So just what is it that I find so fascinating about certain old queens?
I have long felt a no doubt ill-conceived sympathy for Anthony Blunt, not least for the cynical and brutal way he was “outed” by a morally bankrupt Margaret Thatcher in 1979.
Blunt had always expressed remorse at his spying, and in any event was driven by idealism in an era when choices were stark. Just think of the Spanish civil war, or worse, what followed…
I may also be over influenced by Alan Bennett’s superb, “A Question of Attribution“.
And now his pupil, friend and principle defender, Brian Sewell has died. I think it’s more the vituperative nature of the man that appealed and amused rather than anything else. A latter day Alexander Pope of the art world.
As a fool myself, I have always respected those than cannot bear them. And Brian Sewell clearly didn’t.
His sleeping with a thousand men sounded tiring, painful and frankly just too much information, but his withering critiques of the awful and entitled Young British Artists, and modern art in general, should get him though the pearly gates if nothing else.
You have to agree with him on Tracey Emin: that stupid tent, “Everyone I have ever slept with” and that dreadful bed, summed up by Jeremy Paxmam as a collection of “used condoms, fag packets and dirty knickers.”
For a more extensive view of her visual rubbish, click here. I confess I have always found her unbearable.
This is what Monsieur Sewell had to say about her,
“The sane man must ask whether he should give any of this pretentious stuff the time of day in aesthetic terms when it seems that this self-regarding exhibitionist is ignorant, inarticulate, talentless, loutish and now very rich.”
“Touché!”, as one old queen might say to another.