Tag Archives: New York City

➤ A personal tale about the genius staring out from a painting expected to sell for £30m tonight

David Hockney, Henry Geldzahler, Christopher Scott, Photography, painting, auction, Christie's London,

Being auctioned tonight at Christie’s: Henry Geldzahler and Christopher Scott by David Hockney (1969, acrylic on canvas). Private collection. © David Hockney

THIS MESMERISING HUGE CANVAS TITLED Henry Geldzahler and Christopher Scott was painted by David Hockney in 1969 and is expected to sell at Christie’s tonight for at least £30million and today is the public’s last chance to view it until 4pm. It creates an intense dialogue between Hockney and his soulmate Henry, whose hairline is the picture’s vanishing point. By chance I got to know Henry in 1977, later stayed at his house in Greenwich Village and of course had to try-out the by then fabled pale mauve sofa pictured here.

We’d met during the best holiday of my life that summer at a house party hosted by the painter Teddy Millington-Drake at his vast 17th-century villa on Patmos, the Greek Island where St John had his apocalyptic Revelation. Two dozen guests, several with their kids, had arrived either like me on the weekly boat from Athens or on their own yachts (there were no direct flights to Patmos) for what proved to be a conclave of amusing, clever and influential movers and shakers from across the international art scene who utterly changed my understanding of life, the universe etcetera.

Henry himself, a three-in-one wit, wag and Svengali, undoubtedly changed the course of modern art by shifting its centre from Paris to New York, and affirmed the credibility of the term Pop Art. While only in his 30s he became the Metropolitan Museum’s first curator for 20th-century art and in 1969 mounted the landmark exhibition of 408 contemporary American works executed between 1940 and 1970 by artists he called “deflectors” of prevailing trends, such as Warhol, Gorky, Pollock, Rothko, Rauschenberg, Stella, Johns, Hopper. It was an immediate sensation. A new canon.

David Hockney, Henry Geldzahler, Christopher Scott, Irving Penn, Photography, painting, Andy Warhol

My photo of Henry Geldzahler in 1981: taking receipt of Irving Penn’s new portrait of him, in his NYC cultural commissioner’s office

I met Henry again in 1981 the very day he took receipt of a new portrait of him by photographer Irving Penn. I was in NYC that May during the First Blitz Invasion of the USA when I accompanied the 21 Blitz Kids who included the synth-led Spandau Ballet and Jon (Mole) Baker’s Axiom design collective who played a gig and staged a runway fashion show to introduce Manhattan to the new stars of Swinging London.

By then Henry had become New York’s first Commissioner of Cultural Affairs, appointed by the mayor Ed Koch. I visited his office at Columbus Circle and he played along when I suggested taking a souvenir snap so that my portrait of him cunningly captures him four times over: Henry in life reclining on his chaise, holding the Penn portrait, in the glass of which we see reflected the Warhol lithograph of him from 1979. Behind on an easel stands a further 1973 head-and-shoulders by Hockney (savagely cropped to maximise impact in this post).

Henry, who died in 1994, was described as the world’s “most powerful and controversial art curator”. He must also have been one of the most painted and photographed curators ever. “There are lots of pictures of Henry,” said Hockney. “He didn’t have many mirrors in his home. He knew what he looked like just by asking people to make portraits of him.”

David Hockney, Henry Geldzahler, Christopher Scott, art, painting,

Masterpiece of pictorial drama (detail): the central subject in Hockney’s painting of Geldzahler and Scott stares back, evaluating the painter’s every move. (My photo)

➢ Henry Geldzahler and Christopher Scott is Lot 8 in the sale An American Place: The Barney A. Ebsworth Collection at Christie’s London, 6 March 2019, from 7pm. Update: the painting went in three minutes flat for £33million.

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➤ £41 buys no diploma in Bowie-ana but you will be ready to compete on Mastermind


◼ STARMAN: HOW DAVID BOWIE LIT UP THE 1970s is the title of a two-session course coming up next month at London’s premiere adult-education institute, the City Lit. But you will have to get out of bed on two Sunday mornings to attend. The course costs £41 and its tutor, the music writer Toby Manning whose specialist subject is Pink Floyd, aims it at “music lovers generally” who will find out “how David Bowie’s songs, persona and style broke with 60s values and aesthetics and largely ‘invented’ the 70s”.

Toby promises lots of videos and says: “Watch how, through constant reinvention, Bowie’s relentless creativity set and reset the agenda for rock music throughout the 1970s and beyond.” Test your tutor’s mettle by viewing the stupendous Young Americans video from 1973 [above] and asking why Bowie is wearing those fabulous shoulders and what agenda did they set?

Afterwards, Toby promises, you should be able to “hold your own in any discussion about David Bowie”. So you’ll be ready to impress Mastermind’s 1.74 million viewers. Howzaboutthatthen!

➢ Details of the City Lit’s FE course in Bowie-ana and many more

OCT 19 POSTSCRIPT: BOWIE ‘STILL ALIVE’ CLAIMS

David Bowie , New York, paparazzi,

Daily Telegraph: “David Bowie after collecting food from a cafe, bearing little resemblance to the fashion icon of the 1970s” (© Splash News)

➢ Update Oct 18, 2012 — “David Bowie: singer’s pale appearance reignites health fears” … Relentlessly downbeat report at The Telegraph online about “the polymorphic rocker’s” health beneath this genial paparazzi pic taken after picking up a takeaway lunch from the Italian Bottega Falai Café in New York.

David Bowie , New York, paparazzi

Daily Mail: “A grinning David Bowie has a wide smile as he joins Coco Schwab for lunch at Sant Umbroeus in New York” (© Splash News)

➢ Update Oct 19 — Reclusive David Bowie heads for lunch in New York… and he’s smiling again … Today’s Daily Mail follows up with five more pix from Splash News showing a very relaxed Bowie heading off to lunch: “Judging by the wide grin on his face, Bowie was feeling great.”

Between the two national newspaper reports accompanying these snaps of Bowie as a “hoodie”, neither offers one new piece of information and all the pix are completely undated. Eagle-eyed fashionistas will notice in the first “takeaway lunch” shot without his zebra print scarf he sports different shoes from today’s pix taken en route to a restaurant. So either David has scoffed two lunches, or, let’s guess, they were taken on different days.

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➤ Godlike Bowie proves mortal by hailing cab in NYC — but colour coordination flawless

David Bowie, New York City, cab, paparazzi

Bowie papped as he hails a cab in New York City, April 13, 2012. How cool is that silhouette (hashtag_unpolished_shoes)

David Bowie, New York City, cab, paparazzi

Papped in sequence: Bowie hails a cab in New York City, seemingly on April 13, 2012, though online source is unclear

Remember Bowie’s 1997 paranoia about America, when Trent Reznor played his stalker?

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➢ Jagger, Bowie were an “item”, biographer claims
— Huffington Post, July 30

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2011 ➤ Leee Childers interviewed: risqué tales of Warhol, glitter and Iggy’s best feature

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❚ LAST NIGHT BRITISH PARTY PROMOTER Chris Sullivan sat in a new London gallery cafe to ask Leee Black Childers about his formative years leaving Kentucky for New York City and getting drawn into Andy Warhol’s Factory crowd of the late 60s and 70s. For more than an hour at The Society Club in Soho, Childers confessed all about his formative years when Warhol encouraged him to “say” he was a photographer, after which he snapped many informal early pix of David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Debbie Harry, Lou Reed, New York Dolls, Patti Smith, Jayne County. All the photographs on display are on sale for the next week.

Our two videos catch a few ribald moments verbatim. Other landmarks included Danny Fields and Andy Warhol taking him to see this “terrific new band”. Using the camera his brother had given him on his 17th birthday, Leee produced sensational pix of the young misfit Iggy Pop at the Stooges’ first New York concert. Leee lived for a year with Iggy. “You should know that he had a really great mind. He would talk about Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, and kept me awake talking about philosophy all night. He was also a very kind person and had one of the best penises I’ve seen.”

Lee attributes the birth of the glitter phenomenon in 1970 to Theatre of the Ridiculous director John Vaccaro’s production of Heaven Grand in Amber Orbit which was set in a circus, to which he brought “giant, huge barrels of glitter and he said, Put it everywhere, and everyone onstage was covered in glitter”.

Linda Clark, Leee, Nancy Spungen, Sid Vicious, Dee Dee Ramone. (Photo by Danny Fields)

In 1971 Leee visited London when Andy Warhol’s ground-breaking show Pork took over the Roundhouse with nude scenes that revelled in the recent abolition of theatre censorship in the UK. During this trip he met David Bowie performing at the Country Cousins nightspot in Fulham: “I’d never heard of him but I went because they said he wore a dress, but he wasn’t wearing a dress. We also met Angie Bowie who was not wearing a dress either. That show was pretty lame.” Yet when Bowie later came to play in New York, Leee was asked to be the vice-president of his US company. He subsequently travelled with Bowie through Russia in 1973 and was tour manager for Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers when they supported the Sex Pistols on their 1976 Anarchy tour across the UK.

Leee hung out with the Sex Pistols in both London and New York. Asked from the floor “Who killed Nancy?”, Leee replied: “Nancy killed Nancy. She created the situation where it was impossible to go on” — referring to her fractious relationship with Sid Vicious. Though Vicious was charged with her murder in 1978, Leee says: “We all know it was not Sid.”

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➢ Last week’s report: Leee Childers brings his slice of 70s New York to London

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❏ iPAD, TABLET & MOBILE USERS PLEASE NOTE — You may see only a tiny selection of items from this wide-ranging website about the 1980s, not chosen by the author. To access fuller background features and site index either click on “Standard view” or visit Shapersofthe80s.com on a desktop computer. ➢ Click here to visit a different random item every time you click

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2010 ➤ Comeback Shard comfy as ‘Auntie Sade’

Sade  1983

Wow! Then and now: Sade backstage in August 1983 while still seeking a recording contract and, right, as shot to launch her 2010 album. Vintage picture © by Shapersofthe80s

SADE IS TALKING FRANKLY AND REFLECTIVELY. It’s a rare treat from a singer who rarely ever breaks cover. Ten years on from her last album, Lovers Rock, she is said to be the most successful solo female artist Britain has ever produced – more than 50m albums sold over 26 years, valued at £30m in The Sunday Times Rich List. She is the first to acknowledge that Sade is a band, and together they have won a Brit Award for Best British Album of 1984 (view award speech) plus nine other Brit nominations, three Grammies (for 1985, 1993, 2001, plus two other nominations) and Sade herself was appointed an OBE, an order of chivalry, by the Queen (2002).

Sade Adu,New York, Axiom, fashion, Blitz Kids, Ian Watts,Princess Diana

New York 1981, preparing for the Axiom show that accompanied Spandau Ballet on the first Blitz Kids invasion: In braided short hair and hallmark narrow pants, Sade fits a model with her outfit on the Demob label. Sade once told Shapers that Princess Diana’s question to her after a Prince’s Trust concert was: “Do you always dress like a man?” Photographed © by Shapersofthe80s

In yesterday’s Sunday Times Magazine, according to the writer Robert Sandall whom Sade knows of old, the Blitz clubbing veteran was giving the only face-to-face interview to coincide with this month’s release of her new album, titled Soldier of Love.

Sandall delivers full value as Sade really does let her guard down, surprisingly further than most of us who used to know her might have expected, especially about her “complicated” inter-racial family background. (She was born Helen Folasade Adu in Nigeria, raised in the UK at Clacton-on-Sea, and took a fashion BA at St Martin’s School of Art). She also talks about motherhood with a 13-year-old daughter and her several romances – “I’ve paid some rugged dues,” she observes. Highlights among many soundbites…

❏ On being a black singer in a white soul outfit: “I didn’t have any confidence as a singer, but I found that I liked writing songs.”

❏ The same band of clubbing wags from 1983 is reunited for the album – Paul Denman, Andrew Hale and Stuart Matthewman. They remain one tight unit on the new album, we’re told, under the control of a matriarch who likes the nickname “Auntie Sade”. [Note for newbies: say it Shah-day /ʃɑːˈdeɪ/. Only friends are allowed to use the nickname Shard.]

❏ On her new man, Ian Watts, who has been in turn Royal Marine, fireman and scientist: “I always said that if I could just find a guy who could chop wood and had a nice smile it didn’t bother me if he was an aristocrat or a thug as long as he was a good guy. I’ve ended up with an educated thug!”

❏ The old charge that Sade was the backdrop of the yuppie era still rankles: “With my family history, that really irks me. And it so annoyed me at the time, when we were secretly giving money we didn’t even have yet to Arthur Scargill and the striking miners.”

One year’s progress: left, Sade with Latin soul band Pride at the Fridge, Sep 1982; and with the smaller band Sade in Aug 1983 at the Yow club, London, Paul Denman to the fore. Ten months after splitting they had a record deal. Photographed © by Shapersofthe80s

Sade

Sade 2010: Talks us through her new album in a video documentary

➢➢ For links to new video documentary and tracks see Sade box in sidebar, right

➢➢ A Reluctant Return: In this month’s New York Times interview, Sade worries about being “too candid” with the press, yet reveals she is considering marriage

➢➢ Kanye collaboration rumours in this National Post interview, Feb 16, 2010

➢➢ Compare and contrast quotes with this version at ThisIsGloucestershire!

➢➢ Click for pix of Sade’s Demob designs during 1981’s first Blitz invasion of the US

➢➢ More pix of Sade helping backstage during Steve Strange’s 1982 fashion show in Paris

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