Less Beauty More Brains

First entry. Where to start? A good place is probably the name, “Less Beauty More Brains”. It came to me January nineteen eighty nine. I was sat on a National Express coach, pulling out of the station in Newcastle city centre. Some enterprising feminist had daubed “Less Beauty More Brains” over one of the sixteen sheet hoardings that lined the slip road.

I don’t remember what was being sold. I do remember the model, semi clad, staring at the camera. Images of a woman in a fur coat come to mind, but I might be mixing it up with one of those PETA adverts from the eighties.

You can pick almost any advert featuring a woman, apply the slogan, and it works. It is great bit of copy. The agitprop graffiti artist was no doubt offended by the blatant exploitation of women, but I was struck by its succinctness. How she was able to sum up so much with so little.

I was still at art school at the time, and her corruption of modernist mantra “Less Is More” struck a chord. Since then I have used it repeatedly. Its repetition has given it greater significance. Now it seems more like a statement of intent. A way of approaching my artistic endeavours.

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