Nu agenouillé et Amour by Pablo Picasso
Saturday I was in the “elusive brass tack zone” meaning that even though I was bursting with determination to get things done, every time I tried to pick up a brass tack to nail something down it elusively rolled away from me and I actually managed to get absolutely nothing done the entire day.
The plan was to view Southgate on Saturday morning goal being to find the NITH (needle in the haystack – nail it down once and for all), head into town in the afternoon to view the Impressionists at Christies and Sotheby’s then write about it here on my blog before opening a bottle of vino and having dinner with friends. A doable, enjoyable Saturday by any stretch of the imagination but alas far, far, far beyond my reach.
Instead of going to Southgate I ended up clothes shopping on St John’s Wood High Street all morning. I changed my mind just as I approached St Johns Wood tube station thinking I’ll have a quick coffee before heading north but before I knew it, it was 1.30 pm – and not even one purchase made.
Too late to make it into town, I plonked myself on the couch and started reading the 5:2 diet book my sister-in-law gave me a couple of months ago which wasn’t a bad idea at all because dinner ended up being homemade gnocchi twice. The first plate was with a creamy Stilton cheese sauce, the second with a tomato and guanciale (Italian for cheek lard) sauce. Both were mouth wateringly delicious and I had two helpings of each not to mention copious glasses of red wine. Seen from one perspective what’s not to like: shopping, lounging around reading, delicious dinner with friends. But what about the NITH, the Impressionists, writing my blog? I was in the “elusive brass tack zone” and I needed to get out of it but how?
Les nymphéas by Claude Monet sold for £31,722,500 last night at Sotheby’s Impressionist sale.
Sunday I arrived at Sotheby’s at 12.50 pm just in time to catch the tail end of an invitation-only brunch not that my name was on the list but I went in anyway. There was tea, coffee, champagne and mini Danish pastries so bang went my plans for a healthy eating day. Mind you it would’ve been rude to refuse a glass of champers while looking at Monet’s Les nymphéas which sold at auction last night for £31,722,500 although I could have forfeited the Danish pastries or at least one of them. Still, between the Monet and the champagne I was beginning to feel a lot more relaxed.
NU COUCHÉ by Pablo Picasso
But it wasn’t Monet to crack my elusive brass tack attack, it was Picasso. The first of his works that caught my eye was Nu Couché (sold for £64,900) – a naughty little doodle drawn by the hand of a 91 year old man – imagine. But imagine too feeling that unashamedly beautiful naked, abounding with the desire to give of yourself unreservedly not just sexually but on all levels. That’s what this drawing captured for me – the joy of sexual life force, female sexual life force.
Les amants dans la rue by Pablo Picasso
Later, upstairs at Christies I came across Les amants dans la rue, would you believe by Picasso as well. (for sale at Christies Impressionist Evening sale, 24th June,estimate £1,200,000 – £1,800,000 – didn’t sell) Granted it’s a much earlier work, painted in 1900 when the artist was only 19 but I like the idea of juxtaposing these two works. They not only show Picasso before and after he’d formalised his famous style but also before he’d explored his own sensuality. From traditional ideals of love and passion to the driving force of life itself – real female sexuality! What a phenomenal lover he must have been in the end and he would have known it too, I mean just take a look at Nu agenouillé et Amour (sold at Christies for £182,500) at the top of this post.
Phallus familiar by Salvador Dalí
Artists make good lovers – there’s no doubt about it. They’re sensitive to detail and have an instinctive desire to go exploring not only physically but mentally, emotionally and spiritually too and that’s a turn on for a woman. But I’m not sure what type of lover Salvador Dalí would have made. Probably a bit too self obsessed for my liking. Still, looking at Phallus familiar (sold at Christies for £31,250) he certainly had a good sense of humour. Does he see his big willy (well of course he gave himself a big one) as a mischievous hobgoblin that he’s trying to break free from? That’s what it looks like to me.
Akt Kit Rotten Strumpfbander / Liegender Akt by Egon Schiele
Although I”m familiar with his work, I don’t know much about Egon Schiele only what I’ve read on wiki (he died aged 28) and I kind of followed the Portrait of Wally saga when I was living in New York (you can read the original New York Times report by Judith H. Dobrzynski here). I’m not sure I’d like to get to know him better but it’s hard to ignore his work. Last night, Akt Kit Rotten Strumpfbander / Liegender Akt (Nude with red garter belts / Reclining nude) sold at Christies Impressionist Evening Sale for £1,930,500.
Coq Rouge Dans la Nuit by Marc Chagall
And then there’s Chagall love: the tantric union of man and woman, male and female, soul mates beyond space and time as in Coq Rouge Dans la Nuit which sold at Sotheby’s Modern Art Evening Sale on Monday for £1,874,500. Yes, I could live with that. I wonder who bought it?