the world’s largest vegetables, taking the world’s longest bath, building the world’s smallest ladder, or the world’s longest backwards walk. The Guinness Book of World Records becomes the most important institution in Argentina. Scoreboards are more common than traffic lights, and unofficial world record attempts (like the longest tooth brushing) are on every street corner – until the Guinness police (wearing uniforms and armbands) move them on.

Because everyone sees things the same way, it is impossible to lie, so there is no art, no movies, and no books. Thus, the Guinness Book of World Records is able to store their records in abandoned art galleries, theaters, libraries, courtrooms, and hospitals. The lack of diversity means that there are no longer schoolyard bullies to take children’s lunch money, chase them, and fight them, so children become fat and lazy. Men can only apply for the one job, so most are unemployed, sitting on park benches, and feeding pigeons – which become fat and aggressive.

The misery of his lover’s daughter is inescapable even in her own home; scientific equipment share power points with the household items. Her discarded netball gear lies on the floor while her school friends are selecting their teams through the window. Her step-father’s world of judgement and evaluation exists inside and out.

When people share the same personality type, individual idiosyncrasies are elevated to the status of pop culture and are celebrated with mass rallies, like spoon collecting, bucket types, and playing with the Rubik cube. On this day a crowd has gathered for a bucket signing by the world famous bucket maker, Gabriel Battistuta.

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