2016 A Review of the Year


2017 Happy New Year Resolutions  

Well that was an odd year, and to be honest I am so glad it is over. On the upside I was finally diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease after twenty-years of misdiagnosis, and on the downside I have Crohn’s disease. At least I now know.

Then I had to go through some crazy surgery that was supposed to take no more than twenty minutes and ended up in a theatre for two and a half hours because my shoulder has somehow frozen. I experienced a panic attack for the first time in my life after realising I couldn’t move my arm, let alone feel it, but 19-hours later it started to move again and I cried because I realised just how important and delicate life was. 

Then before all of this, we had Brexit in the UK. That was probably a shock, but not quite so much. This was kind of expected because so many people thought the ballot paper was asking if you would like to stick two fingers up to the establishment.

Then the US Presidential election happened and again, the ballot paper must have asked if you wanted to stick another two fingers up to the establishment.

That comic sans font is still not banned, and Justin Bieber threw a fit in Manchester when his teenage fans wouldn’t stop screaming because he had something intelligent to say.

Tumblr thought that going outside to play Pokémon Go was the equivalent of hiking in the wilderness for a week, and the rest of the world did what they usually do and glued their phones to their hands but this time to track down imaginary creatures.

Tweets became a form of contemporary art only compromised by people telling you what to tweet and what not to tweet said Kayne West, and Twitter tried to sell itself off but couldn’t find a buyer. Unless they hire me to turn it in to Facebook I have to say my prediction is that it will follow Vine. I think they know because many of the top figures at Twitter walked out. 

Hilary asked The Donald to delete his twitter account, stupidest Donald Trump tweets started to trend on Google, with Donald asking in a tweet; If Obama resigns from office NOW, thereby doing a great service to the country—I will give him free lifetime golf at one of my courses; and he also said I have never seen a thin person drinking Diet Coke. It’s like he is practising to become a replacement for Siri or an Alexa when you ask them to come up with a haiku.

This guy can’t control his own hair let alone the nuclear codes, but he became President Elect and so I guess we will have to see how it goes. Somewhere deep inside even I am rooting for him to not completely balls this up.

PewdiePie who doesn’t even make it in to my spell checker, threatened to delete his YouTube channel, and he did. Except it was the one that didn’t earn him a bazillion dollars per day, and every YouTube wannabe celebrity wrote a pointless book. Why do all of these YouTube stars look like their parents regularly take them on skiing trips and buy them horses and Porsches for their graduation presents?

Meanwhile in the real world, I am still trying to earn more than £2.61 in AdSense revenue each year since starting this blog, because AdSense is a bit like web welfare. Update, record now broken, £3.04. Now I have to redo my tax forms. 


We lost so many celebrity's. 2016 was a savage year and one that was constantly upsetting for fans of some of the greatest entertainers ever. 2016 was a reminder that life is so delicate, and unbelievably fragile, and also a reminder that we should embrace each moment we are here. 

David Bowie, Gene Wilder, Sir Terry Wogan, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Greg Lake, Andrew Sachs, AA Gill, Ron Glass, Florence Henderson, Leonard Cohen, Robert Vaughn, Pete Burns, Alexis Arquette, Kenny Baker, Jean Alexander, Caroline Aherne, Anton Yelchin, Muhammad Ali, Carla Lane, Prince, Victoria Wood, David Gest, Denise Robertson, Ronnie Corbett, Paul Daniels, Tony Warren, Frank Kelly, Alan Rickman, and bless all of them for giving us so much real entertainment over the years, you will all be dearly missed.

As soon as I had finished this post George Michael died and for that I was not only shocked, but deeply saddened. He was such a huge talent and gave generously to so many good causes and made private donations to people in need. 

Then we lost one of the greatest actresses ever when Carrie Fisher died following her heart attack whilst flying home from London, and the very next day her dear mother passed too. It seems that 2016 really was a very dark year for all sorts of reasons but none more so than for celebrity passings. Good riddance to 2016. 

It wasn't just celebrities though. Scientists can’t seem to agree if the Great Barrier Reef is still alive, with reports that it is officially dead and social media rushed to mourn its passing. Scientists have said that it’s not quite wiped out just yet and I so sincerely hope this is true.


Meanwhile, my favourite U.S state of Florida has also seen some weird things happen in 2016. A man tossed an alligator through a Drive-thru window, a man who was ordered to turn over his beloved Kestrel which is an endangered species, kissed the bird as he handed him over and the kestrel took a chunk out of the guys lip.


The Rio Olympics didn’t escape and was reported in the press for the wrong reasons. There was of course the Russian doping scandal, top athletes pulled out of the games due to the Zika virus, athletes complained about the condition of the dorms, and some complained that no Pokémon were to be found in the Olympic village.


So now it is time to put away the memories that made up 2016 because 2017 is going to be epically beautiful.

In January we will see the Donald address the world at his inauguration, his speech will read something like, “Folks we did it. They said we couldn’t, but we did. I have something real beautiful to tell those folks, watch this space, we are going to do change, can you feel this, we are going to change the world, real beautiful, and we will make it right, and I can’t wait folks” Sincerely, good luck America. 

I cannot believe that July 2017 will mark twenty-years since the tragic death of Diana, Princess of Wales, and after all this time we will find out who was on the grassy knoll as the records from the JFK Records Act must be revealed to the public by October 26th 2017. This relates to all US Government files relating to the assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22nd, 1963.

My money is also on Andy Murray winning Wimbledon again, and Apple, realising that they made a mistake getting rid of the headphone socket on this year’s iPhone will put things right and completely get rid of the screen too for their tenth anniversary phone release.


On a lighter note Phil Collins will take up residence for five nights at the Royal Albert Hall in June for the first live concerts he will have performed in fifteen years and Israeli actress Gal Gadot will play the part of Wonder Woman on the big screen.

For movie fans, 2017 will see a surge of must-see releases, and taking a look through IMDB (Internet Movie Database) will make you wish you had an annual pass to the cinema.

Spider-Man Homecoming, Fifty Shades Darker, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2, Kong – Skull Island, Alien Covenant, Batman – the Lego Movie, Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Men tell no tales, Justice League, Thor: Ragnarok, War of the Planet of the Apes, Star Wars Episode VIII, Despicable Me 3, Smurfs the Lost Village, Trainspotting 2, a remake of Jumanji, Pitch Perfect 3, Sleepless, Table 19, The Fate of the Furious, Patient Zero, and King Arthur – Legend of the sword to name but a few. The one I am least looking forward to is Power Rangers, because it is Power Rangers, and I worry that Jumanji will never be as good as the original.

For visitors to Broadway, Bette Midler will be back where she belongs, starring opposite David Hyde Pierce in a revival of Hello Dolly which opens April 20 and has already broken box office records.

Emma Watson will replay her role of being a bookworm in a live action remake of the 1991 classic, Beauty and the Beast which will premiere March 17th.

For those who are heading to the UK capital London in 2017, then you are in for a treat if it is art that you are looking for. The Tate will hold a David Hockney retrospective between February 9th and May 29th 2017.

Revolution Russian Art will be at the Royal Academy of Arts between February 11th and Monday 17th April 2017, and Wolfgang Tillmans will be at Tate Modern from Wednesday 15th February until June 11th 2017.

You will know Paolozzi from the Tottenham Court Road murals, or one of his many public sculptures in the city, Paolozzi also helped the invention of pop-art and the Eduardo Paolozzi exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery will be something that fans of his work will want to see. The event runs from February 16th through to Sunday May 14th 2017.

In what promises to be his most fun show for years, Grayson Perry will be at the Serpentine Gallery between June 8th and September 7th 2017.

Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites at the National Gallery runs between October 4th 2017 and Monday 2nd April 2018, and is a definite one you will want to see.

Meanwhile over at the National Portrait Gallery, Cezanne Portraits will be on display and this is being touted as a once in a lifetime show. This will be the first exhibition in London dedicated to Cezanne’s portraits from October 27th to February 11th 2018. Cezanne was the real daddy of post-impressionism although he is best known for his Provencal countryside landscapes.

So whatever went wrong in 2016, let us hope that 2017 puts things right. There is so much that will be going on in the art world in the coming year and there will be many great things to look forward too. 

New Years Eve 2016 


So we start the year off as a brand new unwritten 365 page book, and it’s time we started tackling those New Year’s resolutions which we didn’t do last year, although we were supposed to do them in 2015, but we had actually planned to do in 2014, and had thought about doing in 2013, 2012, and 2011.

Welcome to 2017 and a whole new list of the same New Year’s resolutions that we had last year. A New Year’s resolution is common in the Western Hemisphere, and it is something that some people in the Eastern Hemisphere do too. It is a promise made to yourself that this year you will do certain things, improve yourself, and also do things which are slightly nice.

By January 2nd, many of the resolutions you made will have been put off until next week, and just like last year’s resolutions, they go in one year and out the other.

This year I have made myself a promise rather than a resolution and that promise is that I won’t bother creating a whole list of resolutions. The task of making plans and then criticising it, and then getting mad with myself because I made a promise I couldn’t keep, is just too much work.

I do hope others have made New Year’s resolutions though, and in particular that one of those resolutions is to stop tagging me in your selfie posts on social media, and stop inviting me to comic con conferences over 5,000 miles away from where I live.  In fact don't invite me if they are just five miles from where I live. 

For the love of God, I have no interest in Comic Con, I dress up in a suit all week and pretend to be an adult as it is. Why would I want to dress up as Scooby Doo on a weekend and fly a round trip of 10,000 miles?

The other resolution that I hope a few of you made is to check your breathing more often than your Snapchat notifications.

If you are expecting this post to be some kind of one stop shop that will give you the inspiration to make sure you achieve every goal you set for yourself, sorry but I can’t. I’m all out of inspirational ideas that will help you to achieve your, overly unachievable self-made promises to fit in to your jeans, except to say, buy a bigger pair of jeans. That was your plan B anyway.

The problem I have with New Year’s resolutions is that everyone sets themselves unachievable goals and then ends up disappointed. If you want to give up drinking alcohol, why not make it achievable by saying that you will reduce your alcohol intake. If you want to lose four stones in a month, the human body is not designed to work like that and you will fail. The only way you will lose four stones in one month is to lose a limb or two, and that’s a bit drastic.

So if you are going to set yourself some goals for this year, make them achievable because if you don’t you will just get really disappointed and you will have to start all over again, January 1st 2018.


If you are really struggling to find some achievable goals for the following year, try some of these. Not only are they achievable but they are more likely to A, keep you out of trouble, and B, will make life a little easier.

1. The one that should be on everyone’s New Year’s Resolution list if they seriously have to make one. Do less laundry and wear more deodorant.
2. Don’t press the button on aircraft to call a steward/stewardess in the hope that he or she will give you his or her number. They are run ragged enough.
3. Think of a password that isn’t actually password
4. Stop asking Siri such dumb questions to try and catch him out. AI have feelings too.
5. Make your weight loss goal for the year anywhere between one and 3,000 lbs.
6. If a telemarketer calls, just hand your phone to your three year old and tell him it is Santa. Job done. You will never be cold called again.
7. If your resolution last year was 1080p, time to up the ante and go for 4K
8. Stop sharing fake news. We have a hard enough time believing the real news.
9. Change the clocks around your home when they go back and forward.
10. Why are you still using Myspace?
So there you have it, I have made a New Year’s resolution every year for about 30-years and I still continue to work on the original list. The only resolution I have managed to ever successfully achieve was to learn how to make real coffee because that is an essential life skill.

If you want to go ahead and make a list just make sure you create one that you will be happy to fail with.  Better still, make one that will make your life more fulfilling but make sure that everything is achievable. Make them small wins, and celebrate each small win. That will be far better than allowing your conscious self to make demands that your unconscious self will never agree too.

If you live in or are visiting the U.K. In 2017 you will be in for a real treat in my next post which I am also publishing today.  I will be showcasing some of the best places in the UK for artists to visit and participate in some art inspired experiences. All of these places are some of my most frequently travelled to and visited, so I will be giving you the inside scoop on some of the best that the UK has to offer outside of London. 


Mark Taylor is a UK based artist who has sold his artwork all over the world. His work is also available from Pixels here, and you can buy his work from more than 150 retail locations across the USA and Canada including The Great Frame Up, and Deck the Walls. You can also follow him on Facebook here  and on Twitter @beechhouseart


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