Blackpaint 354 – The Taylor – Vincent Ad; Abstract Art is Mistaken

The Taylor – Vincent Ad

In “Common People”, the Pulp song, Jarvis Cocker refers to the “Taylor – Vincent Ad” – or so it appeared to me.  I checked the lyrics on Google and there was no such line; asked others – never heard it.  So, I googled “Taylor Vincent” and arrived on a blog which critiqued the song at length.  In the thread that followed, a correspondent wrote that his mate insisted there was a mention of the TVA.  It turns out that the actual words are “..tear your insides out.” I like Taylor – Vincent ad better.

Because at least two people – myself and the correspondent’s mate – heard “Taylor Vincent”, I feel that TVA has acqired a sort of integrity.  It exists in some sense because we both (mis)heard it.  I see an analogy – spurious, no doubt – with to abstract painting here; I feel that every time I do a painting, I potentially make a Taylor Vincent Ad.  The shape, or device, or motif, or squiggle might not exist in the “real world” (except in the painting, of course) but it has a sort of potential Taylor Vincentiality – especially if someone else sees the same thing.  Or no – if they see something else, maybe that’s the TVA.

Can’t quite get the analogy right; is it me mistaking, or the viewer?  Maybe abstract painting itself is a sort of “mistaking”…  Pseud’s Corner stuff, really.

Picasso the Abstract Painter?

In Art in Three Colours (BBC4), Dr. Fox referred to Picasso as an abstract painter.  I don’t think Picasso painted an abstract painting in his life – I’ve never seen one, anyway; they’re all figurative.  They bear the same relationship to reality as Charlie Parker’s recordings bear to the original themes – maybe more.

de Kooning

Interesting to read in the Retrospective, that dK was another scraper (see Auerbach).  Put loads of paint on, then scraped it off again, leaving perhaps faint traces that he could build on.  This habit developed, understandably, as he became more successful in selling -so he could afford to waste more paint.


I’m reading “Militant Modernism” by Owen Hatherley, in which the author refers to the great photos Richard Pare took in Russia in 1990 (collected in “The Lost Vanguard” and some of which were in a recent exhibition at the RA – see previous Blackpaint).  He compares some of these photographs of semi-derelict Soviet avant-garde architecture with the devastated urban landscape of the Zone in “Stalker”.

This may be pushing it a bit far, but I see what he means; weeds pushing through, water dripping and cascading, flooded basements, piles of rubble – but interesting, evocative rubble in the Zone..  If the Soviet buildings haven’t arrived at this state in Pare’s pictures, many of them look as if they are on the way there.


Despite the nakedly capitalist aspects of the enterprise, the sponsorship deals, advertising, monopolies in the park, etc., it has been possible to detect a socialist,rather than Stalinist, flavour here and there – the target setting of medals for each sport, the similarity of responses when athletes are interviewed – I think they’ve been coached to follow a particular line – and the emphasis on Team GB, the collective over the individual.



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