Well, after having been dazzled by Natalia Osipova, there was no doubt what next adventure my soul had to devour. I arrived at Pimlico Station and enjoyed the cool brisk walk to the red and white gorgeousness of the neighbourhood architecture. I arrived at 08:50, a good hour ahead of the opening. I took the time to place my palm on as many of the august sycamore trees in the neighbourhood as I could. There were some high-end cars waiting out front of the Tate Britain Museum to take in All Too Human as yet another jetliner roared towards London Heathrow. Definitely bulletproof, a stately Benz sat closest to the entrance with a smoky grey Bentley, SUV no less, parked furthest of the cars.
Eventually, persons began turning up and the engaging West African security agent who had the same strong, proud, full-lipped mouth as Leontyne Price’s closed one of the two heavy black doors to protect me as I waited outside the main glass sliding doors as a private event was underway — thus one couldn’t be allowed inside. Finally, persons began leaving, one of whom — in a beautifully vivid red coat — was Cherie Blair CBE, QC. She was proud-looking and had the kind of broad body that as I child was so familiar when growing up in the West Indies. She had that air about her that bespoke a life in the public eye; someone made a curt remark and she was quick on the rebuttal. I was much humoured and reminded of Saddam Hussein trading insults with the men who moments later gladly terminated his life.
Finally, it was on to the business in hand and what a beautifully stunning exhibition; one of the best contemporary art exhibitions that I have attended in years. The greatest discovery was the lush, richness of the Lucian Freud still-life, Two Plants. Thoroughly layered, engrossing and lyrical in its deft vividness. I was left teary eyed by its sublime beauty.
Of course, I was moments earlier moved to dewy-eyed focus when drinking in the rich tableau of the portrait of creative artist and true eccentric, Leigh Bowery whom many years earlier I had seen perform in New York City. I was reminded, of course, in Leigh’s passing of the countless many whom I have lost along the way to AIDS.
The poster for the show at Russell Square Tube Station in Bloomsbury. A wonderful tribute to Leigh who covered a fair bit of ground during his lifetime… sweet and blissful dreams be yours…
Naturally, I booked my flight based on two things: one, Giselle with Osipova and secondly, a joint exhibition featuring Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon. For that, I would gladly hop a Tesla to Iapetus. Of course, this exhibition was a pilgrimage of sorts for me and it was a way of paying homage to the artistic accomplishments of cadre mates.
As per the portrait of Lucian Freud above, these two artists are cadre mates of mine and Merlin’s. Lucian Freud is a mature priest in our entity (6). Along with Rudolf Nureyev and Grace Jones, Francis Bacon is next-door in entity 5 of our cadre. Francis is a mature artisan, Grace Jones a mature warrior and Rudolf Nureyev a mature sage… and how. I was thoroughly warmed to have drunk of their spirits.
This particular portrait, Isabel Rawsthrone, I especially loved. Raw, primal and emotionally intense there is something decidedly operatic about the focussed intensity of this portrait. After initially getting over the intensity of it, it proves rather warm and enveloping.
This was a thoroughly arresting and soul-stirring adage; it was a beautiful way to have begun the day’s adventures.
After walking past the noise of the construction/renovations taking place on the first floor — one of the workers was a real pulse-racer, looking as he did like no end of hot, rough sex and in work gear no less! Then it was downstairs to take in the Impressionists in London exhibition. I did not buy the catalogue. I always am a bit put-off by the association of the word “dream” when describing the works of impressionists. There is nothing unfocussed or diffused about dreams. Trust you me, as someone who recalls at least half a dozen dreams on average, oftentimes, dreams prove the most lucid part of any given day. Perhaps, it was all the wine the French impressionists consumed but the maudlin-feeling lighting just doesn’t do it for me… most times.
Having had my fill, off I went from Pimlico to Nothing Hill Gate in the wet snow and made the long trek to Kensington Palace where one of the most glorious flying dreams in this lifetime was set — also, in that dream was a then incarnate, Diana, Princess of Wales with her two beautiful-spirited sons, the future HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and HRH Prince Henry of Wales and Duke of as-yet-known after he marries his beautiful bride, Ms. Meghan Markle — a mature artisan, to his mature warrior and an entity mate of his no less.
On the long trek along Broad Walk in Kensington Gardens from the high street, I enjoyed the look of snow everywhere. The odd flake fell from time to time as joggers braved the fierce wind off the park. One brave soul with a shock of close-cropped red hair, sported the greatest thighs as he jogged strictly in a pair of wrestler’s shorts. He proved warming for my blood, indeed.
As I got towards the edge of Kensington Palace the handsome raven above swooped in from off my rear right and towards the palace. He alighted, cocked the head at me and kept taking to the wind to come closer, all the while fixing me with a hard gaze. “Yes, of course, you can see my heart. Love is the password” I said aloud to the totemic creature as it kept on calling at me and edging ever closer, though, not being confrontational. Satisfied with my password, seemingly, it bobbed and took to the air never to alight again. I rather appreciated the warm welcome.
I loved the sparse beauty of the King’s Gallery at Kensington Palace, which — for me at least — was lauded over by the Equestrian Portrait of HM King Charles I by Sir Anthony van Dyck, who happens to be in entity 1 of my cadre; he, presently incarnate and one of my oldest friends, shortly is about to return from his winter stay at his Acapulco penthouse; I will be visiting him later this spring on the Canadian west coast.
A truly beautifully tailored, handsome suit, this one. I am not a big fashion person — I believe that one is best dressed when naked and preferably tumescent. I did, though, rather enjoyed the movement through the Diana, Princess of Wales exhibition.
A very beautiful second-level mature artisan, she was too.
Having been inspired by Diana, Princess of Wales’ portrait, I made my way to Charing Cross Station in Trafalgar Square and cut across the street where there was a broken water main flooding the street. As usual, Yoda was there doing his routine and, no doubt, earning a pretty quid. I took in the HRH Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge-curated exhibition, which had opened two nights earlier on my arrival. Though, I had stood outside the National Portrait Gallery to catch a glimpse of her arrival, I soon dashed off in the increasing snowfall, if I were to make my Jazz at Lincoln Center performance across town at the Barbican Center. So, having missed seeing her in person, the next best thing was to go gaze at the portrait of HRH Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. I love it as it is so layered and complex; she is a late-mature warrior soul.
As I move very, very quickly, I was out of there and soon grabbing a take-away fish and chips at Ben’s on Shaftesbury. I then headed back to my hotel, ate, napped and got ready for a night at Royal Albert Hall to see OVO.
Never before had I taken in a Cirque du Soleil performance — I have my reasons… Nonetheless, I just wanted to enjoy anew the ambiance and acoustics of the marvellous auditorium.
The show was no more engaging or exciting than bad bathhouse sex, which if it weren’t so late, one would never have bothered engaging in. A perfectly forgettable tourist sort of thing to indulge when there was no other nighttime entertainment going that was worthwhile. I could have taken in 42nd Street in the West End but I had already seen it at least a dozen times when then living and dancing in New York City in the early 1980s. The idea of taking in 42nd Street was only slightly less irritating than the thought of messy bathhouse sex… options… choices, indeed!
After the show, on the long walk from Royal Albert Hall to South Kensington Station, a young mesomorph asked me for a fag — I don’t smoke — but it was obvious what he was after. He sat across the narrow aisle on the eastbound Piccadilly Line ride and the rest proved a rather memorable night.
The morning after the night before, it was off to Windsor Castle, of which I will next blog.
As ever, sweet dreams and thank you for your ongoing support.