Archives for posts with tag: peter doig

Dione Sofa

8am.  I didn’t go get the biopsy.  Something is stopping me.  I don’t want to know the truth.  Just like I didn’t want to know the truth about him.  Some truths are just too hard to face.

I am aware of the dull thump in my ball sack and in my lower back.  Like somebody is gripping my left testicle.

One of Jake’s friends wrote to me saying, and even though inaccurate, I really liked the quote, “We have all had diamonds thrown in our face.”   It was lyrical and charming.  He could have added darling to the phrase.  It would have worked perfectly.

Anyway, interesting day yesterday after I published the Irene blog.  She, of course, is threatening the IRS and an internet fraud investigation.   The problem is..I do my taxes, really thoroughly.  It’s not worth doing them any other way.   I am not feeling so feisty today.

I remain teachable.

Last night something rather remarkable happened.  I met a man a year and a half ago who is perhaps a dream of a guy.  That dream of that perfect man.  Beautiful in every way.  When we first met he explained that he was anxious about his sexuality, we had talked it through but nothing happened.  I had wondered about him occasionally, mentioned him to Jake even,  but had not contacted him.

Yesterday I received a blunt email from him asking if I wanted to explore his curiosity about men.

I thought about it for a nano second and invited him over.

So, last night we had a very steamy session with each other but I wasn’t engaged.  I felt distant, absent..and not really ready to have sex with anyone else.  I didn’t even want to kiss him. It is odd this morning to wake up with the smell of some other man on your fingers.   I knew that it had to happen sooner or later..somebody else but it’s still too early.   I tell you, I don’t envy men like Jake who can sport fuck but the healthy alternative is such a lengthy process.  We all agree that if I had been a sport fucker I would have been dead a very long time ago.

Why was his coming to see me last night so remarkable?  Because I was always warned in AA to be careful what I prayed for.  Getting what you want when God wants you to have it rather than when you want it can be very ungratifying.

Peter Doig painting in my bedroom 1982 Boom Boom Boom (The Sublime)

Is getting to know a man before you sleep with them so bizarre?   So when the moment happens, one is present and authentic?  After all,  Jake and I talked for months before we finally fell into each others arms.

Perhaps he can do that with anyone?  Perhaps a period of total abstinence is what I need?

I could have let things just stay the way they were, letting him tell me about his conquests but by the time we returned from Europe I just knew that merely having him in my life would be too disruptive.

I did not want that young man to stick around last night.  He left and I lay on the red Victorian sofa I have owned for twenty-six years.  I began to doze.  There was something very comforting about laying there.  The over stuffed arms, the familiarity.   The constant presence of that sofa in my life.  Dione bought it for me in Edinburgh in 1984.  It was on the street outside a junk shop and it was desperate to be loved.  I covered it in white ticking, the first of 4 times it has been reupholstered.  Jake was three when I bought that sofa.  Unexpectedly Dione’s daughter wrote to me yesterday.  She’s a sweet heart.

Things have given me more pleasure than the men I have loved.

So, the young man left the house at 2am.  I don’t think I’ll be seeing him again.

The picture at the top of the page was taken in my Whitstable house, the house that belonged to Peter Cushing.  The red sofa wearing it’s blue slip cover.

I wanted to post a few pictures. I want to remind myself that it has all been an incredible journey.

I wanted to include this one because I have a man’s legs wrapped around my shoulders. He is called Chris Boot. He was in South Africa with Tilda Swinton. Tilda came to the dinner thrown for me at Sundance when AKA played there. She came with Jamie Johnson.

Boom Boom Boom (The Sublime) 1982 Peter Doig

 You can see half of the Peter Doig painting I bought at his St Martin’s degree show.  It hung in my Furlong Road, Islington sittingroom until I was arrested.  At which point Doig decided to snatch it back and I never saw it again. It is probably worth in excess of $1, 000, 000 now.

Matt Rowe and Marie Palmer, we met at the Mercer Hotel in NYC with Mel C from the Spice Girls.  Matt had been one half of the duo who wrote all of their best tunes. New Years Eve 1999, Mercer Hotel with Calvin Klein, Tom Cruise, Nicole KidmanAlan Cummings and Fran Leibowitz. A cool very night.  Matt is still a great friend.

I’ve written loads about Jay Jopling in this blog. This is the night he met my sister Jessica.

Justin Lee-Aliston was my best gay friend in Whitstable. He was the sweetest boy. He killed himself a few months after he was gay bashed in Camberwell South London.  Here he is in happier times with my friend Tracy at the Island Wall, Whitstable house.

Celia Lyttleton, I can’t remember where we met but she is a doll and this picture was taken at a fancy dress party at the artist Glynn Boyd Hart’s house during the 1980’s.

Celia introduced me to the artist Ana Corbero at her Albermarle St gallery. She in turn introduced me to Colin Cawdor , the Thane of Cawdor-Macbeth. Duncan and Macbeth in NYC, in a sprawling apartment in Williamsburg. Long before anybody else was living there.

Our view.

Colin and Anna. Now, Colin lives in the North of Scotland in his castle, a castle he had to wrestle from his step-mother. Ana lives in Spain with her husband. I remember that he dressed Ana in Azzadine Alaia-and the moths ate clean through her fur coat.

I’ll post some more soon.

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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