And that’s all it is… A NAME.
Just like Beastman, Mambo, Kill Pixie, Pope Alice, Arleen Textaqueen, Bono Vox and many others before me, HolyGreenCow is a pseudonym that allows me to create freely as a serious artist.
Since I was 15 years old I have always been involved in bands. As a singer/songwriter, I did so under the creative umbrella of the band name… and believe me, some of them were pretty odd or just plain ridiculous. Even so, the music wasn’t odd or ridiculous in any way and that’s the point really… Names are just names.
So now that I have hung up the mike and ventured into the world of 2D creativity, I find myself once again baring my soul and doing so under the banner of assumed anonymity. HGC is the band name and the series I aim to produce are like albums… The individual works in each series become the songs. That’s how I have always looked at what I do. It gives me a sense of purpose and focus when I take on an idea.
My greatest love was the concept albums of my youth, whether it be Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall‘ Alice Cooper’s ‘Goes to Hell‘ and ‘Welcome to my Nightmare‘ or something a little closer to my ‘DaDa-like‘ heart like Frank Zappa’s ‘Joe’s Garage‘, the idea of releasing my work in series with a narrative is closely associated with the idea of the concept album and my exhibitions are my album launches. I guess you can’t take the muso out of the boy.
HolyGreenCow as a name, is not about the art or about me in particular. Its not a gimmick or a big pisstake either. It’s just three words that galvanise the thoughts and juices and allow me to produce work that is not tainted by self doubt or criticism. It allows me to find the voice inside and let it sing again.
It means nothing and it means everything. It does not seek to prejudice the work in advance but it can provide a form of preface when you approach the art work in general. It’s a brand. A moniker. It’s like naming a flavour. It’s both meaningful and redundant.
To be honest, there has been such a pleasant, passive, non-reaction to the name that it just felt right and there has never been a moment of doubt that I would work as HGC. It feels quite natural for me to work in this way.
Of course there are always going to be a few people that will snicker behind your back at anything that is a little different, but really, is life worth worrying about negativity in any form? No. Not at all.
There are other more practical reasons for adopting a pseudonym too. Obvious reasons like the fact there are at least two or three other photographic artists that share my name, one of them is even in Brisbane. I also enjoy the fact that a pseudonym also allows you to bury your ego, that is always a good thing to do. Plenty more should try it.
Or I could paraphrase my hero Damian Cowell (from the band TISM et al) and say that the answer that makes me sound good is that I am circumventing the cult of personality that is becoming inherent in the ‘art’ world…
In fact even the mention of Mr Cowell could unveil a further motive, in that I desire to assume the mantle vacated by the now defunct, but much loved and aforementioned TISM.
But really, who cares?? HGC is the vehicle that allows me to enjoy creating and exhibiting my artwork. So to the galleries and public that have embraced me as HolyGreenCow and looked past the name and to the actual work itself, I thank you and look forward to the future. I take my work very seriously and will always endeavour to push my own boundaries, I look forward to seeing you on the journey with me.
As Doris Day and Ned Flanders once sang… Que Sera Sera.