Tag Archive | Ronald Feldman gallery

PEOPLE ARE MAPS. Australian Galleries, Sydney. Sept.3-22

People are maps

Cameron Hayes
People are Maps, 2017
oil on linen
77 3/4 x 95 3/4 inches
photo: Vince Ruvolo
Courtesy the artist and Ronald Feldman Gallery, New York

As humans are evolving away from animals they are losing their ability to empathise
with, anticipate or relate to other animals. Within human
civilization people don’t need to know the agenda of other animals because they no
longer have to catch and eat them or run to avoid being eaten by them.

As people became more sophisticated and protected from attack they no longer need
to empathise with other people. Therefore, that part of the brain is unused and
continues to shrink to make room for more opinions – a requirement for contemporary
civilisation rather than for survival. Today, people are free to live their entire life without
having to empathise with or to understand another person.


Driving in your car is now the only place where you want to be aware of the needs of
other people – or you will crash. On the freeway there is a car crash, angry drivers get
out of their cars to start chasing each other in circles around the crash. While they are
blaming each other, they neglect to look behind themselves to see who is blaming
them.


To escape the violence at the car crash angry drivers climb down off the freeway into
the jungle. There they see animals eating other animals, but not looking behind to see
who/what is about to eat them. Lost in the jungle shoppers stare blankly at a carousel
full off snake skin shopping bags while being consumed by snakes and a woman
hunting for crocodile handbags can’t see the croc she is already halfway inside. This
is called “assertion fetish” where animals / humans are only interested and capable of
asserting their own view, oblivious to the views of others. This jungle is Milton’s version
of Eden destroyed when animals start thinking exclusively of themselves only, and so
become human
.

There are two radio receivers, because when people spend more time expressing
opinions rather than forming them you need talkback radio. On the freeway in the
privacy / safety of their cars people are phoning in unchallenged opinions about topics
they have no qualifications for, but do have rented costumes for. When they fall into
the jungle they lose their phones, so they have to drag their expert costumes around
on a rack using a megaphone to tell a ballerina how to dance and a pregnant woman
how to give birth. Tarzan thought because he wore leopard skin he understood
leopards – he was wrong, and his body parts are being shared amongst his animal
“friends”

 

Because every other person has something useful to tell, teach and show
us, people are maps for navigating life. Without understanding of, and curiosity for,
other people the fallen drivers start moving in ever decreasing circles, drilling
themselves down further and further into the one spot. They are not noticing this
because they are staring into their phones and all the mirrored reflections it provides
.

Even birds in the sky evolve into single winged birds and can only fly in circles. Cats
who only chase their tails, stretch their tails from trees so as to have a life more
extensive than the length of their original tail. Many trees have magician top hats in
them where magicians have put them in the branches still believing in their own
personal magic to conjure food and create a sustainable life.

detail typical idiot woman

 

THE EMPTY SUIT. Australian Galleries, SYDNEY Sept.3-22

 

 

One Sunday I went to the antiques and collectables market in an empty ground floor carpark -112 West 25th.St. NY. The market was packed with people and covered in other people’s junk. In the far corner there was an empty space only two men and their few items for sale. Later that night I made a drawing of their space.

 

 

I had made a picture called ORPANAGES MAKE THE BEST SKYSCRAPERS it was about how the rise in public conservatism had mirrored with the rise of single mothers, absent fathers and public fatherlessness. Orphans – people without fathers were having their need to win affection/approval from a strong white male figure exploited by big corporations – 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

 

HR departments of big corporations look for people who are willing to work unpaid overtime, eat lunch at their desk, take home work and unconsciously absorb the ideals and objectives of the corporation. These people without fathers are still suffering from the wish fulfillment fantasy developed in infancy with their breast feeding mothers and needing a father to help them escape from. Attracted to the coldest and oldest men in suits orphans work their ways to the top of the skyscrapers only to be unfulfilled as they become the object of the needy themselves. Many orphans fall in the climb and chalk drawings circle around the bottom of the skyscrapers like sharks, others take their individually tailored chalk drawings with them in their briefcases.

 

 

A garage sale is a presentation of your life to the public, your stall is your life told in objects – junk. The two men in their stall at the antiques and collectables market gave off an immediate air of akward sexuality – they seemed captive to it. The first man caught in the act of stealing glances at a underwear catalogue was wearing a $2 shop wig and seated as if posing for a school photo. The second man wore thick make-up like a clown and wore a bright yellow rain coat that looks more like protection from judgement than the rain.

 

 

The two men of uncertain masculinity had surrounded themselves/their lives with ultra male objects ; toy soldiers, army equipment, hunting trophies, super hero comics, gun and hunting magazines. Their stall looked like a plea for us the public to confirm/buy their maleness.

 

 

 

 

I painted the repo man at art school, it’s a family portrait. As a child my family owned nothing everything was rented or on higher purchase. My father absent emotionally always and physically most of the time was an unreliable and dishonest money manager. My family faced having all our stuff reposessed regularly.

 

 

In the picture my father as the repo man is taking back the one thing the family feared the most – the TV. In an effort to stop the repo man an aunty on my father’s side is showing some leg to stop the repo man, while an uncle on my father’s side is offering one of my sisters as a trade for the T.V. My oldest sister has dressed up in her best first communion dress to beg for the T.V. In the background far corner of the room I’m holding tight what I feared most the repo man would take – my pet rabbit.

 

 

My mother used me as stick to beat my father with, she praised me for qualities he lacked and pointed out to him his lack of influence – bad influence on me.A feeling of stealing from my father his wife’s affection and the responsibility of being the sole recipient of my mother’s male love made me uncomfortable with female attention and compliments from girls made me cringe. For this reason I didn’t have a girlfriend till my late twenties. People thought I was gay, asexual or just too into painting to notice girls, I probably looked to them as the two men at the market stall looked to me.

 

 

 

 

 

Wheelchair ballet school in Vivekananda Rd, Calcutta. AUSTRALIAN GALLERIES SEPT.3-22

Wheelchair ballet school in Vivekananda Rd, Calcutta
Oil on linen, 198 x 213 cm
In 1999 while visiting Calcutta I had to use Vivikananda Road. Vivikananda Road is full
of old, frail men carrying ridiculously oversized loads of stuff on their backs. The legs they
use to stumble around in circles on – all have gamey bandages wrapped around their
knees and ankles, and they are always bumping into each other and blaming the other
guy. That day when I was walking through Vivikananda Road a 20-metre metal pole
smashed into my eye, the pole was invisibly thin and rusty and the old man carrying it
over his shoulder was walking sideways and his head was facing the ground, he started
yelling at me in Hindi. I apologised “sorry for getting my fucking cornea in the way of your
rusty pole “. I made this drawing that night at the hostel. And when I got home I made a
painting on Vivekananda Rd called
They opened a plastic surgery next to the mental
home

In 2008 I was in China just before the Olympics. The torch relay was covered by one TV
station there 24 hours a day and because the Communist government pay everyone the
same they have to reward their
bureaucrats with favours such as running in the torch
relay, but there are so many
bureaucrats in China that the torch legs are divided into only
5 metres each – so it looks more like pass the parcel than a relay

The torch relay had many photo opportunities to show Chinese culture. On one day the
TV showed the torch passing through a Wheelchair Ballet school so I made a drawing
that night and a painting when I got home, the painting formed part of a multi-panel called
The Olympic torch relay in Xinjiang Province

 

Cameron Hayes
The Olympic Torch Relay in Xinjiang Province, 2011
Oil on linen
80 x 80 inches
Photo: Bill Orcutt
Courtesy Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York

  • The young girls at the Chinese wheelchair ballet school moving around the basketball
    court waving their arms in the air and bumping into each reminded me of the elderly men
    in Vivekananda Rd. I liked the idea of these children having all their disabilities beneath
    them – behind them, and the elderly having them all above them – in front of them. There
    is left to them a small space in between to do something, and with that space they do
    everything they can.

 

In Vivekananda Rd. Calcutta all the buildings  are battered up and patched up many times over. On both sides of the road and they form a guard of honour for the beaten up and and patched up people who walk down it.

the amazing story of the three Banksy claimants – AUSTRALIAN GALLERIES, Sydney Sept.3 – 22

 

Evolution is an adaption to enviroment, what happens when all enviroments have air conditioning, when food, medicine and clothes are flown in from other enviroments and when the same TV and music and film are experienced everywhere? What happens when people can drive, train, fly to other enviroments? Where does all that evolutionary energy go when there are no longer predators and prey, no longer dangerous climates to adapt to?


In the years between 1582-1591 there were at least 3 people claiming to be the 3rd son of Ivan the Terrible – Prince Dimitry. Before there were photographs and newspapers imposture was pretty easy and many people pretended to be princes and kings and queens and princesses until the original turned up or they were found out. While dangerous if you got caught it was considered a reasonable career for lesser nobles and even for the well-educated middle class. An imposture could travel the country getting free meals, accommodation, gifts and occasionally collect rents and for a time a wife or mistress.

 

In May 2012 in Hosier Lane, Melbourne there was the case of the three Banksy claimants (three street/graffiti artists) who claimed to be the faceless street artist Banksy.
Evolution is now an arms race between deception and lie detection, a struggle between finding biographical solutions (LIES) to counter systemic reality (TRUTH). People, through imposture (lying), are working their way up the evolutionary ladder. Truth is heavy and can be a burden while climbing the ladder. Lies are light and easily disposable, and therefore more adaptable. As our environments become both physically and culturally the same so too do the top rungs of the evolutionary ladder. Everyone is “imposturing” their way to be the same person.

As if by putting a microphone in front of someone makes them worth listening to (and a rung higher on the evolutionary ladder), so too does having your work seen by the public make you worth knowing (and a rung higher). Hosier Lane for street artists is the shortest evolutionary ladder with the fewest rungs.

 

In the centre of the picture there are the three Banksy claimants being examined by experts. They look through the claimant’s drawings and notes but it is the lie detector- polygraph, lurking behind them which will decide the matter. Polygraphs fill the streets like telephone boxes once did, and their paper read outs are at first like telephone lines in the air and then like streamers on the ground.

 

Animals are the first to respond to evolutionary needs and they have moved into Hosier Lane. Crocodiles disguise themselves as big skip bins so as to be regularly receive the attention of the public. Giraffes stretch themselves to look like electric poles and stick out their tongues to impersonate the wires so that birds will sit on them and be licked into the giraffes’ mouths. Snakes swarm into Hosier Lane and they form themselves into groups, so they can impersonate tags and graffiti patterns so as to be photographed and elevated up the evolutionary ladder. What looks like flowers hung in garlands from the sky are birds, which have evolved in to half flowers to catch pollinating insects. Those birds, with better lie detectors, see the snakes impersonating graffiti and feed on the snakes’ greater protein. The sky is full of fake graffiti being flown away by colourless birds.

Inside the Forum Theatre, accompanied by world famous pianola players, mothers queue up for their chance to move up the ladder via a microphone. Their babies circle them in confused panic trying to recognise their own mothers, as the mothers evolve into the same person in front of them. Behind the Forum Theatre at Flinders Street Station fathers queue up to steal superior lost luggage so they can dupe their way up the evolutionary ladder. On the train platforms the passengers waiting are truly believing their own lies as they look only at their own clocks which are different from every other clock, and so their wait is frustrating and endless. Others try to follow recipes timed with their clock only – to be engulfed in burning smoke. Back in Hosier Lane the day that was once all about you – the wedding day – has tip trucks impersonating luxury cars queuing up, then tipping wedding parties into, Hosier Lane for their obligatory photos in front of fake graffiti.

The entire landscape is littered with the wooden planks of advertising billboards – the skeletal remains of industrial imposture – they are being re-used and re-used in different billboards and like a lie they are ever increasingly complicating themselves. A baby climbs a rickety ladder to feed a skinny billboard model. Karate suits with black-belts are sold on every street corner, like professional soccer tops sold at the Victoria Market they grow from the ground like toadstools. The Melbourne Zoo is full of stuffed toy animals instead of real animals as they are easier to maintain and the visitors like their predictability

Brightly coloured lures decorate the landscape, fish leave the water in order to chase down a truckload of them. There is a runway show of the latest fashion lures and people hang proudly from the latest most fashionable lures to have deceived and hooked them. They love the lures not because they believe the lie but because they recognise the lie.

please visit http://artsy.net/artist/banksy.

The race to be the first celebrity: Jack The Ripper versus The Elephant Man – Australian Galleries, Sydney 3-22 Sept.

Cameron Hayes
The Race to Be the First Celebrity: Jack the Ripper versus the Elephant Man, 2011
Oil on linen
78 x 100 inches
Photo: Bill Orcutt
Courtesy Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York

The race to be the first celebrity: Jack The Ripper versus The Elephant Man

The 1880s: Darwin had convinced most people in England that the process of
evolution meant the next generation would make their generation look like monkeys
in comparison. To prove their status and relevance, people in the 1880s were
determined to celebrate regressive rather than progressive character traits. They
wanted to celebrate the aspects of people that they considered backward and
regressive. People wanted to promote qualities in their fellow man that were
humiliating and anti-evolutionary, to inhibit the feeling of being surpassed

 

 

 

The local government replaced all the statues of heroes with statues of toilets, irons,
and vacuum cleaners. Everything inspirational was being replaced with the
acceptance of the debilitating filth of human mediocrity. In the afternoon, people lined
up along the driveway of the mental home to applaud the new patients forcibly being
dragged in, as well as outside the jails to view the violent criminals. They also line up
along the hospital driveway to watch those maimed in factory accidents crawl to the
hospital door. The trail of blood they left behind started the tradition of the red carpet
for celebrity arrivals
.

Many formerly famous people have to make their achievements even more
spectacular to keep up with the new fashion of celebrities. Dr. Livingstone tried to
convince his audience that everybody and every animal he met on his adventures
were cannibals. He did this by starving baby animals and then stuffing the mother’s
skins with fresh meat. Soon lying and pantomime replaced discussion and history.

But the more emotionally and physically disabled they were, the more their celebrity status became
invincible. As more and more machines of the industrial age threateningly came torepresent to people that they were becoming evolutionarily obsolete, people became more attracted to those who were previously outcast: prostitutes, the exotic other, mental patients, criminals, and the physically impaired. The greatest celebrities of the age had to involve a combination of crime, mental illness, sin and prostitution: like the crime and mental illness of Jack the Ripper and the physical deformity and “nativeness” (mother squashed by an elephant) of The Elephant Man.

As a child the Elephant man was thought so shockingly grotesque that the only job
he was suited for was selling women’s stockings door to door.

A theme park called “The Elephant Man’s Mother” celebrated how Joseph Merrick
suffered without his mother’s milk (nature): children could buy elephant man masks,
head sacks and trinkets at the gift shop.

Great thinkers and achievers made people feel inadequate like old school friends
who have made it big. People blocked them out by filling their minds with the lives of
the needy and emotionally retarded: Karl Stefanovic, Alan Jones, Kardashians.
Images of great art were replaced by Instagram pics of restaurant meals.
Philosophical proverbs and heroic mottos were replaced by tweets about – well –
other tweets. Prostitutes (then) and skinny models (now) along with sexually ambigous radio hosts are symbols of nonreproduction, and, along with criminals, are celebrated as an affront to the next
generation to the certainty of evolution.

 

Ugliness becomes the new trend with dog baiting and talkback radio, adults toileting
and fighting in the streets to affirm their human / non-robot status. The ultimate
machine of the age – the clock – torments people by reminding them of an evolved
future of which they will not be part of and obliterating the past which they felt
superior to.

Darwin’s theory of evolution means babies are the masters of the next generation,
exploiting the adults’ fear that they would have to mutate to survive. Babies are
destroying the old London by driving steam train tracks through old buildings and
replacing trees in the parks with wooden chairs stacked in the shape of trees.
Mothers used long handled prams because they feared the violence of their pumpedup babies. Babies in top hats roam the streets looking to kill regressive human forms
and at the races shooting any non-winning horse.
The London zoo is the only sanctuary for the adults from the oppression of evolution.
The zoo animals in cages were confirmation that the adults weren’t the bottom of the
evolutionary ladder, the skin tight cages they put the animals in demonstrated the
adults’ superior freedom and intelligence, the wheels they put the cages on made it
possible and convenient for the adults to express their anger at the animals rather
than the system. Like Lord Curzon, Captain Cook and Gordon of Khatoum adults felt
it safer to concentrate on the individual not the system.

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.