Allen Patten

New Modern

Month: January, 2014


 I recall a church that made a ruling, kissing the devils arse was punishable by death. After torturing a confession from an accused person they could then be burned at the stake. A curious thing I thought. If the love of money is the root of all evil and the devil is the personification of evil then is not corporatism an arse kissers pyramid? Capitalism an ass kisser paradise? A corporation loves only money and thus must be pure evil. If a person can’t quit their employment, just walk away, is their body possessed by some sort of a demon? I wonder.


Left right, Left right

“Live by the sword…” 8″ x 10″ 100% cotton rag paper 2013


Falling Stars

Falling Stars

“Falling Stars”

In 1939, three years after the value of money in Europe eclipsed that of the sun and the same year a whirl wind dragon pulled Dorothy Gale over the rainbow, Xu Beihong painted “Put Down Your Whip” while staying in Singapore. Wang Ying, the woman depicted in this 57” x 35” oil painting  was a friend of his who became a refugee street performer after the 1931 Japanese invasion of Manchuria . The painting last sold at auction  in 2007 for 9.2 million USD and is “western” in its execution. Read the rest of this entry »



I made a study of evil once, the history of the concept of good and evil that is; as every everyone ought;  fascinating too it was. Evil, it turns out, has not been around all that long, has evolved rapidly and will be around for a while yet, but not necessarily forever. Evil was invented by people to serve one purpose or another both conveniently to avoid the effort thinking and usefully in a struggle against others. Evil became necessary when someone wanted to take something from someone else. Language (the word) took a dichotomous turn toward the mandalic paradoxical and the goodness of god suddenly needed an opposite.   Sometime before 1229 the devil agrees to transcribe or translate a bible in which he also draws at that time, what we must therefore recognize as proper, a representation of himself; a picture of the devil in heavens basement, possibly planning his next caper.


Over the years the devil evolves to become a nasty piece of work in a runaway furnace in the basement of life. He and his (later development) minions, that I like to think of as a kind of military industrial outfit, become powerful tormenters of souls; of people; of towns; of cities; of races; of the entire world. He grows the wings and tail of a dragon. The devil shows up, without fail, where ever people want to swipe some gold hoard or other; whenever the little people need to be frightened out of their wits and wealth.

grav copy







“Widow Maker” Oil on shellac sealed %100 cotton rag paper. 8″ x 10″
Maybe Yayoi Kusama was right about mirrors.

In Canada arts organizations form bureaucracies that mirror the government funding bureaucracies that feed them. In fact provincial and federal governments will only distribute funds to a mirror bureaucracy or, more rarely, an individual with a penchant for filling out forms. It’s all about accountability they say. Accounting, they say, to the taxpayer who must be assured that the Champaign and caviar artists aren’t quietly moving hundreds of millions in tax dollars into off shore bank accounts. Bureaucracies that mirror government assure the public, we must assume, while consuming the greatest proportion of the millions in government funding for the arts that the artist is kept honest and on average, according to Stats Canada, earns $4000 annually from their art. The average sum of $4000 is kept somewhat artificially high by those lucky few artists in better neighbour hoods that do receive government grants while the rest of the artists spend most of their time and energy in one job ghetto or another. Governments can also assure Canadians that many professional artists file tax returns for zero and or negative income years. Governments in Canada sometimes wonder out loud why Canada has failed to develop a distinct identity and fail also to notice that Canada has, in fact, a purely corporate identity. Governments in Canada get their mirrors from a fun house

Con-artists confess. Read the rest of this entry »