Archives for posts with tag: Charles Saatchi

Tracey Emin

Tracy Emin‘s ‘My Bed‘, part of the spurned Charles Saatchi collection, sells at auction to Jay Jopling at the White Cube Gallery for $4 million.

Jay originally sold it to Charles Saatchi for $300,000.  Why did Jay Jopling want it back so badly?  Sentimental?

No.  Buying and selling art at auction determines international prices for all gilt-edged (and emerging) artists.

The art market remains totally unregulated.  An audacious art market ploy,  it is an open secret that gallerists operate a cabal that controls bidding at auction, maintaining an artists credibility and in this case artificially inflating Tracey Emin’s waning prices.

This con is not illegal.

Transforming art of questionable value into work of capital value that can be tendered with the Inland Revenue.  Money laundering in plain sight until the ‘art work’ has an ersatz value all of its own… independent even of its secondary market value, it can then be offered to the State as an asset by its owner, in place of whatever they owe in taxes.  The Lucian Freud estate recently traded 15 million gbp worth of Art in lieu of death duties.

A foot note: Tracy hid in her bed for three days presumably on housing and other benefits. Benefits she received for 30 years. Benefits she, as a Tory, wants to deprive others.

Wanna read about the bed….

A consummate storyteller, Tracey Emin engages the viewer with her candid exploration of universal emotions. Well-known for her confessional art, Tracey Emin reveals intimate details from her life to engage the viewer with her expressions of universal emotions. Her ability to integrate her work and personal life enables Emin to establish an intimacy with the viewer.

Tracey shows us her own bed, in all its embarrassing glory. Empty booze bottles, fag butts, stained sheets, worn panties: the bloody aftermath of a nervous breakdown. By presenting her bed as art, Tracey Emin shares her most personal space, revealing she is as insecure and imperfect as the rest of the world.

Kay Saatchi and Tim Willis

If a woman, an individual woman multiplied by billions, does not believe in her own discrete existence and therefore cannot credit the authenticity of her own suffering, she is erased, canceled out, and the meaning of her life, whatever it is, whatever it might have been, is lost. This loss cannot be calculated or comprehended.  It is vast and awful, and nothing will ever make up for it.

― Andrea DworkinRight Wing Women

I never met Nigella Lawson, not yet.

She is still relevant.  She is the battered wife.  The super woman who drowned her sorrows in cocaine as her former husband lay dying of cancer and her ex husband allegedly emotionally brutalized her.

I only meet women like Nigella when they become irrelevant.

In my distant social orbit, light years from the warming sun of acceptability, circle the flotsam and jetsam of international society.  Isolated by ignominy, the ex wives of current politicians, media titans and corporate mega moguls float in and out of the rooms of AA, expensive treatment centers in the Arizona desert, The San Fernando Valley and Malibu.

Aping the lives they once had with limitless funds, they buy a few stems of bruised tuba rose* from the same florist who once filled their many mansions with exotic blooms.  Sumptuous bouquets placed on valuable escritoire, on silvered night stands, on grand dining tables.

As she leaves, she stands briefly on the threshold, looking down at her guilty feet and apologizes for the frugal fist of sweet smelling blooms.  The florist looks on piteously knowing that her younger, more glamorous successor can spend whatever she pleases.

The lonely ex-wife arranges a slim vase in her well-appointed but humble apartment in Pimlico moments from where she and her spouse once lived on Eaton Square.

These cast off ex-wives, these frosty women, their faces wet with angry tears, looking to half-baked sober life coaches in first-rate treatment centers to recalibrate their lives. Drinking away their sorrows, dumped by men whose power they loved and whose money they spent.    Yoga, sobriety, macrobiotics, spending, using, crying… nothing seems to work because all these women want is the sweet taste of revenge.

This week, one very lucky ex-wife gets her dues. She waited patiently on the sidelines of her ex-husband’s life to witness the crushing downfall of her Nemesis.  Today, American born, Kay Saatchi is not only back in Charles’s life but has had the delicious pleasure of helping dispense the woman who caused Kay pain beyond description: Nigella Lawson.

Kay is delightful.  I’ve met her on numerous occasions in Los Angeles.  Of course she’s delightful!   A man like Charles Saatchi wouldn’t marry an idiot.  Kay is everything a powerful man would want, she is elegant, super smart, she has exquisite taste.  Kay, nowadays, is sober.  Yet, when Kay was drinking, she had an unpleasant habit of blacking out and talking gibberish about Charles.  She couldn’t and wouldn’t stop.  Even her best friend wouldn’t know how to stem the tirade.  Her life, it seemed, could only be nothing… without Charles.

She would disintegrate into a seething mess of Charles Saatchi resentment.

The only hook Kay had in her ex as she watched in increasing horror as Nigella used Charles as a spring-board into her own rock solid career as international domestic goddess… was her/their daughter Phoebe who Kay moaned constantly was ignored by her father.  When I asked Phoebe if her father ignored her over Christmas dinner a few years ago… she denied it, looked sadly at her drunk mother and told me that the only problem parent… was Kay.

Now, things are different.  Kay is sober (unlike Nigella) and Kay’s undying love and loyalty for her ex husband has been rewarded by his begging Kay to help oust Nigella.  Kay will never be Mrs Charles Saatchi ever again but she has made herself indispensable to him during his time of need, once again firmly cementing herself back into his life.

Kay Saatchi

It is hard to explain to ordinary people the intoxicating effect of unlimited cash, how women like Kay and Nigella and now Trinny Woodall would willingly get involved with brooding Charles Saatchi. A man who throttled his ex wife in public.  A man so ruthless he recruits his vulnerable ex-wife to destroy his current wife.

Do yourself a favor and read Andrea Dworkin’s Right Wing Women: the politics of domesticated females.  Money and power are everything to some women.  It defies logic and rationale. The patriarch, the provider, the batterer… do what ever you will to me and for me… I am yours forever.

The harsh glare of media scrutiny is lighting up every dark corner of Charles Saatchi’s famously private life during the trial of his former employees, The Grillo Sisters.  It must be a painful time for secretive Charles.  During the trial there was constant mention of the grown women (who were no more that indentured servants) as ‘family’ yet, as Deborah Orr points out in the only pro Grillo piece on offer this week…

“You cannot insist that someone is in your family, then cry fraud when they behave as if they are.”

The rich are different.  They like to live beyond scrutiny, they operate without care for consequence.  Partially, this week, on a micro and macro level justice was done.  For servants like the Grillo sisters and for ex wives who crave revenge… like Kay Saatchi.

* Princess Diana‘s favorite flower.

I met Tim Willis on Sloane Street, London 25 years ago.  He was with his then girlfriend Isabella Delves-Broughton.  I don’t remember meeting him that day.

He does.

I remember the first conversation Tim and I had was at Celia and Andrew Lyttleton’s frescoed apartment in Ladbroke Grove.

I remember showing him the invitations I had just had printed for my play The Host starring Lady Georgia Byng who would later become Mrs. Danny Chadwick and after that Mrs. Marc Quinn.  She is now probably best known for writing the Molly Moon children books.

Tim was unimpressed with the invitations.

I was prolific in those days, writing, making plays, living my life between London and Whitstable.

Tim was strangely nonjudgmental for one of the new elite who were making names for themselves during that time in London.

Remember, I was only a couple of years out of prison for a huge, unpaid credit card debt.

The story behind that debt had, the day I was sentenced, appeared in every British newspaper.  Christened: Lord of The Lies by the News of The World Sunday tabloid that title, unlike the one I had assumed, tended to stick.

Pretending to be Lord Anthony Rendlesham was the defining moment in my young life.   It set me on an unintended course the night I told that 4-word lie to the man I told it.  I wonder what happened to him?  Dermot Verchoyle-Campbell.

By the time I met Tim I was just ordinary (as the press loved to call me) Duncan Roy but he didn’t seem to mind how ordinary I was.   We were both social misfits.  The others came from good pedigrees and were gearing up to take their places in the British social stratosphere.   Their roles already defined.

Unusual for a heterosexual he was socially mobile.  Flexible.  The girl he was with that day on Sloane St went on to become Mrs. Detmar Blow and invigorate the world of British fashion.  Today her legacy, after a tragic suicide, is still evident as Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Stephen Jones and Phillip Treacy are testament.

Although homosexuality offers the same kind of social flexibility (as I found when I told my big lie), I was wholly disinterested in the ‘gay lifestyle’ on offer at that time in London.

I knew a few other ubergays but we were frosty with each other as all of us wanted to be the only gay pet around.  Mario Testino, Patrick Kinmonth, Johnny Shand-Kydd were three other ‘about town’ gays but, as I said, they were all pretty disinterested in me.

I had had a brief affair with Patrick when I was Lord Rendlesham.

I discovered Peter Doig’s degree show at St Martin’s Art School and bought one of Doig’s paintings that Peter then stole from my house whilst I was in prison.

Craigie Aitcheson the minimalist painter of crucifixes and Bedlinton Terriers accused Patrick of handing me over to the police when they were looking for me.  He squealed, “Look, there’s the man who handed his gay lover over to the police.”

I had, of course, explored everything gay in London but it simply never inspired me enough to keep me going back.

Tim was really the first person I met whom I could share my wonderment with.  One was encouraged, when in a huge and ancient houses, to take everything for granted but with Tim I could behave like a tourist.  Ooing and arring about what we discovered there.

A few years later after Jay Jopling discovered Damien and the new British artists all of our lives would change irrevocably.  We would no longer be living in someone else’s shoes, delighted by other older peoples choices, and would ride the British New Wave.

Meeting Kay Saatchi the other day at Amanda’s I now have a far more complete picture of what was going on when I knew Jay Jopling.  I certainly remember Jay telling me about meeting Charles Saatchi.  That Charles had discussed the possibility of running the Saatchi gallery on Boundary Road and how Jay had scoffed (to us) at that idea.

At the moment that Charles was offering Jay a job, Jay had other plans, he knew, and said as much, that Charles would ultimately work for HIM.    I am, and have always been, in awe of Jay’s balls.  Who wouldn’t have accepted to work for Charles?  Only a man with massive ambition knew exactly what he wanted and exactly how to get it.

It was at this time that Jay would bring a harem of girlfriends to my tiny cottage on Island Wall in Whitstable.  But that was all to end the day he met Maia Norman with whom he would fall deeply in love.

Visits to Whitstable became rare as they ensconced themselves in his house on Shakespeare Road in Brixton.   The last memorable Jay visit was with Danny Moynihan, Louise Jackson and Maia.  We would take ecstasy, drive to a ghastly local gay bar and dance to Pink Cadillac.

I think we may very well have had a rather wonderful orgy that night but Maia and Jay ended up alone as he was loathed to share her.  The events of the next few years proved deeply unsettling.  Maia would leave Jay for Damien and break his heart.

Jay submerged himself in the international art world, making huge amounts of money, marrying a girl he did not love and ending up in locations he loathed.

The last time I sat alone with him he told me how incredibly bored he was seeing the same faces day after day, the same gossip, same conversation and hankered after a the life he had at the edge of the world.

I will never, ever not love Jay.  He was the one who looked out for me when I had my stint in hospital and collected me when I was discharged.  He, for the longest time, was an occasional lover if no other pretty blond girl was available.  He was an inspiration to a legion of young artists and remains so, something they all aspire to: a show at one of his many galleries.

I watched from the sidelines as he and Lily Allen publicly shattered the vestiges of his marriage.

The truth is, I couldn’t bear Sam Taylor Wood because she wasn’t Maia.  It wasn’t her fault; she’s a perfectly nice girl.  Not a very good artist.

So goodbye Tim, have a safe flight back to London.  You make me remember the life we shared with this extraordinary cast of characters.  I miss you when you are gone.  You are a good friend.

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