Monday, 30 December 2013

HALAL SYMBOL SPOT PICTURE 2014 after Damien Hirst.

This picture has now been added to the collection over at . There seems to be three strands of work emerging over at MoTMA . There is the archive of actual takeaway menus which now number several hundred and that will continue to be added to over the coming years. There are the photographs that explore cultural institutions and are helping to create the myth of MoTMA online.
The third strand is where the above picture fits in and that's  making art work from the menus. Trying to tie these three strands together in the future will be the challenge.
Oh yeah Happy New Year, My highlight of 2013? Got to be Mrs Thatcher dying albeit thirty years too late. The only good thing that bitch did was stopping kids school milk. I hated drinking that shit...

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Introducing MoTMA....

My attention has been else where. New blog It's a spoof museum, although a real archive. It's as genuine as most museums, started with the same good intentions to collect, conserve and celebrate something or other. In this case takeaway menus. The MUSEUM OF TAKEAWAY MENU ART or MoTMA for short has a collection of several hundred menus dating from 2008 until the present day and will continue to collect.  The museum only exists as a website, a blog.  The blog is set up as though for a physical institution. It will be used as a vehicle to explore the world of cultural institutions. It may become a photo series or book, or both. This is art.

Monday, 7 October 2013


The above image is a 2 metre by 1.5 metre digital collage which is made up from takeaway menus that have been posted through my front door over the last five years. I now have several hundred of these colourful little pamphlets which is why I have decided to form THE SALFORD & DISTRICT TAKEAWAY MENU MUSEUM.
It is a bit tongue in cheek but I do also think that they do or at least will form part of our social history. I believe that there is a pencil museum somewhere so come on! It's also a chance to take a look at the workings of institutions such as museums and galleries.
If you have menus to contribute and they are from Greater Manchester then please send me them, email me for an address.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

'When Anish Kapoor Came Round For his Tea' by Mark Page.

This story starts in the spring of 2013. I was sat eating a Babybel cheese one night and as I was playing with the red wax I thought to myself, "bloody hell Mark, that wax looks like the stuff Anish Kapoor makes his sculptures out of". So that summer I spent much of my time imagining  what other things found in an everyday kitchen could have inspired Anish Kapoor. I liked the idea that a great artist of international standing would come round to your house for tea but just couldn't stop creating Art. 
Towards the end of summer I had a set of photographs. Earlier that same summer it had been announced that Anish Kapoor was to get a knighthood. I thought it would be nice of me to make a little book out of the pictures and send them to Anish  as a way of congratulating him. And so a book was made, a jiffy bag bought and off it went to Sir Anish's gallery in London.
I didn't have time to forget all about it, as within the week I got an email back from Anish saying how much he had enjoyed the book and how kind it was of me to invite him to tea. (He also wanted to order more copies of the book which is always nice),
and he was also interested in what else we could do together with the book and I am now in touch with his studio.
 And so the story continues..... Fact coming out of fiction. The moral of the story? Always eat cheese before bed.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Not At Arles in Body but........

It's Arles next week, I've never been. My work's been there twice now. First Semi's went to a little fringe show in 2010 and next week Art is Godd is going as part of ROAST BEEF presents. If you are going and you get the chance please go and have a look. It's at 8 Rue Favorin, Place du Forum Arles. It's on between the 1st and 4th July. More details in the previous post.

I've never been to Arles but I have an image in my head and I made the above still life in honour of the inaugural ROAST BEEF presents. As with my other still lifes it's 80% made from images sourced from the web.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

ROAST BEEF presents....

I'm not a lazy bastard. I've been busy that's why I've not had time to waste on this blog. Besides making my own piccies I've been helping Ed Watts photo artist and our man at The Whitworth with the above, a show which is going on in Arles at the same time as the big photo festival. Although to be honest it's 99% Ed which is probably why it got off the ground in the first place. You can follow the progress at and there is also a facebook page HERE so 'like it' and 'share it' and all of that.
                                             Good old line up, I think I'm on it because it's my ball so to speak. We hope ROAST BEEF presents will become an on going way to get British photographers work shown overseas. So Scotland if you go for Independence that's just one more opportunity you are going to fuck up.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Rhodri Brooks

I only stop by this blog and post when something catches my eye these days. Rhodri Brooks pictures really made me smile, they are so fucking silly in a good way. I had to add to the photographers list at the side.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Makes Me Scream.

I hung this picture by FRANCIS Bacon at work yesterday, Strange Coincidence. I bet it's why this fella picked the name Francis in honour of Bacon cos he knows how much Bacon loved his Popes.

The BBC News has become obsessed (or maybe it's possessed ?) with all this Popey stuff. Why? I'm not sure. It's not like we are this great devout nation. We decide we didn't like their type in 1534. Maybe the BBC has had a change of heart. After all the Catholic Church and the BBC do have lots in common... 

Google search for Francis 1 14/03/2013

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Brandon Juhasz.

The next step on from appropriation of Google images is the recycling of those images. Internet collage, turning them into 3D and rephotographing. It's all fun, can it be used to say something of substance? can it become something more than novelty? Could say documentary photographers use it in some way? Does anyone outside of the silly little photo puddle we swim in give a fuck?
 There's no getting away from the fact that Brandon Juhasz's images bear more than a passing resemblance to those of fellow American Daniel Gordon but I find them a bit more interesting maybe the next step on to finding a little bit more depth with this kind of thing. Keep making me smile though..

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Robert Longo.

I've not posted for a while. I've been busy doing my own stuff. It's all well and good pointing out the work of others but at the end of the day? So I've decided the blog can take a back seat again. Who reads blogs anymore anyway? There's a good strong list to the right of loads of good photographers. I reckon it may even be the most comprehensive in photo blog land, and I'll keep updating that. When I have something to say or something grabs my eye I'll post it up. Which brings me to the work of Robert Longo.  He's not a photographer, I bet you thought these two images were photo's? I bet you had heard of him? I hadn't, I can't believe why not. I bet there's people going " I can't believe you've not heard of him OMG like he's really famous man" (that's me trying to be an American) and Robert Longo is a very American artist. You can hear an interview with him HERE (if you can stand it coz he does comes over as a bit of a dick, I'm sure he's no more of a dick than most successful artists but still) As photographers we should all love this artist, he makes work about photographs, his drawings/paintings are inspired by photographs.I think that's fucking bonkers. Artists are so full of shit, listen to him try and justify the fact that he can make drawings that look just like photo's....
he's a good draughtsman. I'd like him to make a picture of my pet cat. I'd then get it printed big like on canvas and hang it above the telly....

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Still Life: Top Tips #3

To save yourself the embarrassment of buying NUTS magazine in the shop you can make your own using Google images. This one is tiny. Small NUTS if you like...

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

FOAM MAGAZINE TALENT CALL 2013 (Strictly NO old bastards)

I was in two minds whether to post this as it's got one of the daft No under 35 year old rules that the photography world loves so much. What if you're a slow fucker like me eh? I do like FOAM though and they do showcase some good stuff so heyho. And I guess we can let the kids have something as their music is all so shit. So if you are under 35....

The call out:
The international photography magazine Foam Magazine officially opens the submission for its seventh annual Talent Call on Monday, February 4. All photographers worldwide between 18 and 35 years old (booo hiss!) are invited to submit their portfolios for the Talent Issue.
‘The annual Foam Talent Call searches for exceptional talented photographers from all over the world. We aim to have an annual overview of the work of young promising artists. We are curious for new developments, trends and themes that are of importance to contemporary artists,’ according to Marloes Krijnen and Pjotr de Jong, respectively editor-in-chief and creative director of Foam Magazine.
Every year, Foam Magazine dedicates its Fall issue to publishing the work of young talents. It is a springboard into the international photography industry for these artists, giving them worldwide recognition and acclaim. Last year the winning portfolios were chosen from almost a thousand submissions from all over the globe. The winning portfolios, chosen by the Foam Magazine editorial team, will be published in the Fall issue, Foam Magazine #36 / Talent. The Foam Talent Call 2013 is open to all photographers aged between 18 and 35 across the globe. The entrance fee is €35,- and the competition is fierce, but those chosen will be showcased in the Fall Talent Issue of the magazine and exhibited/promoted in different ways through the international photography network of Foam Magazine. The editorial board will choose the portfolios according to the creative vision and concept of the series presented, amongst other criteria.
Previous Foam Talents are Melinda Gibson, Ina Jang, Alex Prager, Raphael Dallaporta, Jessica Eaton, Shane Lavalette, Sam Falls, Noémie Goudal amongst others.

The campaign for the Talent Call is developed by branding agency Vandejong. The song 'Come Back' from upcoming Dutch indie rock band The Vagary is used for the campaign video. Please visit our campaign website:

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Still Life: Top Tips #2

When photographing dried catnip as a substitute for 'skunk' in a still life picture always, make sure that the cat is in another room...

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Plant Pots Stolen In Manchester Garden Centre Heist... Only kidding it's the work of Diana Scherer...

I bet you've already seen the series 'Nature Studies' by Diana Scherer on the cover of  the recent copy of HOTSHOE (they dropped the 'International' bit of the title a while back I think they realised it sounded a bit wanky)
If you've not seen them have a look. This work was a long time in the planning. Over six months to catch that 'decisive moment' the moment when the plants are at their peak of flowery loveliness. A six month plus decisive moment that's interesting. Plant still life's that's an artistic tradition that takes a bit of thought to come up with something new. Scherer has taken European still life (she lives in Holland after all) eighteenth & nineteenth century specimen illustration and the art of Japanese Ikebana mixed them together and come up with something which I thought was proper fresh. A bit like the plants in the pictures. see what I did there?

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Still Life: Top Tips #1

When photographing bottles of Blue WKD you will notice that the stuff is not actually as blue as you would think. So pour contents of bottle down the sink (it will clean your pipes) and then refill bottle with blue mouth wash. Bobs yer uncle proper blue Blue WKD..... More top still life tips to follow.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Death of The Chain stores?

Church Street Records Manchester 2009

I'm sorry for the staff, all them aging muso's still waiting for their break (a bit like me and photography) but come on! I can remember when we all hated HMV, VIRGIN and OUR PRICE for closing down all the little independent record shops. Did the telly do a vox pops when the above shop closed ?
 Perhaps with the demise of CURRY'S, BLOCKBUSTER'S and JESSOP'S It's the start of something exciting. Perhaps the business model of the chainstore is in it's death throws ? Perhaps the small independent trader will return and all our fucking high streets will stop looking the same......

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Jet Set.

If like me you love to fly around the world and go to the biggest shows and drink the very fizziest Cava, THIS may be of use. I'll meet you by the Holland's pie stall at Art Basel....

Monday, 14 January 2013

Barry W Hughes

Read about this photo HERE
 To get my year of the 'still life' underway I kick off with THIS series by Barry W Hughes. Barry is a photographer, writer and founding Father of the always excellent SUPERMASSIVEBLACKHOLE web mag. I said I was going to spend the year looking at the most interesting still life photography I can find and I think these piccies are a good place to start.....

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

2013 Is The Year of The still Life. (at least it is for me)

So it just goes to show how full of shit I am and how you should never believe anything you read on a blog. After everything I said in the last post I am intending on spending the next year or so making that most over explored of artistic genre the still life.
It's been a stalwart of photography since the beginning I still think there's some mileage in it and I want to give it a go. I've dabbled before back in 2008 with 25 weapons . Still Life is used to deal with the big issues like mortality. Can it also be used to explore the more mundane like having tea at your Nan's?
I shall be looking at such questions as well as looking at other folk who work with still life over the coming months and posting it here suggestions on who to look at appreciated.
So far I've made two pictures I'm happy with, and above is the little stage thingy I've built to photograph the still life's on.
Mark's Still life Shopping list : Flowers, vases, bits of posh rug, black backgrounds, chalices, skulls, lemons, moths, etc etc.....

Sunday, 6 January 2013

A response to Harvey Benge's Question "Documentary Photography- is It DEAD?

Harvey Benge on Sunday posted the question Is Documentary Photography DEAD? It's a question I've heard before floating around the blogs and in magazines, not as much as I've heard the question Is film DEAD? but still a fair few times. Thing is this is a far more interesting and important question than the film V digi thing, so I thought I'd have a bit of a think about it.

Myself I've always had an odd relationship to the documentary tradition even though I consider myself as a documentary photographer. I was lucky enough to have studied on a great course back in the late 90's called DOCUMENTARY & FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY, I loved it. It was a small course run at Stockport college for LIVERPOOL JOHN MOORES UNI. Even then on that course we were steering clear of Salgado and giving Richard Billingham big love.  Tim Page was out, Simon Norfolk's more considered and reflective approach to documenting war was in.

 I've used a picture of Ray's a laugh as my example instead of The Ballard of Sexual Dependency as Harvey did. I can at least relate to working class life even if it is so dysfunctional. New York gay clubbing scene may as well be Mars. Richard became a saint on my course and early photographic education. He was authentic. He shot colour badly with crap throw away camera's the camera phones of their day. The photographs he made had a truthfulness that I think has been central to their appeal. They were originally made as records and sketches for paintings. They were not made to sell as a story or book, that came later. The blurriness harsh flash, and sometimes off kilter framing comes from limitations of equipment and technical ability of the photographer not for reasons of current stylistic fashion or saleability. We believed in "Ray's a laugh" as a truthful document and Billingham as a reliable author in part because of his originality and ability as an artist to make sense and order out of this set of chaotic images.

As Harvey says Nan Golding has recently stated regarding The Ballad of Sexual Dependency. "I am terrified that everything I believe about photography, about this work, is over because of the computer and easy manipulation of images it facilitates. This work was always about reality, the hard truth, and there was never any artifice. I have always believed that my photographs capture a moment that is real, without setting anything up...

Now, it is so distressing: no one any longer believes that a photograph is real. Almost every time I give a talk or teach, I ask this question about truth and photography. If all but four or five in an audience of two hundred artistic people don’t believe that photographs are true, then what does that say about the rest of the world? So this eliminates the larger reason for having done this book — not for me, but if nobody believes it as having happened …what is the point? The belief that a photograph can be True has become obsolete."

I think Nan's worrying unduly and doing the viewing public a dis-service. Viewers ain't thick. We are all increasingly image savvy, fuck knows we see enough of them. We believe a set of photographs from the 80's  like "The Ballard of Sexual Dependency" or a set from the early 90's "Ray's a laugh" because they look like authentic and truthful photographs from the period should look, and that's not looking like imitations of things that had gone before. Nan Golding didn't set out to replicate Diane Arbus and Richard Billingham didn't set out to replicate the look of Paul Graham or Martin Parr.
We don't believe photographs anymore not because of computers or manipulation but because of photographers conservatism and desire for commercial and perceived artistic success.

So to answer the original question is Documentary photography DEAD? my answer would be no. Much current work using traditional documentary styles that constantly rehash and repackage should die, in fact it should be taken outside and shot.
 As long as artists use photographs to document the world using original and authentic means and continue to push the definition of what a document can mean and start new and as yet unimagined documentary traditions of their own  we will continue to use forms of photographs to try and make sense and record.

Now that's the most I've wrote here in a long time I'm going to lie down......

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

New Cliches of Photography #31

Making pictures about the cliched object of the sun in amateur photography. Oh the irony!