Monday, 24 November 2014

YOU CAN DO EVERYTHING IN LIFE IF YOU PERSEVERE?

What qualifications do you need to be an artist, a clairvoyant, a writer, public relations, musician?. Do you need a degree?
There are many talents but one where you notice immediately if someone is not up to standard is classical music. I think it was Ravel who believed that nobody should play any instrument unless they were of a good standard. Thank goodness in everything this does not apply.
Contemporary art today has to be made well if it is to last and this week I went to two exhibitions one  of Tim Noble's first solo show at the Hidden Door, of the Society Club in Soho, and one of James Franco's at The Siegfried Showroom. It is hard to really see work objectively when you like someone, and these two people I like very much. I will therefore try to see them with someone else's eyes.  Of course the honest yet most dishonest and ghastly way to look at an art market, is,what is a person willing to pay for object X, when somebody is a film star or a brilliant artist within a duo as in the case of Tim Noble? In any case I won't answer this, others will, because I know nothing.
Back to the shows themselves.
Tim Nobles show was intricate with delicate, black ink drawings, my favourite on the back of a Coutts Bank Letter that had turned him down. I loved the cartoon outside the gallery "Behind every famous man is a woman, and behind her is his wife" Groucho Marx. On the other side of the gallery was a mannequin of his partner, Sue Webster, with her clothes on, and a bag over her head. The sound of the typewriter being used, so obviously she was always working. Twelve years ago I met them both when I did the book "British Artists at Work", published  by Assouline and without Tim and Sue's encouragement, address book, knowledge, it would have not been complete. This fun and exuberant couple have split and this was Tim's token to their once strong love story? The show left me wondering. I know they still work together, but this was his poetry alone? I did the same thing when I made my film The gun the cake and the butterfly. The drawings tell unfinished stories. Be careful when you arrive at the Hidden Door of the Society Club, the new gallery and book shop, as it has flexible hours so call beforehand. Some people use a therapist when things go wrong. Tim uses an ultra fine black pen to vent his sorrows?. Well worth visiting. This show had an egalitarian feel to it, that one piece of art could go for hundreds of thousand of pounds when you work together with partners, yet another piece is affordable if you change the structure of your team work.Time changes but I personally missed Sue, her feisty character, or perhaps I missed Tim. I like to look at their work when they are both in the room. They gave me an incredible present for my 50th Birthday, a plastic bottle of Fairy Liquid with sweet nothings on it.
As one of the most famous British Artists I am sure that Blain Southern will see they all sell well.

pen and ink drawing by Tim Noble

James Franco's show at Andreas Siegfried's hidden haven is worth seeing too. One of first times I met Andreas, he was working at Christian Louboutin, and a shoplifter came in and he locked the door and called the police. The girl promptly put her hands through the window, blood went everywhere. It was an artwork in itself. I was trying on shoes whilst the girl was swearing and running through the shop like a lunatic. No wonder Andreas loves art. A whole lot more fabulous than stopping people trying to steal.
Back to James 
To see the development of a human being. To see that stars in Hollywood may also like to paint too and read poetry. I met James Franco at the Venice Film Festival several years ago, Liberatum and I sponsored his first night. It was a shared exhibition on an Island dedicated to art, yet it was in the film festival.
Happy Days by James Franco.

The paintings have a childish quality and made me happy, some obsessed by the attractiveness of being fat, a fat horse, a fat corgi. They looked like the cartoons in Ladybird books when I first started to read. I loved a painting called Happy Days, a butterfly of course, a nude woman with an incredible figure and a zebra head to disguise who she really is, yet telling you everything. It is obvious that James loves to multi task and with a hit and miss style he is fascinating to watch. Despite his awards in Hollywood, he clearly wants to stretch his life, he loves success and is not afraid of failure. Perhap the ultimate vanity of Hollywood drives him? After all unless you are Shakespeare, Marilyn Monroe or Mozart you are forgotten fifteen minutes after you are dead?.  He is driven and just loves doing whatever he wants to do. Whether it is valid time will tell, I personally think if you can draw, you can probably paint, and you may be able to write too. However if you specialise you could become a true genius, or not? So why not try everything? Much more fun.

Back to original question what qualifications do we need in life? We need to fuel our energy and imagination and doing is the best answer.
To be any of the  above you really need the time to work, the enthusiasm and dedication to carry on.
Perhaps Illy's and Liberatum's small film on what inspires artists says it all?




Thursday, 20 November 2014

POLYANNA TO POLYAMAROUS AND BACK AGAIN EVENTUALLY .

I spoke to my son tonight who said in quite a matter of fact voice, that I am, his mother,  and I am polyamorous. I had not really thought about it before, but tonight as he was talking, I realised he is perfectly correct in thinking that. I immediately defended myself, of course,  by saying "I am not sleeping with everybody, I am not a slut". He said "Of course you are not, just you are having many different relationships with all sorts of people". He said quite calmly "You are not a promiscuous, just you don't lie" I said out loud "I am pleased about that" He then explained that most people are not open with the truth, they hide and shuffle deceit around their lives, but I, his mother, happily lived her truths, in a reasonably happy and discreet way. Again I said out loud "I am pleased about that"
The fact is that I have many different relationships, one man for the movies, one to correct my spelling, one, where my mind and body meets, one, which is like my father, one who I would like to be faithful to me and who definitely is not, and so on.  The point is to live my truth I have had to have guts, and I have dealt with my loneliness so nobody can try and make me feel there is a deficit if they remove themselves from my life.  
I remember when I was 14, I was talking about sex with my best friend, and I said that I would be having sex until I was 80.  A neighbour overheard the conversation and reported it to my mother. My mother in turn was furious and slammed the door on the woman's face, after the neighbour repeated my rather torrid forbidden school girl conversation. My mother said in a strident very grand voice, that she could mind her own business. She let me be free to think and work things out but,
after that I remember  being not allowed to read Nietzsche, actually I only tried to read it, and lots I did not understand.  I remember I agreed with him that what you are doing is, what you are doing. So if you are not doing something, but want to, then you are lying.   I would rather do it, enjoy it, love the person than tell myself a whole lot of fibs, and other people too. No I have to be straight, I agree, that I am straight in a rather unusual way.
Is this wrong? Clearly in my mind murdering and theft are both wrong, but if somebody ran over my my dog wow they would be in trouble.
Is infidelity? Well I disagree with most people on this. I think infidelity is wrong, but lying to yourself is wrong. So if you are sleeping with somebody whom you do not love, then that is wrong. If you make love to somebody that you don't  love then that is wrong. If you are having sex with someone you do not love then thats okay you are just having sex. Not everybody you love, you have sex with. 
Most people love people that love them, and they don't tend to love that person until that person disappears.
A woman is jealous when a man fucks another person, but the man is jealous when the woman loves another person. So there is no equality. It is a lopsided balance. It you try to make it acceptable you will be very lonely. Most importantly you need to be good friends and understand each other.

On another note...
If you do something for somebody, as an act of kindness then that can be love and it can be a pleasure. However  if you help that person but never tell them, then that is integrity. Integrity is selfless. Everything we have in life is temporary, until we die.
Just enjoy every second without hurting someone else's feelings. 



Tuesday, 18 November 2014

THE MERGING OF TALENTS BY LIBERATUM

"Tell me about Liberatum" Tim Blanks says to me as I sit down for dinner. Tim Blanks is the writer behind Style.com. I met him years ago when he came to my house to do an interview. It was at a time when I was nervous to speak to any member of the press because they can make you and break you. Handsome, in a cuddly way, and so so charming I had great placement. I did not have time to answer as I was soon whisked away by Pablo Ganguli the CEO of Liberatum to sit with Francis Ford Coppola, the man whose party it was, he was sitting with Valerie Wade who owns the furniture store on the Fulham Road, and pieces are splattered throughout my house. That is the way of Liberatum, you will be moved in many different ways.

Ever since I saw Apocalypse now, based on The Vietnam War,  I have been a fan of Mr Coppola. I was nineteen when I watched the cow sliced in half. I asked him about it last night. He told me it was not planned, just that the people of the region were primitive and that they often did this, and he was lucky enough to come across it and film the scene. I said it had left a lasting impression. Actually I left the cinema and when I eventually watched it, I did so through my fingers. If you have not seen the film you will find it very powerful. Then there is of course The Godfather, and many more.
GIA COPPOLA wearing Louis Vuitton

Pablo Ganguli is able to pull anything off. He is passionate about what he does and last night the invited included Jeremy Irons, Terry Gilliam, Eva Herzagova, Bianca Jagger, my ex-husband, Stephen Jones, Nicky Haslam and so many more from new to established talents.
Nicky Haslam, Rachel Johnson and Gavin Turk.

Liberatum merges the artistic worlds providing a platform for people who are 'like minded' to exchange thoughts. He is generous with his his time and his address book. Whereas most people divide to rule, he happily puts everybody together in a room. Politicians, actors, writers, musicians all sit together to hopefully create a better world. Pablo has made two short films on the art world, the latest is here on the moment of "Enlightenment and Transformation withW Hotels. Last year he organised my film, The gun the cake and the butterfly, to be shown in Miami Art Basel  I am a frequent guest of the Liberatum Family.  Tomas Auksas his boyfriend is the same age as my son Charles and so we spend a lot of time together planning and creating.  Charles sung at the Conran dinner.
Pablo/Liberatum's greatest quality is that he lets you decide what and who you like, not the other way round.

 Last night was hosted by The Bulgari Hotel.
Best Photographs of the night by Purple


Monday, 17 November 2014

Host Jackie Watson For Eye on LA Show was At The Vortex Play Red Carpe...

LOS ANGELES GIVES ME NEW SKIN

If you want to be remembered you will need more than accolades from Hollywood, you need talent, tact and humour.  I love both London and Los Angeles.  London is a place where I can be a Dame instead of just another broad. I am going to try my luck helping cancer sufferers and in particular Marie Curie. It is the time of my life when I wish to give back following my instincts.
I was once told that Los Angeles was a place which is only interested in youth and beauty, and therefore doomed. I have read that it is also the reverse, a velvet coffin.  Of course this place celebrates beauty and of course it can be a pleasant place to live out your final days. It is sunny almost every day.

For me, Los Angeles is my home for renewal and a place which as we all know prides itself on physical and mental well being.  On every street corner there is a tarot card reader, a yoga centre. It is easier to find a doctor for any ailment than find milk unless you drive 5 miles for it.
It is a place where I work my pelvic floor at the Kundalini Centre.  Clean my teeth at Dr Fusier, have my  hair coloured with Angela Kalinowski.  Thicker the better eyebrows perfected by Tonya Crooks the amusing brow gal, you discover the youth is not created by plucking eyebrows but actually letting them grow.
It is a place where you can discover who is the  best hair replacement therapist for my bald headed friends and I had the luck to meet Dr Rassman. Yes women go bald too. I also come to see two plastic surgeons, one Dr Perlman, who is famous for his extreme makeovers and Dr Alfred Cohen who is brilliant with faces. Dr Perlman gave me waist, and if only I knew it was so simple and effective I would have had it done when I was much younger.
I have found a brilliant diet centre too. Century City Diet Centre. Whatever it takes is my view. as long as you don't look scrawny. Now I have in my possession choice of four delicious milkshakes. 
You discover quickly the reason for everybody looking young and beautiful is that they are working hard at it.
In the last few years I have noticed more and more people are interested and talk about the museums, there seem to be so many groups popping up all over Los Angeles celebrating the artistic world.  I never get bored there. The sunshine and vitamin D, make me feel healthier than ever.
It is also a wonderful place to find unusual pieces of mid century furniture and I was lucky to meet Tommy Perse from Maxfields who showed his pieces of Prouve this week. So if it is not beauty for the body it is beauty for your house.
Believe it or not it is a place where playwright Noel Coward is very popular. There are two plays on at the moment. Blythe Spirit with Angela Lansbury and I am producing The Vortex, Coward's first play that he wrote at 24 starring Craig Bobby Young.
Although there is fashion only worn in LA, Long dresses, Boho chic, rock chic, people are loving fashion more and more. Nikki Lund has many pieces that look bang up to date in London as well as LA.
It is a place that has brought me so much, 5 awards for my film The gun the cake and the butterfly and the fun and interesting job of fashion editor at Genlux Magazine which is definitely a magazine to watch and read. Stephen is an incredible creative director with huge imagination.

Los Angeles is a sprawling but inviting city is a place has much to offer just prod it and see, walk down the street with your  Saint Laurent shoes, or wear your Nike gym shoes, and see what it brings you?.


Thursday, 13 November 2014

THE VORTEX, MATRIX THEATRE, MELROSE TONIGHT 7.30pm

Today is the day when on of my favourite plays The Vortex by Noel Coward, opens and I am happy e to be a part of the loving group headed by Gene Franklin Smith. The energetic and creative soundboard behind this brilliant script. He is the director, and I  have a small part in producing it. Plays like this don't get put on by just one person but lots. So thank you to all who helped. The production last night was truly supported with excellent actors in our midst.


The Lovies in this town are clique and elitist, a little intimidating, however this brilliant and magnetic cast disprove this by giving passionate and heart rending performances on the real arena, the stage. It is a marathon, performing on stage, but the actors take it in their stride, and like the best in the world,  they are  suited living with a script, and with other people who understand them.  Don't put your daughter on the stage Mrs Working class. Do put Simon Cowell into a rage. Do tell your son he has a career in singing. Everybody aspires to appear to being poor working class, by the way there can be rich working class, but nobody reveals that, it is not fashionable anymore. There are so many layers in the play, the class system, the sexual freedom, the drugs and the acknowledgement that times are changing.
The only ambition nowadays is not to be ambitious, and be beige. Noel was anything but this, and he shows the rawness and pain with lucidity. Humour too.
You feel the family, this is the second round of this award winning play as it first started out in Malibu, now Melrose and hopefully The West End, London. Yes they have a right to be ambitious. Craig Bobby Young is outstanding and passionate and with the cast behind him, there is little that can be criticised. Noel Coward I am sure would have approved. Here are the wireimage photographs from last nights performance.
Try to see it at all costs.



GET SOME STYLE AND PANACHE FOR YOUR HOUSE.

I love decorators and decorating, I would have liked to have been one myself, but I hate plumbing and technicalities. I adore making houses into mystical palaces that I can live at peace in. It is creation from the soul. I have worked with a few and the following I would recommend. Their ideals tried and tested. Their work seen and adored. Of course I never follow anybodies advice I like to take theirs and adapt it to me. Or just let their personalities come alive in my house. Some I have not used but just seen what they created.
I worked for a florist once called Kenneth Turner. He was brilliant and used to say to me "Decorate as your character, a house must look like its inhabitant". I like to work ideally with different people on one job. My bedroom at Chester Square was done by Lord and Vella yet the wallpapers were Sera Hersham's. I like this because it is fun to work with different people. You feed off each others ideas.
I can honestly say for better or worse I like to work with everybody.

So here is the list of very talented people you can trust to put their heart and soul into a job.

1. Sera Loftus Hersham




Bohemian Chic, I loved her rude lampshades, her quirky original taste using the past and future.
I adored her wallpaper, I used it for my bedroom at Chester Square.

2. Nicky Haslam



For correct living with a twist. He brought in fabulous over the top fireplaces when the architect, Mark Guard created a white box. Efficient too. I could not live without him. Cheyne Walk is my favourite place of all. I love my Shell bed, and shh, he did not want mirror but I put it up during a week end. He just smiled when he next came to the house. Very charming.

3. Martyn Lawrence Bullard



For boldly taking on Summitridge Drive, a house belonging to Janet Leigh. We thought it was a tear down, but he created out of a chalet, modern bliss in the hills of Los Angeles.

4. Kelly Hoppen

Demure silk for clean cut people. Clean lines. Perfect living for perfect people. I like her honesty
I once asked her to help me with Chester Square, and she said "Do it yourself"
Her strong character proves resilient.


5. David Collins Partnership

Perfect restaurant living. What would we do without his pastel, perfection, architecture and knowledge?. I wanted him to do Rue Mechain, but I wanted to still love him.


6. Fiona Barrett

I love the furniture, leather wall treatments, the colours, masculine, a great way to live for rock stars and celebrities.

7.  Lord and Vella

For everything, you can guarantee homely individual style. You can eat a delicious cheese and pickle sandwich too, whilst creating something totally unique.



9.  Roseanne de Pampelonne

Roseanne is able to be very very quick, actually so is Nicky Haslam.
She can do a house in a matter of days. Give her the budget and she will get it done.
She can work at a madcap pace. She did my home at Maison du Cap in a matter of months for a Summer.

10. David Carter.

Who could not fall in love in one of his rooms?
Enormous style.

11. Danielle Moudabber.

Want a playground Danny will create it. She did my house that had once belonged to Tamara de Lempicka at  Rue Mechain,


Friday, 7 November 2014

You better start saving up because when you are really frightened I will give you my price.

Is the estate agent the new dodo. Do we really need estate agents, wedding planners, wooden coffins, the chartered surveyor?. The middle men create a fear, taking out any money they can. These people are really charging you to remove the fear  they created.  People spend billions on Nuclear shelters. Fear is big business.

It is like this seasons must have, are you going to risk your reputation and be caught in last seasons kit?".

The new business is the war in the Middle East the fear of ISIS. People are ruled by fear. The bomb scares. People are willing to fork out any amount of money to secure their life.
The crazies are out there and this is where the middle man comes in. When people sell safety it is expensive. The Kray twins sold protection otherwise your fingers are chopped off. You have to cough up to be secure. The worst thing that somebody can do to you is kill you, and then you have escaped.
I had a close shave with a man  who was touting his own kind of fear but I did not know what the price tag was to take it away.

Same as the cancer doctor who says you are going to die if you don't take his poison. We are all going to die.  I want to assure you they are not going to give me any poison. You won't die of cancer because they will kill you with the chemo therapy.
We in turn give them what they want.

Skin creams are the biggest con of all. If don't use product X you shall look old. Let's cut the rubbish the molecules of the cream are too large to go through the cell membrane. They can only be absorbed by the dead layers. So let's get a grip on the truth. It makes your dead skin look slightly more palatable until it drops off. Otherwise it would be a medicine. It is a cosmetic. I have known many plastic surgeons and they all know and agree that Nivea is as good as Creme de la mer and Oil of Ulay. Oil in water suspension.
So back to estate agents. They are all oil in water too.
I can tell you right now all the square footage prices of the whole of  dez rez side of London, can they? I do not think so, but because they think you don't know, they feel safe..  Location location location. I certainly have the location bang on the river with the best bedroom in London. My houses garden is part of Henry V111's  original garden, with an original tree in its front to prove it. His manor house was in my back garden.
The problem with middle men is that they feed your insecurity.

"We will take this shit heap off your hands and try and see if we can sell it". When they come to sell, "I must show you this beautiful house where every feature works. A wonderful opportunity to make money". When it falling down it suddenly  becomes an opportunity to put your own mark on it. Everything that is fucked suddenly becomes an original feature.

It is certainly the most zany road in London with the most exclusive Mick Jagger, Sol Campbell, Bryan Adams all next door to me. Adele lived happily one door until her house was ready. Rocco Forte too and the ex King of Greece. Buying a property in London is snakes and ladders and you an advantage if you are good at poker.
I shall cultivate a friendship with Sara Beeney and give estate agents a run for their money and cultivate a friendship with the page three girl, Linda Lusardi, who knows as much about creams as Estee Lauder herself.
Oh have I got a ladder in my stocking or is it just a stairway to heaven. Be afraid very afraid.

P.S Have surprisingly just got best blog from the Steeple Times. Thank you.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

MEMORIES MORE IMPORTANT THAN THINGS

David Collins, architect and designer is a friend I truly miss. He meant so much more to me than his talents.  I had fun with him, I met him through Simon Lee who has a contemporary art Gallery off Berkeley Square.  Despite having so many offers on my house, three to be exact, they have all fallen through and I am beginning to think the house loves me. In any case if I do not get a bigger house I cannot collect any more art, with masses in storage there is literally no space left.
DAVID COLLINS DRAWING ROOM
Last week I went to Christies and saw the end of the late  David Collin's life, beautifully set out in two rooms, well decorated, with oodles of style in different shades of blue, he achieved nearly a million pounds more than the estimate. I loved a chandelier by Paco Rabanne, circa 1970.  He believed that there were dozens of colours, infinite number of shades , these were the keys to harmony. He believed you could create a sense of love with a scented candle, the sound of the sea, touching linen, and food. He played cards well and could be a lover of life. He came to stay with me in my house, that once belonged to the record producer Eddie Barclay. Maison du Cap, was my house in Rammatoille over a period of about 5 years. I asked him to also to design my flat at 7 Rue Mechain, the house by Architect Mallet Stevens, which was once owned by Tamara de Lempicka. I was nervous though, I believe that friendship is tricky to mix with work. In any case I only owned the house for a few years, I sold it when a Parisian love story ended, and the necessity to live there had left through open windows.

Mixing business with pleasure has always proved to be a balance I do not easily achieve. I never saw him gossip. I remember he told my friends off once, they were telling me stories about the new wife of my ex husband, and he turned on them saying "Careful all you girls, it will be you next, and you would not like this type of gossip" He could be tough.

STALIN's WAR ROOM BY DEXTER DALWOOD
As I said earlier he introduced me to  Simon Lee who in two weeks has an exhibition of one my favourite artists Dexter Dalwood. I met him when I photographed artists and their studios, for the book "British Artists at Work"  I made with Assouline, who have since opened their first incredible space next to BAFTA, (they  opened the space with a book signing with Valentino himself). Franca Sozzani commissioned it. Dexter was a good looking Frankenstein look alike, attractive and sexy. I love his paintings, and he was totally charming.  I bought my Dexter painting from The Gagosian Gallery called "Stalin's War room" with the housekeeping whilst married.  I lost it in my divorce. His show now is about London, It is well worth seeing if you are a collector. Simon's advice is very good, I once wanted to buy some drawings of Andy Warhol, but he saw the white elephant at Mark Shand's ball, by Marc Quinn, go for too little in the sale and nodded for me to buy it whispering "Buy the elephant not the Warhols" Time will tell if he is right.
Friendship is more more than things, so I will keep my memories.

MARQ QUINN's WHITE ELEPHANT