I mainly wanted to see that painting, but the others were really good this year, I really liked them. Heck, I even knew or knew of a couple of the artists. I really liked the runway one in the Wynne prize, and I think I liked all the Archies bar the one that won, which I loathe. It reminds me of a 70s pencil case, an ugly, mass produced faux girlie 70s pecil case (with matching notepaper).
But that painting, that one I really liked. They shuffled out the artist for a chat about the painting, and the ghoulish controversy that had attached to it (though to my mind all the best paintigs have some sort of ghoulish controversy attached and what's done is done and it's impossible to remove art from events and context, even the mood you're in when you view a painting creates an image that will be entirely different the next time you see it). It was interesting, anyway, to hear the purpose, meaning and intent of the picture from the artist (and, via second hand, the subject). It's mainly about the effort of hiding one's true self, and the our dear departed lad's notoriously prickly relationship with the media. Of course, now it's all horribly heightened, but the painting withstands such intense scrutiny, which is a compliment to the artist.
After the talk the artist cheerfully consented to signing prints and I stodd in queue media whore that I am. As always, I tried to quip something intelligent, this time about the use of light and dark.
Whatever, next, thinks the artist, not even looking up.
Realising my futile attempt has sunk like a stone, I quickly follow up with what I'd originally intended to say, that it reminded me very much of the style of Caravaggio, both in subject and exceution. Now the artist's head pops up. Oh yes, he loves Caravaggio, it was one of the first exhibitions he'd even been to.
Sydney or London, I can't help myself asking. Artist wilts. Oh, but the Sydney one was far superior I amend hastily and truthfully. Artist brightens. Gallery lackey at his shoulder beams. And I have my signed print of my beautiful, beautiful boy, after Caravaggio. I manage to hop into a taxi and get it home reasonably undented, too.
I am bemused though. Nowhere, nowhere in all the reviews I'd read had I seen one mention of Caravaggio. Fat uneducated slob: 1. Poncy poncy pointy headed wankers from the posh suburbs: 0.
Result! Picture me, full of grace and maturity, bouncing around flicking the Vs and blowing raspberries like Rik from the Young Ones. Well, I so rarely get anything right these days, and this was important to me.
I think I'll frame my sad, late, lovely lad and hang him near the La Tour print I have that needs re-framing.
I wish someone would paint James Frain, he has a Caravaggio face. Oh yes, got home in time for The Tudors. James is playing one of the Cromwells, I forget which, there are so many, aside from the obvious, and it's hard to keep track on The Tudors as the insane US casting has settled on folks who can neither act nor resemble their historical personas (you usually get at least one requisite on British cast shows) and I wish they'd wear name tags or do what they do on US shows with only two main cast members and that is constantly refer to the character's name as in "Why, if it isn't Thomas More! Hello, Thomas More, you're looking well, Thomas More, do come in, Thomas More", etc.
Okay, Tommy I do know, being as he's Jeremy, but I keep calling them Jerry and Sam anyway so that doesn't help. Not that it really matters. One of Henry's sisters (they've stuffed them up so badly it doesn't really matter which), died last night, of an apparently terrible milking accident, according to The Peanut Gallery, who was perplexed at the overt use of dairy products in the demise. "Must...do...Burn Notice!" I choke in suitably Shatner-esque tones as the poor woman carks it (of what would appear to be extreme lactose intolerance but the script later assures us it was consumption).
Never mind, I'm afraid The Tudors is a guilty pleasure of mine (almost Hammer-esque in its hamminess). I just wish we'd studied the period more at school because my broad gleaning of plot points just isn't enough to sustain what passes for plot in The Tudors (the Peanut Gallery quips that if he's caught watching The Tudors by any religious doorknockers he'd explain that he was quite obviously watching Showcase and not porn because in porn they at least try to set up the scene before launching into the boobies).
We also watched the Miller and Armstrong show (or is it the other way around). I'm usually not one for British sketch shows these days (loved 'em as a kid, but I kind of grew up when they didn't), but every so often this one had me in absolute spasms, and it did again last night. I won't tell you which sketch, because it will totally put the lie to the assertion that I have, actually, grown up. But, oh me, we nearly died.
Dinner alas was black and crispy but the PG assures me it was merely an accident of reheating and not a deliberate comment on my inconsiderate lateness (as so often has been the case previously). Never mind, it had lost nothing of its fire and was nearly a contender for the infamous "for more tasty, use whole packet" curry paste debacle (aka the Hell curry from Hell). Much flagrant consuming of dairy products was required, despite dramatic depictions of the obvious dangers therein of such practices.
Ledger portrait draws crowds
Georges de La Tour
Skirl of the pipes to encircle the world
Sir Brooke Boothby, Joseph Wright of Derby (1781)
Buried treasure: British Museum's secret treasures
Optimal time for sex revealed