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THE DARK TIMES 2007-2023

‘The Dark Times’ began in January 2007, when Sakoilsky doodled ‘The Dark Times: London’s only truly independent newspaper’, after wiping a paintbrush on a free London tabloid while painting a canvas. This was the beginning of a 16 year continuous series of history-newspaper-paintings, that have graced the walls of exhibitions in squats, galleries, palazzos, public institutions (& exist in private collections) across Europe. “The subversive media hijackings of [his] potlatch newspaper” are “at once satire and psycho-social investigation. He simplifies and emphasises, with a vicious joy to the use of colour and desperate relish to the distortion of text. Sinners are transformed into saints, saints into sinners. Anger is fused with humour. Banality becomes profound” – critique and anarchic painterly celebration splashed across the daily pages. The works have a lineage tracing back to the visceral, scurrilous political satires of the 18th Century. Their aesthetic ranges from carefully honed detournement: post-letrist/siuationist, -fluxus, also post-pop, post-punk, dark-pop; to ‘informal’, gestural action painting. All literally mediated by the daily tabloid newspapers, out of which, and on which they are created. They chart, simultaneously, a personal journey of the London based artist and the interpersonal/historical. ‘The Dark Times 2007-2023’ exist as a vital aesthetic-historic document and running commentary of early 21st century Britain, ‘UK plc’, and beyond. “ Paul Sakoilsky has made performances and paintings as hybridised "autopsies" of media images, in visceral terms, that act upon the daylight utopias of consumerism and media ideology. His on-going project the dark times is a newspaper in the potlatch spirit, described in the terms of Jean Baudrillard's concept of hegemony, as an ultimate debasement of value.”   Peter Lewis, 2011. Please Note: this site is being rebuilt after the death of HD's containing my archives and catalogue. The selected images of DT works, will be replaced with higher quality ones (& more), with titles etc. as we go along. I am reminded of something Hermann Nitsch told me, re 'perfection', when I first interviewed him the morning after the '6-day-play' at Schloss Prinzendorf in 1998. I asked him how did he feel now that he had finally realised the '6-tages-spiel' in its entirety, 40 years after its conceptualisation? His answer, 'I don't believe in perfection... the dream goes on to eternity..' Yes, it'd be fantastic to have everything 'just so', but it is also not entirely necessary, the world being the world, life, death, love, laughter, time, destruction, creation... & of course, art, painting etc at least, should be seen/experienced IRL (in real life) where possible; and again, well, at least one can get to see xyz here as it evolves, rather than waiting waiting waiting on 'perfection' P.S. 25 dec 2023

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