Bedlam : The Art of Graham Houston


Cover for the book Bedlam

Click the cover for a preview of the book.


Below is the link to amazon for the hardcover.

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 From famine and war to murder and suicide I have always sought ways which the visual artist could attract the viewer, hold their attention for long enough to see what’s in front of them and prompt a discussion. It’s the temptation of brightly coloured imagery used to create horrifying ideas, human ideas.

Family friendly

I was not allowed to use this image on facebook ads. This is the cover of my book. Someone complained, its upsetting! Yes. WordPress ads sent me an email saying I’m acceptable but keep it ‘Family Friendly’. Meaning no art galleries on wordpress unless they are family friendly because you have allowed your children into something which is NOT for children. Don’t tell the gallery to be family friendly, keep your damn kids out of my gallery! Its clearly not for children, and given the current state of western culture it isn’t for adults either. I intend to make you think twice, or close your eyes, then realize you’re too late. The image is fast as light. That’s the power of human art.

Family friendly!??? That is what you tell me? How dare you! I am now wondering how many words you would need to tell the AI artist robots to make this, and why would you ask it to make something you do not want to see,without giving the thing my name. That would be illegal would it not? You program it to not upset you at all, then art, that which defines you, art disappears. Family friendly pfft!!! You are the monstrous.

Birds of Paradise

These drawings happen in circles, until I see something, its like meditation. Those are the two types of pencil used so far. An ‘F’ type which is hard but not too hard, that’s very important. Hard leads tend to burnish the paper leaving it shiny, which makes it impossible to photograph or scan. Also a 3b soft to add depth as the meditation tells me. After this I will make deeper shadows, probably a 6b or more. This darkening also makes the light areas more accented.

Broken Symmetry with Insanity Peppers.

I was weeding my garden plot when I noticed this high pitched screaming coming from the border of the twelve garden plots that were occupied with other gardeners. I wandered over to have a look, my garden neighbor warned me, he said don’t touch those, those are the infamous Peruvian Insanity Peppers, they scream like that, they are ‘ornamental’. So I picked one and ate it, chomping down on the screaming little pepper with enthusiasm. It tasted at first like a delicious little red pepper, soon thereafter it tasted like fire. It was too late, I had already swallowed the thing. It was excruciatingly hot. But I survived by eating the raspberries that were all over the place, then a handful of dill seeds, also growing everywhere. So I picked as many as I could and brought them home with me for experiments. I placed one whole pepper, about 1 inch long, into a large pot of chili. It made some very hot chili with no other hot spices added. After I had dried them properly I started planting them, then growing them, now I have a window full of madness.

Bedtime Story

A thought from 2011

Graham Houston Arts

The Economy: the economy is shaped like a giant flea, it has six spindly legs and skin made up of 6.5 billion and one credit cards. All but one of them signed. It has googly round blue eyes and great flapping wet livery lips with a hose sticking out. It sticks its hose into the ears of people when they go shopping. When people want stuff they give off this juice that the economy drinks, up like honey to a bear. This type of fresh juice is its favourite but it goes sour quickly and becomes misery juice. So the flea, now engorged is able to move to more fertile ground. Often over where it was previously excreting, the Pacific basin maybe. Filthy creatures. The flea then shits over the miserable wasted ground it left and assumes something will grow.

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Artificial Intelligence

I remember it well, my first run in with the AI. A primitive version for sure, but still light years beyond my hands. I had found sign painting as a way to make a living and provide meat and vegetables to my mate and my offspring. I had a small sign shop in the 1980’s. It paid well enough. Then I learned of a government contract up for bids. It was a parks department at first. However, one evil government requirement, the lettering all had to be helvetica medium, 1/2inch or less. Every sign was different so using photoscreens was out of the question. The shifty eyed sign shop supply salesman said to me, ‘I have a machine to do that, it cuts vinyl letters, anything you want to say., Just $15,000.00 but the vinyl is so cheap, its the way of the future.’ Can I make it say horrible things? I asked. Certainly. This was the late 1980’s. The machine is still around today in sign and hobby shops all over the earth. Vinyl cutting for fun, the most wasteful product ever. Anyway, as I was saying. The machines brilliance was its ability to switch between fonts, just like me dammit, each ROM chip was a font, with every variant, italic, bold, even reverse to stick to windows. It was an evil thing. I used to get double the money painting lettering in reverse on the inside of windows. My employees, who only wished to become great artists like me, were henceforth handcuffed to a machine, their only responsibility was to peel away the waste vinyl, weeding as we all have come to know. Becoming a good weeder was the next paying job. No painting, that’s toxic. Every idea I had fell apart, I had thought painting would be the last thing that technology would attempt to replace, but they did. Nobody seems to have any issue with the massive level of toxic waste from using vinyl as a disposable product in the sign business. The cost of ink is obscene. But its fast and you are all in a hurry. The paint I used was also toxic, but it will last 100 years. This was the first collapse of business I experienced at the hands of ARTI, the engineers of these things seem to be chasing the arts, trying to absorb what makes humans human.

Artificially Intelligent


You might here these words more often in the future, ‘we aren’t replacing workers, we are freeing them up to do other work.’ That would mean the work they were about to hire someone for, but they didn’t, so they don’t exist yet and therefore can’t be replaced. The hope, in the upper stratposphere of power is that not one of you has studied critical thinking, and can’t actually follow what they are saying. So, get out your critical thinking books and hats and solve their words, to the truth, they will replace you if they can. Its apparent who is winning at the moment, think of this, we need clean air, the AI needs electricity, even if its from burning your bones.


Here are some space mums. Happy Mother’s Day. These are arranged in the form of the constellation Virgo for one of my grandchildren.

It is 18″ X 24″, watercolour and acrylic on paper. Its one of those paintings that takes about 2 years after the last brushstroke to decide if it is finished. Some paintings never end. You just have to gird your loins and sign it…