Pink Chair I & II

Within days of George’s 44th birthday on February 9th, 1990, I had been to his McCaul Street loft, which looked east to the buildings lining University Avenue. There, on the top floor’s tiny balcony, we would retreat for some privacy, late at night and suck each other off with his son spying on us… ever he spied on us and it became a definite source of one of our many volatile breakups that George wanted to watch whilst his son and I fucked. I am not about doing anything that I find repugnant. George’s son’s legs are ridiculously bizarre; the space between the knees and ankles inordinately short – he also has too much gum for my liking. Did not matter to me that he was very thick and big; I was not playing. End of discussion. In any event, that winter, after George and I had riotously fucked with his son’s conspicuous silence in the open loft definitely indicating that we were being spied on, I fell asleep whilst George, thoroughly, noisily ploughed right, went to shit and shower, which was always alone and a very lengthy affair. On exiting the bath, as I soundly slept, awaiting my turn to shower, George grabbed his polaroid and took several snaps of me in his sole pink armchair as I remained sheathed in a used full and droopy condom.

By the time that George would present me with the iconic, masterful serigraph, he and I were not then on speaking terms on conclusion of the work. Months earlier, in November 1989, Merlin had passed and as George made it perfectly clear that he did not want to be in a committed relationship, I walked away. He was, of course, pissed but I was not getting the support I felt that I then needed. Truth be told, the relationship with George was ideal, I could no more have given two fucks about his friends anymore than they did me. George was totally controlling – energy body of 9 – and in that way, I was his muse and a great fuck; this left both his family and friends off limit – of course, there was obsession with his son, which meant me fulfilling his fantasy. Not happening. So as I did not play along and began taking lovers of my own, as George wanted to celebrate my life in the event that I, soon after Merlin, perished of AIDS – at that point, I still had not gone out and taken an HIV test; I was simply then too solipsistic to have been any support to Merlin who was then slowly dying of AIDS. So not able to bring himself to name the serigraph after me, it became Pink Chair; of course, for his friends, it was a great dig at me whom they thought of dismissible and an utter non-entity. Of course, I never said more than two words to anyone at that point in my life – that is, if I did not think you worth my time why bother saying fuck all?

For the next three years, George and I saw each other on and off. During that time, I was rapidly self-exploring. Of course, at the core of it all, there was the one ritual that grounded me, each day as I went to bed, I closed my eyes and smiled, knowing that on awaking, I would recall a plethora of dream experiences which before sleep, I could not readily have fathomed. Each morning I woke up, grabbed the tape recorder and began audiocassette recording my dreams. For this reason, as it had been a promise made to Merlin, I had no desire to be in a living relationship. No, I do not want to meet your fucking family, most definitely do not want to be caught dead, wasting a nanosecond of my time, listening to your loser friends and their redundantly specious regurgitated anecdotes – been there… fuck that. With Merlin’s passing, I had found a new groove: go to a few bathhouses, fuck a couple or a couple dozen hungry bottoms, head home by bike and listen to either classical or Jazz and get on with reading, writing and looking forward to travelling to the next art exhibition or Jazz concert and, of course, collecting art.

At one point, George moved out of his McCaul Street loft and with his possessive son remaining at the loft, this opened the way for us to get back together. This, of course, was not without its angst. One evening, I was hellbent on ploughing George to the hounds but he kept on begging off and finally blew up at me and told me to fuck off and, perhaps, he wanted to fuck his brains out with someone else. Are you fucking kidding me? No need to sit about when possessed of that irrational cocktail of obsession, passion, lust and mistrust. With regards his sexual activity, George always lied… I knew this. The first time that he had lied, I noticed the tell-tale sign – his right index finger and middle finger would involuntarily quiver and he would always try to cover it by rubbing his right index against his right nostril. Whenever this occurred, he would always get up and walk away to try and better cover up the physiological quirk. As ever, nothing escaped my eagle-eyed perception.

That night, unable to sleep and more importantly being robbed of valuable dreamtime, I got up and hopped on my bike in the middle of a bitching winter’s dead of night. George, who then lived at 62 Austin Terrace, had me pedal like mad in the biting cold and after locking my bike down the hill, made it up to 62 Austin Terrace, which stood right at the northeast corner of Bathurst Street and Austin Terrace. Truly possessed, I hopped onto the mountain ash tree and began scaling the damn tree as though at 0300 on a cold winter’s night with a street lamp nicely illuminating things, my being a black male, climbing a leaf-bare tree in the Annex, was a perfectly natural thing to be doing, among other illogical considerations. The lights were on in the bedroom; alas, he was not being ploughed by someone who was not me. Of course, George always spoke in his sleep and in one of his little pernicious moves, days earlier as I ploughed him good, he let out someone else’s name whilst pretending to be more asleep and or drunk than he was. Of course, seven years of being the lover of an award-winning director, Merlin, I knew fucking bad acting toute de suite.

There were clothes on the bed that were not George’s but he could not be seen. Undaunted, I scaled and scraped my way down the tree with simian ease, passion-possessed and made it up Bathurst to the rear of the property where I scaled the slippery stone side of the hill and made it atop the garage where for walking across packed, crunching inches of snow, found George being plough on the large draught table in his study. I was beyond livid but wanted and gotten definite proof to slap down his lying when confronted. His response was, of course, feigned indignation at my having had the temerity to spy on him. As with all passionate lovers, that entangled, drama-rife bit of Sargasso was soon traversed to calmer seas. Months later, we got in from dinner, sat down for a drink at his Austin Terrace apartment and laughed and savoured our cognac, after having been out shopping in the early afternoon to choose a new frame for Pink Chair. As ever, George wanting to be plough long and hard, listened to Haydn’s Paris Symphonies – ever, I favoured the London Symphonies. I had just returned to Toronto after amour fou absolu had attempted to steal a dozen pieces from my art collection, among which was Pink Chair.

By March, 1993, I was hanging out in Washington D.C. with Bahamian relations when for walking out on my host, would meet Yuri, the most thoroughly consuming S&M bottom. This, of course, was at a time where all I did was crawl bathhouses partout, ever on the prowl, as finally I had discovered my metier with Merlin’s passing. S&M was the right groove at the right time in my life. So as I crawled predatorily the halls of yet another bathhouse, this one on the edge of a military base in the U. S. capital, I was hotly pursued by Yuri as my swagger and riding boots were just what and more his wildest dreams were in search of. We fucked for several hours, he professed his love and we returned to his place just southwest of Dupont Circle in Foggy Bottom that was the epitome of house proud faggot and way too minimalist for my liking. Alas, we went to his bedroom, which had a bed that was custom-built and made to service his every S&M whim. We were insatiable and it was just right. I looked past his drinking and excessive use of poppers, which second hand ever left me with a splitting headache, he had an actual freezer in which he kept handled bottles of vodka and the salacious bottom with the thick Russian accent was all mine.

Soon he took me to dinner, presented me a ring and demanded that I move to America and his position as lawyer in a queer law firm would allow me to live without the worry of working and the ideal Daddy to come home to. A city full of museums, he had season tickets to Kennedy Center and just a short flight to New York City for more culture and art, it was not very hard to say yes. Soon we went looking at places as I came down every other weekend from Toronto; we dined out and did all the things he had not before. On the off weekend, he had to himself with friends and family, which I made it perfectly clear were a non-negotiable in our relationship.

No sooner than having brought down choice pieces of art and much of my wardrobe as we chatted daily three to five times, I was returned that Sunday evening to no calls or calls going unanswered. Finally, that Thursday evening, he coolly answered the phone and wanted to know what I was bothering him for as, said he, he thought that he had made it clear that it was over between us. Perhaps, I was in denial but now he was with Tyrone who had a big 11.5 inch cock that he just couldn’t get enough of. Putting my master numbers to good use, I morphed and pulled out personalities 33, 47 and 56, all the while not so much as appearing remotely upset. Soon, he was answering the phone whilst being ploughed by Tyrone. Alas, my diamond cutter charm wore him down; we did after all have concerts to attend at Kennedy Center. So fool him, he accepted as Tyrone was going home to Philly for his mama’s 50th birthday – as if I could give two point five fucks.

Returned to Washington, I charmed him though he was wary and mistrustful – his guilt not mine. Finally, he gave in and we had one last S&M session. Tied up, he stood upright in the leather bedding with black bath sheets everywhere to catch his piss as I ploughed his arse, exposed by the thick leather chaps, rough, long and hard. I then slipped beneath the bed and got out the duct tape purchased earlier at Heckenger’s across town – everyone in the neighbourhood knew him and I had no intentions of anyone tipping him off. The hood zipped tight, revealing only his eyes and mouth, I smeared half a dozen strips of the black tape across his lizard-lipped cocksucker mouth and left just enough room for him to comfortably breathe.

As the opera fag neighbours below were in that evening, I turned up the music – Maria Callas CDs on the Denon stereo system – really loudly and pulled his big-boned body from the black leather sheets and hauled him by the harness through the 2100 square foot duplex apartment to the living room, took the strap to him as well he loved it; however, this was not about him, left him slumped and seated on the floor and quietly and meticulously cut my fucking art from the god fugly gaudy gold frames, into which the fucking racist moron had placed my stolen art, 12 pieces in all, including Pink Chair. Having returned my art into the tubes, in which they had months earlier been brought down from Toronto, I called my ride and with lots of time to spare its arrival, I hauled the blasted fool – who to that point had royally pissed off at least half my known 72 personalities, to his large bathroom, where clad in leather from head to toe, I heaved his bulky body – his legs and hands bound as he loved it during play, over the side of the tub, ripped out his butt plug, squatted down, violently ripped off the duct tape, replaced it with my gauntlet sheathed left hand whilst riotously fucking him hard. Hissing into his right ear, still hammering away at his ravaged mangina, ‘you fucking thief… what does that make you. That’s right, you’re a fucking nigger and don’t you ever forget it.’ Slamming the bathroom door shut behind me, my head ached from all the poppers he did. Coolly, I went to the freezer and got the handled bottles of vodka there, where else but America, and slowly undid his suit so that his welted body beneath could really sting from the vodka’s cold, unforgiving bite, after shoving his whimpering body into the tub. When I was done emptying all his vodka on his shivering, enraged body, I straddled his wet body below in the tub and whilst standing on the edge pissed and relieved my bladder which since removing my stolen art from his walls had been straining for release.

From there, I hightailed it to New York City and stayed a few days at Valerie Pringle’s only brother’s West 16th Street walk-up where I grounded anew by going to all my favourite museums by day and crawling the village in riding boots, making further conquests, which usually began whilst gyrating and face-fucking on the tiny dance floor down the mirrored winding stairs at the historic Stonewall Inn. Returned to Toronto with my art, over dinner at a tiny Spanish restaurant off Yonge Street, after we had taken Pink Chair to be framed, raising a glass of red, I winked at George and said of the vanquished amour fou, the best way to piss on a fool’s grave, is to do so before they actually are dead and buried. Dinner was beautiful and with that, we returned to his apartment at 62 Austin Terrace and George was no end of happy, reaching back and holding on to my riding boots, his arse high in the air, as I ploughed and staked my claim to his heart centre as never before.

‘What the fuck are you calling me for?’ On my return to Toronto, I lethally hissed down the phone at the racist boor in Washington D. C.. ‘We have no business together. Obviously, all you can handle, is nothing more than 11 IQ points. Let’s make this perfectly fucking goddamn clear, since your HIV status – that’s right, I have known all along, precludes you making it across the border, you will stay the fuck where you are and get over it. You’re a fucking thief.’ He then violently demanded that I return ‘his’ art and be man enough to bring it back. ‘What the fuck has AIDS and poppers done to your fucking pea brain? Bitch are you fucking nuts? You are dead to me. Shit, I already pissed on you… you are as good as fucking dead! Cutting him off as he launched into his foul, drunken nigger this, nigger that, I boomed down the phone into his gutted soul, ‘Hang it up! Hang it the blasted motherfuck up! Now! Go on, hang up your fucking phone now. You fucking drunken diseased rat. Now! Hang it the blasted motherfuck up now! Hang it up! Finally, the line dropped, collapsing his weak sobbing. A bottom to the core, he never dare dialled my number again.

Also, at 62 Austin Terrace, I announced to George that I had accepted a job offer in Vancouver and would be leaving in mere days. George was devastated as he felt that he was being abandoned for not having been fully engaged in a committed relationship. In the end, not long after I was happily ensconced in Vancouver’s West End, that George visited. We had some of our best sex deep into the musky wholesomeness within the woods of Stanley Park, lorded over by centuries old Sitkas. There in the dead of night, George buried his left cheek in the mud, held on to my riding boots as ever he loved to as I plough and took us both to beyond the edge of ecstasy. George’s first visit to Vancouver – there was a second, was passed going to galleries, having an early dinner, likely on Davie Street, going home for a nap before getting up late at night to go do that most primal of deeds, fucking surrounded by the sublime beauty of nature.

On the eve of Bob Marley’s birthday – a very brightly, crisply cold Friday in 1999, my wife and I emerged in full African garb onto Saint Laurent from Montréal’s palais de justice accompanied by George and my sister, Pandora, both serving as witnesses. That evening at our lovely Cote des Neiges home, the four of us were joined by a lovely Jewish boy from Hampstead. George and I were reunited after too long on the cusp of his 53rd birthday and among other things, we warmly celebrated his upcoming birthday. The evening was beautiful. Five years later, my wife and I relocated back to Toronto as both our fathers experienced health crises. My first visit to George’s Borden Street penthouse was beautiful, the view looked north to one of my favourite high-rises in the city; it is a deco affair at the northwest corner of Spadina & Richmond Street West. I am always reminded of Merlin and New York City where we met and how much he loved the architecture of 1930s New York City. Paris, my wife, and Pandora were invited to dinner in the late afternoon.

George seldom hung art about his homes, and rarely any of his; there was one however which moved me the moment I walked into the room. Who is it, I asked, to which George laughed and said, ‘it’s you, of course. It’s the companion to Pink Chair… it is Pink Chair. Back in 1987 when we first met, George had asked me to sit at his loft on Brock Avenue in the Queen West Queen neighbourhood. As a result of our carnal passion, George experienced a new creative drive; he became more creatively focussed and produced more. George’s attack was dazzling and he created with feverish speed. He was always grateful for that time, he was not yet 41 when we met and for him, it proved the mid-life crisis he needed. It was great, too, because Russell, a lover of his, had slowly been dying of AIDS and I became the anchor that kept him focussed here and now.

I was invigorated by this second Pink Chair, which had been completed in 1992 but which he had never shown me. Finally, George and I met separate of my wife, Paris, who has since transitioned and become Denver, for dinner at his Borden Street penthouse condo. Even though I had become a portly little cock-bottomed, short-breathed eccentric with age, I still wanted to return to being George’s muse and, of course, lover. As ever, we dined on another exquisitely prepared meal, which featured a George staple – asparagus and another sublime sauce with the right accompanying wine. At this dinner, however, George began opening up and told me of a murder at University of Toronto where he taught printmaking; it was a murder, George shared, for which he was a major suspect. For the next couple of hours, I watched George come undone as he talked of how unrelenting the authorities were in surveilling him. At one point, as he slumped in the chair across the table from me, George sprang back to life and said that he wanted to apologise; said George, all the years of hearing me speak of the insidiousness of racism and the effects it had on one’s wellbeing, he had dismissed and for that he wanted to apologise.

George trembled at times and he seemed to age before my eyes. Keenly, I kept a raptor’s gaze fixed on his every move. Never once throughout that dinner did I fail to look out for George’s right index and middle fingers’ movements; they never once quivered. George shared that he was terrified of sleeping because he constantly suffered nightmares of losing everything with his being pinned with the murder, going to and dying in jail. George said that he constantly felt as though his every action was being monitored, analysed to discern whether he was the murderer or not. Getting up, I went and knelt at his side at the dining room table and held him, hugged him. I let him know that I was there for him. Slumping forward, George hugged me and dissolved in tears, we both cried. I cried because I realised that there was no way that George could ever be passionate again; there could be no sleepovers – he talked constantly during sleep.

George and I never met at his condo again. Walking away that evening, I was struck by how neutered and consumed with fear George had become. At one point during dinner, with his back turned whilst cooking dinner, one of my notoriously loud sneezes exploded. Though George had heard that loud explosion countless times before, he responded as though a high speed train had unexpectedly zoomed past. George and I seldom spoke by phone and rarely emailed after that dinner. As a matter of fact, apart from meeting twice to catch a movie, we only saw each other whenever I turned up at Dr. Tsang’s. It was one of these visits – whenever I went to the doctor’s, George happened to have been there, George shared that he had cancer. I was stunned. Over time, George’s stomach became more distended, his look more wounded and what pained me most, was how much he remained as if possessed, thanks to having been a major suspect in the murder of a colleague.

After dinner, as I made to leave and we hugged long and hard, we then looked at Pink Chair, another of his masterpieces, George kissed me and said that whatever happened, it was mine; George wanted the piece to eventually become mine but for now, he was holding on to it because it reminded him of the passion we shared and how intensely I had inspired him to create and drove him, drove each other mad with the passion we shared. Getting down to Borden, I was so immensely drained at George’s despair that I walked with bike a block south to Adelaide, hailed a cab, securely tucked the bike in the trunk and silently wept on the ride home. I got in, lit beeswax candles everywhere, listened to Haydn’s Paris Symphonies, then had an extra hot soak in the tub with rose petals and Epsom salt, smudged my home afterwards with sagebrush, crawled into the pyramid, gathered crystals and upped my frequency whilst collapsing through the labiate folds of sleep’s sweet, welcome embrace. George died a dozen years after my return to living in Toronto from Montréal, and all attempts to acquire Pink Chair have proven unsuccessful. A lover scorned… indeed.

As ever, Life is like a flying dream; if you look down, you’re fucked. Enjoy the ride and fear no one!

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©2013-2022 Arvin da Brgha. All Rights Reserved.

Oxford Circus. Pimlico. Barbican.

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Bright and early Tuesday morning and it was off to Oxford Circus in search of more art.  

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No faking this; the hustle is fucking real. 

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As I poured through this joint, I recalled my advice to the London cab driver whilst crawling along Pall Mall two days earlier.  

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Well if Daddy Warbucks’ little girl ain’t toothless, what is one to do but vacuously laugh with every breath.   

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As though I had just walked in on the most malodorous dump, I was out of this dive in a New York minute.  

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As I came up out of the Underground, I felt as though I had just endured a room whose stench was dirty ashtrays, liquor and coffee.  Once at Hyde Park Corner, I made it to Apsley House, only to discover that it was not open during the week.  Took the time to breathe the crisp – though not cold like Canadian – air with Hyde Park’s trees’ transitioning foliage predominantly apricot-coloured.  

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Vauxhall Tower (St. George Wharf Tower.)

Arrived at Pimlico and the air was comfortably cool; so nice to have a brilliant sunny day for a change.  Nonetheless, you can bet your bottom dollar that I was protected by my extra thick-lensed black shades. 

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After working almost exclusively at nighttime and since before that when in the theatre, I have developed a genuine sensitivity to sunlight.  You cannot convince me that we are not much too close to Sol for comfort.  So to Tate Britain I was returned.  After the scam that was the Klimt / Schiele, I was not rolling the die on Turner Prize 2018.  

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I went into this exhibition with zero expectations.  Like the British Museum, I love the gift shop at Tate Britain as opposed to Tate Modern’s.  I was on the hunt for unique gifts to purchase; this ticketed event was a gamble.  

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You cannot begin to fathom the degree to which I was wowed by the breath of this artist’s genius.  

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Remarkably, there was no end to this genius’ vision.  

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There is, throughout his art, movement and fluidity with the greatest grace and attack.  

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This is a colossal retrospective and his talent was unmatched.  

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The sensuality is breathtaking.  

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Every painting was a newly discovered masterpiece.  

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The breath of his work is astounding.  

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What a truly marvellous discovery.  

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His work left everyone moving through the exhibit in a state of harmony.  There was such peace and serenity in each salon and every salon had some wow moment masterpiece.  

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One key element of his art was that each work was hung in the spot-on perfect frame.  

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Masterful!

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For me, Edward’s genius epitomises where dreams and genius merge and produce the most uplifting art.  

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Quite simply, there are no words.  

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Besotted.  

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The moment that I laid eyes on this tableau, I immediately thought of Francis Bacon.  

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Breathtaking…

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Now, this is Art,  Next-level tapestry.  The fluid sensuality is overwhelming.  

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This is everything.  

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I would gladly have paid thrice as much to view this exhibition.  

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This was like nothing I had seen before and it far exceeded anything that I had expected.  Truly beautiful.  After dining on a late lunch in Pimlico, it was back to Bloomsbury for a nap before heading out into the evening.  

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Though I was rather looking forward to hanging out at Ronnie Scott’s, the idea of listening to Charlie Parker and John Coltrane (an entity mate) being butchered by some Israeli appropriationist was not exactly high on my must-do list.  

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Happy was I to be in the comfy seats at Barbican Centre Cinemas to watch a LIVE relay from Covent Garden of that evening’s performance of La Bayadère, which at week’s end I would be attending.  By far, this was the most glorious of cinematic experiences.  I could not believe the sight of Natalia Makarova when she appeared on screen. 

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She was now full-bodied as we mostly get on ageing.  Last time that I had seen her was during a class we took together at NYC’s Harkness House ballet school during summer 1983.  That late spring was the last time that I had also seen the ballet live; it was May 19, 1983 and my favourite dancer, the dimpled, shy and oh so sweet, Fernando Bujones was dancing the role of Solor.  

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As ever, thanks for your ongoing support and dream as lucidly as you want to… 

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©2013-2022 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.  

When Things Don’t Go to Plan.

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Just another hotel that looks onto Bloomsbury’s Russell Square

Monday morning, November 12, 2018 rolled around with me being a bit on the antsy side.  Just a couple of days before leaving on the trip, I received an email notice that a talk and drinks scheduled for that evening at Spencer House had been cancelled.  That being the case, I emailed, called and prevailed on each day Ronnie Scott’s Jazz club in Soho to try and get my reserved seat for the Tuesday evening show, moved up to Monday evening instead. 

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Finally, the night before, I got a human rather than no voicemail or no email replies from Ronnie Scott’s.  Incredibly, the rep did not know the number for box office and let me know that the Monday show was booked and I could not change my itinerary.  Trying to reason with her proved a nonstarter.  If I could be missing for my reservation on Tuesday, so too could someone booked on Monday be missing which means that I could at the very least stand in the back of the club and sip on a drip.  Nothing doing.  Monday came and passed and not box office nor anyone ever once answered the phone.  

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One of my favourite journeys when in London is to get to Piccadilly Circus and head towards Burlington House.  There, one is always going to be wowed by great art – this trip certainly delivered,  

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This, without doubt, is the show that I came to London highly anticipating.  What I had not anticipated was the sheer scope of the exhibition.   Certainly, it was a welcome change after paying to move through the Klimt / Schiele exhibition.  One thing that struck me, which always occurs regardless which museum or which continent, whenever there is an exhibition of non-white art alongside another of white art, the latter is patronised by a ratio of three to one,  

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Franz Hauer 1914  Egon Schiele

To be sure, the space for the Klimt / Schiele was much smaller than the ten salons for the Oceania exhibition – the same salons in fact which were used for last winter’s, Charles I: King and Collector.  Indeed, there is a certain appeal about being able to view art this up close and intimately.  Nonetheless, the crowd here was predominantly older – the diapered set and they of course can be expected to have little relish for adventuring beyond that which is deemed art or superior.  

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Nude Self-Portrait 1916 Egon Schiele. 

Naturally, not having read up on the exhibition prior to arriving in London, I had assumed that it would be paintings of both artists in the exhibition.  As it turned out, my weak vision could not fully appreciate these drawings and the cramped quarters was no good for my usual wariness of crowds.  

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Female Bust,1916 Gustav Klimt.  

Thoroughly underwhelmed more than not, I made my way in search of the Oceania exhibition.  Imagine having made that treacherous trek all the way up those potentially slippery metallic stairs, only to have been left none-too-inspired.  Oh well, too many old fossils in too tight a space pour moi-meme.  

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Straight away, I was soothed, uplifted and engrossed by the fecund richness of the blue-interiored salons.  Where months prior were hung van Dycks, Rubens and a most memorable Tintoretto, now into these large magical ten salons, I slipped lucidly awakened with wonder.  

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Here, in this marvellous exhibition, the worlds of dreams and spirit were fully realised.  I was in awe, inspired and fully engaged for moving through, as though in a lucid dream, salon after salon of this mammoth, breathtakingly beautiful exhibition.  

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Papuan soul canoe.

Steeped in animism and ancestor-worship, these beautiful cultures of the South Pacific (Oceania) speak to me.  Naturally, much of this is due to strong resonance, owing to past-live memories.    

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What I found rather interesting about this exhibition, is how locals reacted to the art and artefacts on display.  They were actually deferential, which is worlds removed from the usual open ridicule and vile remarks made by persons when touring the Barbara and Murray Frum African Art Collection at Toronto’s AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario).  Indeed, days later, I would be reminded of how archly racist Canadians currently are and with a smugness that defies reason.  

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This exhibition is handsomely curated and the show was staged with the greatest sensitivity and respect for the cultures represented.  Rather refreshing an approach.  

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Marvellous.  Powerful and so like the totemic masks of West African cultures.  

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I especially loved this sculpture and found it vibrationally rather powerful.  

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Sublime.  

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My attempts at capturing this marvellous piece proved frustrating as a German couple who were close by were slow to move along; my impatience is of course legendary.  

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Beautiful textiles featured in the exhibition,  

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Positively love this Papuan mask.  

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Star map for navigating the seas of Oceania’s cultures.  

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August.  Regal.  There is something deeply astral about the cultures of Oceania; these are cultures which are firmly grounded in the worlds of dreams and spirit… indeed.  

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Wow!  This is what I came hunting for; I was most definitely greatly inspired.  What past-life dreams are yet to be triggered by this lucidly awakened journey through Oceania and my own reincarnational past.  

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Hands down, this was my favourite piece in the exhibition; it seemed like some interdimensional craft for travelling between distant worlds and galaxies as is only now possible in dreams.  The lines are so amazingly elegant and masterfully executed.  Phenomenal.  

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What a wonderfully uplifting exhibition!  Bravo!  

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The view on exiting the Royal Academy’s Burlington House.  

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Just look at the view across Piccadilly from the Royal Academy…  Fortnum & Mason.  Well, off we go for some retail therapy; on crossing the street, I delightfully hummed the most memorable melody from La Bayadère.  

Oh look, way below that famous Fortnum & Mason blue beckons.  For now though, I made another feverish perusal of my email.  There is nothing from Ronnie Scott’s and the hotel has emailed to say that they have not received word from them nor have they called back.  

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A gourmand’s wet dream.  

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Art whilst shopping… truly civilised.  

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A trip to the basement and my favourite Jamaican clerk was not on duty.  I did though meet a lovely, lively West African who much reminded me of the spirited gardener in the dreams of July 9, 1993, which proved one of the most beautiful yet of this incarnation wherein I travelled and had the most lucid astral plane dream encounter with Merlin in the afterlife – it will appear in the sixth and final volume of my dream memoirs of Merlin and me, Merlin and Arvin: A Shamanic Dream Odyssey, which will prove human civilisation’s first dream memoirs when fully published.  20181112_124934

Thanks to the West African clerk and how beautifully she spoke of Canada’s Weston family, who own Fortnum & Mason, I was sold.  To hell with dropping money at Ronnie Scott’s when they could not be bothered to accommodate me.  With that, I had a couple of signed copies of Tom Parker-Bowles’ recently published cookbook, Fortnum & Mason Christmas.  For good measure, it is always good to have wonderful fragrances.  

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On getting outside, whilst prowling Piccadilly in search of the Herrick Gallery in Mayfair where a Nevisian artist was having an exhibition, the skies opened up and delivered a monsoon deluge, which readily reminded that this truly was the age of climate change.  The Herrick Gallery was a beautiful affair; however, I had arrived a day early so there was nothing to see as large canvases were being unwrapped and hung.  Getting into Green Park Station, I ducked in to use the toilet and was reminded of 28 years earlier, when you didn’t then have to pay to use the facilities.  That day, in the heat that was London in July, an old, homeless black woman sat on one of the toilets in a stall, which like all the others had no door affording privacy.  She seemed utterly otherworldly and just as removed.  Certainly, she was impervious to the bacchanalia afoot; a tall East African with the most massive cock to that point seen, was actually charging various denominations based on what the throng of near-ululating size queens were prepared to do to that unrivalled wunder schmekelof his.

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Onward, the journey continued.  The next stop was Westminster Station where my main focus was touring the exquisite architectural gem that is the Lady Chapel at Westminster Abbey.  Built by King Henry VII as Lady Chapel and deemed as the ode to the Virgin Mother, I rather suspect though that the Lady in question is his mother, Margaret Beaufort.  Hers is the only effigy that is not marble but distinctive bronze. 

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(Though photography is not permitted, I managed rather skilfully to have captured a shot of Lady Margaret Beaufort’s bronze-effigied tomb whilst in the spectacular Lady Chapel at Westminster Abbey)

Of course, that soul is now incarnate and though the most reviled black woman on the planet at present, I have every conviction that Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex will just as nobly distinguish herself as when a key figure during the War of the Roses, mother of King Henry VII, grandmother of King Henry VIII after whose coronation she died days later, and great-grandmother of Queen Elizabeth I.  She who founded Christ’s College and St. John’s College at Cambridge University and for whom Oxford University’s first college to admit women, Lady Margaret Hall is named.  Indeed, Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex has been a feminist for some time.  

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A lone shot of Westminster Abbey from the quire, looking to the altar before being approached by security and asked to cease doing so.  Before departing I took the time to pause at the three wreaths in the stalls of Lady Chapel, which is the spiritual home of the Order of Bath.  In recent months, three knights of the order had passed.  

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The view from the Cloisters from Westminster Abbey, to the courtyard fountain and the grandeur of Palace of Westminster’s Victoria Tower to the rear.  It was also a chance to wait out the downpours.  

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Excitedly the dash back from Westminster Abbey to Westminster Station on the Circle Line was one filled with giggles as I tried to avoid being dowsed by puddles as traffic sped past.  Next stop, Mansion House which eventually led to a break in the rains as I emerged from the Underground.  

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Look at that, the monsoon had eased up and there was even sunlight trammelling the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral.  Always, it is good to mount the steps to this grand shrine.  

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As it is the season of Remembrance, it was time to pause and pay homage at the tomb of Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson whom both Merlin and I knew in our past lives in London when musicians at court during the reign of HM King George III and the Regency of HM King George IV.  

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The Earl Jellicoe. Admiral of the Fleet.  Love that there are actual poppies on his tomb.  

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Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington.

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One of the sights whilst ambling after yet another tour of St. Paul’s Cathedral.  

With that, it was back on the Underground and a return to Bloomsbury, where dinner and dream-filled sleep awaited.  

As ever, dream as though every moment is a dream memory of a past life (this one) for you in a future incarnation.  See it, experience it fully – without bias – appreciate it and be richly inspired by it.  Again, I can never say enough how deeply appreciative I am for your ongoing support.  

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©2013-2022 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.  

Here’s to You!

Just a wee glimpse into my magical life where dreamquests are all begun in the groovy comfort of my collapsible pyramid.  I have had a pyramid since 1984 in one form or another.  This incarnation of my dream chamber, I rather love.  Being surrounded by art is about being greatly inspired.  

Happy New Year!  Thanks for your ongoing support and here’s wishing you the very best this year!  Sweet dreams as ever! 

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©2013-2022 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.

Four Standing Figures.

Four Standing Figures Henry Moore

Four Standing Figures

Lithograph

12.5 x 15 in

11/50

©1978 Henry Moore

Provenance: Collection of Arvin da Brgha

Let there be art.  Let there be love.  

Back in 1982, Merlin and I were holding up at the Trockadero loft — home of Natch Taylor and his dancer lover, William Zammy Zamora.  Theirs was a beautiful loft in New York City’s Chelsea where across the street presided the block-long, imposing green edifice of one of those grand buildings found only in America.

One evening after rehearsals for a dance concert, I hung out with dancers from the Nanette Bearden Dance company, then finally made my way home late at night.  When I got in, Merlin was at the loft’s rustic kitchen/dining table with a large sketch pad with director, Jim Henson with whom he would be working in Toronto, filming the inaugural season of Fraggle Rock.  Tall, slightly drooped and intense, Jim briefly chatted but remained focussed on the task in hand.

Presently, he and Merlin were going over sketches and design ideas on respective pads for the shows.  At the time, whilst standing behind Merlin seated at the table, I remarked that the sketches were not unlike Henry Moore sculptures.  Both men simultaneously responded, “Hmm” to which we all laughed as it was reminiscent of the creatures in Mr. Henson’s feature film, Dark Crystal which had weeks earlier opened wide in theatres.  The film was a definite favourite of Merlin and mine.

Merlin remarked that the design were not dissimilar to Henry Moore’s sculptures whose massive curvaceousness, Merlin and I had agreed were feminine, .elegant and beautiful.  This discussion about art was had late at night, after having fucked like rottweilers at the Hotel Chelsea where he held up one weekend when in town from Toronto to both network but mostly to secure a right, proper ploughing of which he could never get enough… we both could never get enough.

On the whole, both men agreed that there were unconscious Henry Moore influences to their design sketches.  Those sketches would be further refined and were recently shared herein.  What none of us at the time could have known, was how spot-on was my observation.  As it would turn out, Henry Moore happens to be an old soul artisan who is an entity mate of both Merlin’s and mine.  Furthermore, Jim Henson who is an early mature artisan, also happens to be strongly bonded to Henry Moore, Merlin and I as he is in entity one of cadre one, greater cadre 7, pod 414, to all three of us being in entity six, of cadre one, greater cadre 7, pod 414.

Always, it is nice to find the ties that bind and it was really good of me to have picked up on that cadre connection when looking at the sketches and throwing Henry Moore ‘out there’ as it were.  The evening was lovely but I was in my restless youthfulness, dying to be alone yet again with Merlin and get on with the business of sinfully sweating whilst celebration life… love.

As ever, thank you for your ongoing support and do know that I shall shortly be starting a podcast, plus volume two of both my dream memoirs and the Michael Overleaves appendix will be launching soon, here at my art filled and recently redecorated home…

Sweet dreams as ever!

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©2013-2022 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.

In Remembrance: Hugh Steers.

Breathing 1987

Breathing

Oil on Paper

11 x 15 in

1987 Hugh Steers

Provenance: Estate of Hugh Steers

Signature 1991

Signature

Oil on Canvas

66 x 56 in

1991 Hugh Steers

Provenance: Estate of Hugh Steers

Sick Room Hugh Steers 1990

Sick Room

Oil on Canvas

38.12 x 40

1990 Hugh Steers

Provenance: Estate of Hugh Steers

Hugh Steers Self Portrait 1987

Self-Portrait 

Charcoal and Watercolour on Paper

30 x 22 in

1987 Hugh Steers

Provenance: Estate of Hugh Steers

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I have always loved the works of this young American Brahmin artist who was felled by AIDS – far too soon.  He was, of course, related by marriage to two of the most iconic Americans – at least for me – of the 20th Century: Gore Vidal (whose Michael Overleaves are to be found on the Michael Overleaves Appendix page) and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis – both of whom were king souls.

I remember… this World Aids Day, 2015

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© 2013-2022 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.

Madonna and Child.

Madonna and child

Black and red chalk, pen and brown ink on brownish paper

541 x 396 mm

© 1522-25 Michelangelo Buonarotti

Provenance: Casa Buonarotti, Firenze, Italia.

Today as the gallery is closed tomorrow, I biked to the AGO – Art Gallery of Ontario to see the Michelangelo Drawings show.  I had been really looking forward to this show as the video by Hugo Chapman of the British Museum was informative and engaging.  Perhaps, it was the setting – I really don’t see the point of having had Auguste Rodin works combined with the show.  Seriously, less is always more.

Frankly, I think that the works should have been contained in one salon with lots of seating and darker, more soulful colours for décor.  White walls are so dense-energied and negative…  The only salon that worked was the final one where there were dark soulful walls; however, that look was marred by the garish lighting and imposing Rodins which truthfully I paid little heed to.  Frankly, I was underwhelmed by the show; one needed to be able to sit and truly savor the works of art.  Going from salon to salon with the frenetic colour schemata was disruptive and precluded one being able to have a great time.  For an artisan mood is everything.

Too, as these were sketches, there were times that they were unimpressive.  I am certain that there are truly masterful Michelangelo drawings in private collections; those on exhibit at the AGO aren’t among them.  The only one that moved me is the final piece in the exhibit which for me saved the experience, Michelangelo’s Madonna and child.  After having been decidedly underwhelmed, I came downstairs and went past the galleries of objets d’art to the private salon, took a seat and soulfully drank of Sir Peter Paul Rubens’ Massacre of the Innocents.  I always go there because the décor of the salon is just right.  The mood is set by the soulful tone of the walls and the just-so lighting.  Both work to enhance the power and richness of tones in the painting which is worth every penny of the 117.5$m that Kenneth Thomson, 2nd Baron of Fleet paid in 2002 at Sotheby’s auction.

Of course, I also take the time to give thanks when visiting the salon – it is akin to going to church for me… a think that I last did at my father’s funeral in August 2008.  Today, I sat there for about 45 minutes enjoying the Rubens masterpiece and was ever mindful that this creative genius is in entity two of my cadre – one of greater cadre 7, pod 414.

Merlin and I as task companions are in entity six of said cadre whilst in entity one of same cadre is Jim Henson who has since reincarnated and is female, London-born and plans a life on the London stage.  Too, that entity, 1, is host to Sir Anthony van Dyck who is currently incarnate my oldest friend and resident in British Columbia though Dutch-born.

Don’t know his casting as such things were not shared in the Chelsea Quinn Yabro book, Messages from Michael, but Michelangelo Buonarotti’s Overleaves are as follows:

A fourth level mature artisan in the passion mode with a goal of growth, an idealist in the emotional part of intellectual centre with a chief feature of arrogance.  

Happy New Year and the best in 2015.  I am grateful for your continued support and patronage.  Spread the word far and wide – this right here is the most inspiring, uplifting ode to shamanic realism of a joint on WordPress.  Sweet dreams you, you are more magical and beautiful than you know.  I love you more.

Interestingly enough, when I first began this blog, back in February 2013, I knew that there were dreams like those of Won’t Take the A Train and Cicada Principle that I wanted to share… that I have actually remained focussed this long and have had as many interesting dreams to share herein with you has served to make me realise how awesome this man Merlin was.

Merlin it was who said one night as he cuddled in bed at 20 Amelia Street in tony Cabbagetown,

“My darling, you are quite talented and this is quite the gift you’ve got… don’t ever forget that.”

At the time, we were speaking on the cusp of his final hospitalisation of his intention of doing whatever possible to send me dreams from beyond after his passing as he wanted me to write of him and me.  This coming year, I plan on spending less time on this blog as I put the finishing touches to said work; the story of shamanic Merlin and me interspersed with dreams aplenty many of which have not been shared in this blog.

Too, I plan on being very detailed on this blog in my recounting of my experiences with a former employer because falling prey to the racial predator is not something that one should be ashamed of or live in denial of.  This has been the one empowering takeaway from the Jian Ghomeshi scandal – I always thought him an absolute fraud.

http://www.casabuonarroti.it/it/

http://www.ago.net/

http://www.rodinmuseum.org/collections/collectiontheme/6.html

http://www.britishmuseum.org/

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© 2013-2022 Abrvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.

Cornelius Satchleven.

vandyck3682

Engraving (Original)

25.1 x 17.5 cm

c. 1641 Sir Anthony van Dyck

What I especially love about this van Dyck engraving – one of my favourites – is that the subject, Cornelius, is so august-souled.  His look is so kaleidoscopic thereby betraying his reincarnational history.  To look at the subject, he could be Tatar, Nepalese, even Inuit… all the lives that he’s lived to date are magically alluded to.   Masterful.  Stunning.  I love it.

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© 2013-2022 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.

Pink Chair II.

dwight6

Conté Drawing

3.5 x 4.0 Feet

© 1992 George Hawken

Provenance: Artist’s private collection.

Though this drawing of me was completed before I left Toronto for Vancouver in 1994, I never did see it until returning to living in Toronto, from Montréal, in 2004.  I loved it and still do.  The work is my favourite George Hawken and, of course, as it is a one-of-a-kind and not in my possession; this, of course, makes it that much more covetous!

What I especially love about it is that whilst living in New York City in 1983, I dreamt of the drawing and didn’t, at the time, realise that it was me; the eye-colour in the drawing is the same as a very exotic-looking female past-life of mine about whom I often dreamt back then – especially when studying classical dance in Winnipeg prior to that (1980-82).

At the time of that dream of this drawing which was yet to be – I had not even yet met George Hawken, Merlin and I were staying in the Chelsea loft of Natch and Zammy, the Artistic Director and his dancer lover, who since passed of AIDS, of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo.

Of course, prior to leaving for Vancouver, I was happily ensconced in relationships with Daryll Newcombe, Gustavo Vadim – the masochistic art thief in Washington D.C. and Manhattan cabaret singer, Frans Bloem… plus a few others.

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© 2013-2022 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.