Dawn. So much to be grateful for.
One day, when the storm has past, I will tell you everything. Not just the pretty pictures. Not just the elegant parties.
Saw Premium Rush with John and Valoree Papsidera at a plush private screening room.
An exciting, gritty movie with a huge problem at its core: The bad cop played by Michael Shannon is not really a bad cop… he’s too funny.
So, come the last scene, the conclusion… I was left feeling cheated.
The last scene is terrible.
I did not feel as engaged with the story as one might have hoped.
There were too many chances for the main character Wilee (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) to make different sorts of choices. He could have called the police. He could have returned the package. He could have stayed at home.
Perhaps, like so many people, I am in denial?
It is not far off… the conclusion.
I have had a lingering cold/flu. Sweats.
Script notes arrive and I am loathed to open them, even though I know that they will be good. Brilliant.
How does one turn a life event into a work of fiction? Well, obviously, you have to jettison the truth.
I spent the larger part of yesterday in Venice. My favorite location. Stalking my favorite haunts. It’s like Whitstable. I know so many people. Casual acquaintances. Unlike my home town, where they have known me all my life, their understanding of me is based on what they read.
After the LA Weekly piece they are well aware of what is going on and mask their desire to pry with small talk.
Sometimes I wake up and think I should go to an AA meeting but I’ll wait until I am in another city.
It is the truth: art heals. Remember when I was sick five years ago with my leaky spine? Good God, that was painful.
Convalescing, I stayed with David Philp and his wonderful wife (art critic and broadcaster) Hunter Drohojowska-Philp in their gorgeous Beverly Hills home. She brought beautiful books for me to look at and set art work at the end of the bed.
The pale yellow room designed by Jenny Armit became a temporary sanctuary. Until I was well again.
I had a long chat with an old buddy in London, someone I worked with repeatedly in the old days. A great benefactor.
It’s cold outside and hot inside the house. I open the door and let the mountain in.
The garden, this year, has matured into the garden of my dreams.
Bumped into Drew Pinsky at CNN, we were both sprayed orange for our various TV appearances. He was sweet, as he always is. We hugged and gossiped. He asked if I had read Jennie’s book. I told him that I hadn’t but I’d get around to it sooner or later.
The children make me laugh. I sit with them watching Barbie cartoons and they mock Charlie’s new girlfriend (Charlieissocoollike) children can be very cruel and very funny.
Weird clicking on my telephone. I think my phone is being tapped. Why?
Continuing my occasional ‘Fuck you’ series of LA essays I nominate the ‘award winning’ illustrator and elderly Greek queen Konstantine Kakanias as my latest Fuck You.
Konstantine threw a party last night.
Who put the kaka into Kakanias?
This guy has tried it all.
Artist, writer, illustrator, jewelry designer.
B’jesus with this much talent this homo should be a household name!
He’s tried so hard to be something but for poor old Koni, nothing seems to stick.
He’s just a socialite with a great talent for persuading other socialites to take him seriously.
You know, I have known the rancid Konstantine for many, many years.
We first met with Manolis Mavrakis and Fred Hughes in New York in the early 80′s. Fred loathed him. Manolis laughed at him.
Koni painted my portrait then tried to have sex with me. I declined. He was smelly and creepy.
I left the portrait on the easel.
We periodically bump into each other all over the world. Much to his chagrin and my infinite amusement. It was he I referred to as Nona Summer’s vile Greek escort last week.
Konstantine attracts the WORST sort of people. Nona, Peter Dunham, Justin Kern, Alex Hitz etc.
As his last incarnation he was calling himself an artist. He had a laughably sophomoric show at The Light Box Gallery in LA before it closed down.
Kimberly Light (heiress) rues the day she ever let this cretin have his own show at her gallery.
He was the only artist who did not sell at the Angel Food project auction at CAA several years ago.
That’s how seriously the art elite take him. Look for his work in the collections of important collectors and you will not find his name.
His work is absurd.
Yet, within that sub-world of dodgy socialites and rich kids looking for a purpose he has carved himself a ‘career’. Some how he persuaded Swarovski to manufacture his designs.
Silly rings, “Inspired by Byzantine royal jewels.” He brays.
Did they sell? They were a total disaster and can now be found on the Swarovski website knocked down to a fraction of their original price.
Last night Konstantine was up to his old tricks.
Konstantine is now a film maker.
He has made a ‘film’ and to launch this seven minute animated masterpiece he assembled LA’s elite… including ‘designer’ Justin Kern and his pretty side kick Stephanie Danan for whom the ‘film’ was commissioned and QVC favorite… fried chicken go to guy and Coca Cola heiress Alex Hitz and a gaggle of loafer wearing euro trash.
“They’re very collaborative people and they’re really creative. They like playing with other creative people and that’s where it all crosses over,” Indeed, Danan and Kern enlisted the efforts of friends like Tatiana von Furstenberg (heiress), “They’re not in a singular mind-set and they can pull from other mediums.”
I walked in and immediately saw twenty people I knew well enough to kiss and twenty people I knew well enough to ignore.
I waved at Konstantine… he flew out of his chair…
“Who invited you…” he trembled. His voice deserting its usual treble… escalating into a Maria Callas soprano.
Alex Hitz who I kissed lavishly (after all he had paid for a wonderful dinner at the Sunset Tower) said, “This is Konstantin’s party.”
“I know,” I said, “And I am the wicked fairy.”
Alex shrank into the shadows. I turned to face the outraged Greek. Like his country… in debt and struggling to save face. He held out his fingers like 10 wands and told me to get out.
I left, greeting people on the way out with smiles and kisses. Clo Perrin (heiress) looking gorgeous in white silk jersy.
Justin Kern waved. Justin is proof that there is life after modeling… just.
“I’ll be writing about this!” I grinned cheerily!
Before I left one of the guests, a beautiful young Parisian flew up to me and laughed, “Darling, what a waste of time. You didn’t miss a thing. Poor Konstantine.”
Dinner at Laurel Hardware with a cute jew. Great kisser.
On Friday night we saw Lily perform a charming play after her month of theatre camp. She played a slutty demon.
I smiled, remembering my own fashion obsessions when I was his age.
He is not having a great time at school. The other kids are mean to him and he in turn is a pain in the ass. I know that feeling too, being an obviously gay kid who spent the larger part of his childhood at war with other kids.
I rather hoped I would grow out of it but…I didn’t. I am still at war.
The entire weekend was spent rehearsing and shooting tests for the movie. I look forward to viewing the material.
After day one we met Jacob and Fielder at Laurel Hardware. The dinner was spectacular.
We scoffed the heavenly pig cheek, sharing the lamb, the char, assorted salads and the most delicious rhubarb and strawberry cobbler and roasted peaches.
The ingredients are locally sourced, incredibly fresh and the flavor combinations were perfectly well judged.
After day two of rehearsing and shooting the most dramatic scene in the film… we all took off for the local watering hole.
Boys leaping a hundred foot out of the air into the ice-cold water.
Policeman confiscating beer and … of all things… an axe. A mostly Mexican crowd they looked horrified when the cops turned up.
After my time helping out the ACLU I now know why.
I thought you might want to see this. I don’t think it’s ever been seen online before.
Owned by Shaun Regen this is by far the most interesting gallery in LA and consistently shows challenging and stimulating work.
Regen Projects is currently showing work by German artist John Bock.
Born 1965, Gribbohm, Germany
Lives and works in Berlin.
The show reminded me (inevitably) of fellow German Martin Kippenberger.
Kippenberger is one of my favorite artists. His work has been inexcusably and crudely plundered by the YBA (Young British Artists).
John Bock is a performance artist and sculptor whose three-dimensional works often serve as props for his performances.
Bock creates entire universes using a wildly eclectic range of materials, described in multiple languages, and presented with an antic energy that is equal parts mad scientist and Buster Keaton.
A dizzying mix of pseudo-scientific, aesthetic, social, and political commentary, Bock’s works defy logic.
This view of the world has various precedents, notably in the post World War II Theatre of the Absurd, a movement whose goal was to shock audiences into facing up to life “in its ultimate, stark reality.”
Bock believes the pre-conscious associations inherent in words are unavoidable and that only through experience and empathy can we penetrate what he terms the “heavy numb dumb world” of daily life.
Bock’s lectures seduce and confound, simultaneously proving perhaps, the inexplicability of the interrelationship of man and his universe.
When I let God take the reigns of the humble buggy I drive down the promised path of happy destiny I am sure of one thing: things are going to turn out just the way they are meant to. Good and bad.
When I angrily push him out-of-the-way and drive myself I am sure of nothing.
I used to think that if I let God take control of my life, my life might be ever so slightly boring but that simply isn’t the case. God and I can still go on a wild ride, we can still have excitement and ambition. We just do it the right way.
I get to have all that life has on offer without paying the terrible price I seem to pay when I wilfully drive the buggy myself.
I used to think (convinced myself) that doing the right thing meant that I had to live a pious life.
This simply isn’t true. God doesn’t want me kneeling at his feet all day praying that his will be done. He knows that I believe in his will being done, but what I have come to understand of late is that his will needn’t be dull.
Everyday things get better in my head. Everyday without the grip of obsession, compulsion and the like I am calmer, more centered, more and more in my own skin.
Getting back to work and in touch with my God-given desire to create (and a means to do so) I feel more like the man I was meant to be rather than the man I have been lately.
Yesterday I went back to the doctor, had more scans and lo and behold there are yet more problems to deal with. The difference between this time and the last is that I now have a skill set to deal immediately and healthily with these problems rather than the last time when I associated the problem with him.
It is remarkable to me that for nearly a year I let somebody else rule my head and my heart. By so doing I allowed the deep shadow cast by another to blot out the sunlight of the spirit.
When I talk about God I don’t mean a christian…organised religious God. I mean a God of my understanding, a higher power to whom I must defer at all times if I am going to live a healthy life.
We open the first book on this day September 5th, 1982. I am 22 years old.
I am in Greece, on the island of Spetses staying with Sir John and Lady Russell. I am still, at this time, Lord Rendlesham and have flown from Paris to Athens with an older nobleman called Guy de la Bedoyere of whom I had tired.
It was Guy’s Turner that I had marveled in Paris a few days earlier and whose butler, much to my horror, had washed in a washing machine my new Crolla ties.
The magazine Harper’s Bazzar had published the pictures of my infamous birthday party thrown for me by Scott Crolla at the Almeida Theatre. Word was just reaching me in Greece that people were not at all happy. Not at all.
If you click on the diary pages you can read the original entries.
I am in love with a beautiful Swiss boy called Robert and it is he that I wave goodbye to at the beginning of the entry.
The following year September 1983 there is no diary entry until I am released from prison on the 18th November.
September 1984 I am in rehearsal for Pornography: a Spectacle at the ICA in London. There are huge articles about us all in Time Out, The Face and a now defunct London mag called City Limits. I am living in Balham with a girl called Victoria. By day I am in a play about gay pornography and by night I sleep with what was effectively my girlfriend. So was the complexity of my life. ”Every gesture must be full and complete.” says Neil. Neil Bartlett, director of the show. During these days he and I began to fall out. Irrevocably as it turned out. When we left each other in Toronto months later after our North American tour we would never speak again.
September 1985 I am writing whilst stuck in a tunnel under the alps on a train from Paris to Venice. My and Ivan Cratwright’s great adventure to Venice. Staying, en route with Fred Hughes in Paris.
The diary for 1986 was missing but now found. I will transcribe the entry. I am yet again in another heterosexual relationship with a woman called Louise. Why?
“Oh dear, I am in The General Trading Company off Sloan Square – Louise by my side. Firstly I did not expect the Bahamian bombshell to come back to Whitstable to see me. I rather thought that she might have given me a miss.
Yesterday before Louise arrived my pinks from Kingstone (?) Cottage arrived, they came to me in a brown cardboard box wrapped in local newspaper. I planted them carefully, laying a foundation of stones for good drainage and surrounded the root system with peat. Maria helped out the best she could but spent the best part of yesterday drawing on the beach. The day before that too she had worked hard on minimalist drawings incorporating the seascape – noticeably the foreshore and the horizon, terribly witty references to dead fish – (?) a family with prawn.
Ivan (Cartwright), we collected him from Whitstable station – Korda (Marshall) and I, he was in such a good frame of mind . He prattled on about being arrested for car thieving and told a remarkable story about having been picked up on Park Lane (London) dressed only in a full length pink, synthetic fur coat, cowboy boots and a micro polka dot bikini! He was picked up by a vast black men in a Buick.
Korda was completely freaked out by Ivan and as soon as he had the opportunity – left. However, Ivan enchanted both Rachel (Whiteread) and (?) with his wit and intelligence. We left for the pub far too late. Ivan was wearing a pair of black cotton stockings, a black tee-shirt and short black sweat pants all topped off with this platinum blond hair and that face which as you know contorts like nobodies business.
We all slept late and woke early, that’s why when big bertha arrived (Louise) I was knackered. We took off for a long adventurous but utterly fruitless journey to a closed park. We did go to Beech House (Hospital School in Chartham) I remembered yet again the horror of being taken there when I was a child – I remember that it was in that place that my life changed direction and I began to fight, so it was rather apt that I went there – my life again on the edge of a potential nightmare. India, 8th October 10.15 – 9 months. It rings in my ears.
As we drove to London yesterday Louise and (?) wrote that evening’s narrative. For she as an eye for the ironic. Firstly we locked ourselves out of Louise’s car and house then we saw the corpse of a man freshly killed, his legs crossed at the ankles, in the road. His clothing partially hidden under a green waterproof police modesty blanket. All of us knew that ambulances take only the living to be mended as best they can. Death has no care. I wondered about his family. The pulse stopped and the narrative ending for him. We drove slowly. Later the image of the corpse quietened me and made me listen.
Louise is my strength whom I do not deserve. Late last night I felt truly happy and secure. That’s enough isn’t it? Enough for a man who rarely lives safely, who is destined to become a lonely old man with personality problems.”
September 1987 I am a patient in the Henderson Hospital in Sutton Surrey where I spent the majority of that year. I had a breakdown after a particularly bad bout of Hep B. The Jay who would be fetching me from hospital is, of course, Jay Jopling.
For some odd reason I did not keep a complete diary in 1988. I am not fully well from my breakdown but have decided to go to New York to see Ana Corbero and Colin Cawdor. Paul Benny the artist was also staying in the huge apartment. An entire floor of a converted girls school just over the Williamsburg Bridge.
There is no entry for these dates in 1989.
1990, my thirtieth year. Living in Chelsea with Phillipa having what looks like a rather glamorous time.
1991 Coppers Bottom has opened at Sadler’s Wells. Karen, the lead actress is threatening to walk. I am now living with Anthony H. in South London.
1992 Tim and I are laughing about Damien Hirst not winning the Turner Prize that he seemed so certain to win. I rather cruelly called Jay and told him how sorry I was whilst sniggering with Tim.
Not long before I get sober. Just another 5 years.
After 1992 I kept a journal less and less. I began every year enthusiastically writing everyday like I do now in the blog but by July had lost interest or life was simply too overwhelming.
Anyway, that was fun?