the kate bush story

yes i used to have a few early kate bush albums, and yes i had a sort of love / hate relationship with the songs. they at once captivated and annoyed you but they stayed in there somewhere, because she was truly original. at the time, many mocked her silly theatrics and high pitched voice, but who could they talk about in the 80’s if not kate. the chart music at the time was quite drab. in later years she did became a bit too schmaltzy and common-romantic but she found herself after a long rest away from the lime-light and came back with a truly original album in “50 words for snow”.

now… years later i had to repurchase some of her tracks, namely her early work, wuthering heights, which itself has a lovely video with kate looking as chic as anyone in a current fashion shoot would hope to (again you can forgive the silly wide-shots with the awkward legs). in any case, come what may, she was a special someone for sure, and a true stand-out in a sea of deep fried pop. the credit goes to pink floyds david gilmour who practically discovered her and signed her up with his record company at the time. looking her up i found this documentary by bbc, the kate bush story 2014, which i think any kate bush acquaintance may find of interest. i had a bit of a hard time after 24 minutes until the very end as this in between time was a bit embarrassing in my opinion, but take a look and see. enjoy. by ac

serge gainsbourg and jane birkin photo exhibit

the show at proud  is an intimated documentation of serge gainsbourg and jane birkin’s early years seen through the eyes of janes brother andrew, a photographer who was working with stanley kubrick in paris at the time when jane met serge. the show is up from 11th september to 26th october if in london be sure to see it.

some snippets: in february 1969, a french singer-songwriter released a duet with his british girlfriend. featuring sexual allusions including groaning and heavy breathing, the song was banned in several countries and denounced by the vatican. je t’aime… moi non plus was recorded by serge gainsbourg and jane birkin in 1968, months after they met on the set of the film slogan; they would be together for the next 12 years. birkin’s older brother andrew – a director and screenwriter – took pictures of the couple throughout their relationship. as a new exhibition of photographs opens at proud gallery in london.

“my sister and i were staying in the same little hotel in paris, under the shadow of notre dame, when she met serge – that summer, i was working for stanley kubrick taking location shots for his film napoleon, which never got made, and jane was making slogan with serge. she was on the rebound from her break-up with john barry and told me about someone she called ‘that dreadful man serge bourgignon’; she railed against him, saying ‘he’s so arrogant and snobbish and he despises me.’ i hadn’t met him at this point and i thought: ‘the lady doth protest too much’.”

“when i met serge, it was love at first sight for me – i absolutely adored him, he was this wonderful mad, extrovert russian jew who’d spent half of world war ii up a tree, according to him. i think he actually spent a couple of nights up a tree, although he’d worn the yellow star for years in occupied france. for a project, i met hitler’s architect albert speer at his heidelberg eyrie in 1971, and he asked if jane and serge would sign a copy of je t’aime… for him. serge did so, probably relishing the irony, and when he made his rock around the bunker album a few years later [featuring lyrics about nazi germany], he gave me a copy to send to speer. his parents had arrived in paris after fleeing the 1917 russian revolution, and his father – who was a brilliant pianist – had to perform in casinos.”

“after slogan finished, jane landed a part in a film called la piscine with alain delon, and was summoned to st tropez. because delon was in the movie, and was not unattractive in those days, serge – who perhaps under normal circumstances might have played hard-to-get and let her go – quickly hoofed it down to st tropez, in her shadow as it were.”

“i’d always photographed jane. my family were quite bohemian: although at the time it suited the press to portray jane as being the daughter of an arch-conservative naval officer, in fact he wore a ring in his ear and was more of an artist. yes, he had been in the navy during the war, but more as a spy than anything else – and my mother was an actress, noël coward’s leading lady during the second world war. it was a very liberal upbringing – and serge fit right in.”

“serge had his first christmas with our family in 1968: jane brought a demo lp they had recorded together and played a few songs for us. later, away from our parents, she said ‘there’s another song on here – what do you think of it?’ i heard je t’aime… moi non plus and i was bowled over – i thought it was fabulous, i loved it. it was very erotic but also very romantic. i remember being in a restaurant in paris before the record had come out and serge had the demo. they had a turntable with loudspeakers, and serge went over and asked them to put it on. neither of them were household faces in the summer of ‘69. we were eating our meals, and the song came on – it was rather wonderful looking around when the heavy breathing started, looking around the restaurant and pretending not to notice, seeing people’s jaws dropping.”

the couple had a daughter in 1971. in a book of the jane and serge photographs published by taschen, andrew describes the day jane gave birth to charlotte: “a telephone call came to say that jane was due to give birth at any moment, so i hoofed it to london, where i found serge pacing up and down the hospital corridor, knee-deep in gitanes butts. we went to the pub across the road, and by the time we got back to the hospital, charlotte had arrived … serge was ecstatic.”

“serge adored jane, and she adored him – for the golden years, which lasted for about seven years, and then it was the alcohol that kicked in with serge. he drank too much, and became difficult to live with. i didn’t mind that he was drunk, as it usually meant i would win at chess. he liked playing for money, and was the better player: when sober he would win usually, but if he was drunk then i would win. he seemed such a gregarious extrovert, but alone with him i saw his melancholic side.”

“in a sense, they never really did break up. the catalyst was a film director called jacques doillon… he was much closer to her age, and flattering – good-looking, and charming, and very bright. serge did the classic thing of saying ‘i think he’s wonderful’, and inviting him out to dinner – wining and dining the opposition, as it were. he’d written a few songs for jane, but now he started writing them full-time – and some of his best songs for jane were written after they’d broken up, when she was with jacques.”

“jane and jacques were together for about 10 years, and what broke it up with them was that after serge died in 1991, jacques began having affairs with the reason that he couldn’t compete with a ghost. they had always really had a ménage a trois – not sexually, but in terms of company. whenever i went to paris, even after she and serge had broken up, jane would say ‘oh do call in and see him’ or ‘he’s coming to dinner tomorrow’. then when he died, jane berated herself, thinking if she’d stuck around she could have saved him from the alcohol, which undoubtedly was a contributing factor to his early demise – he was only 62 when he died. undoubtedly, now looking back, he was – and remains – the love of her life.”

the show is up from 11th september to 26th october if in london at proud: 32 john adam street, london WC2N 6BP post a comment for us if you have seen the show. by uh

supervillain hideout

if you are an aspiring super villain looking for a place to stay until you can afford a hollow volcano or a space station, the safe house might be the place for you. designed by robert konieczny for a client who required a feeling of maximum security, it makes us wonder who the owner might have pissed off. by kt

Sonnet 109

“O never say that I was false of heart,
Though absence seemed my flame to qualify.
As easy might I from myself depart
As from my soul, which in thy breast doth lie.
That is my home of love; if I have ranged,
Like him that travels I return again,
Just to the time, not with the time exchanged,
So that myself bring water for my stain.
Never believe, though in my nature reigned
All frailties that besiege all kinds of blood,
That it could so preposterously be stained
To leave for nothing all thy sum of good.
  For nothing this wide universe I call,
  Save thou, my rose; in it thou art my all.”

– William Shakespeare

jordan betten: lost art

new york based jordan betten, founder of lost art, the handmade leather goods merchant to the music elite (steven tyler, sean lennon, lenny kravitz …)  has released a collection of 5 t-shirts on his website for $60-80 each. we are kind of diggin’ ’em. wear art, not brands, people! by kgb

rise and shine

edward hopper morning sun

edward hopper’s gorgeous 1952 painting, morning sun, currently resides in the columbus museum of art, but shines its light on any onlooker no matter their location. looking out my brooklyn window early this morning (in a pink gown, no less) i am overcome by the change of season, and the multitude of meaning in this painting. the light reflecting upon her body and forming the stark shadows is ever so important, almost the focal point of the painting. but without that body, the light and its path would be stagnant. on the other hand, despite the open window (always a recurring motif in hopper’s work, and one that even encapsulates david lynch) and the endless possibility of what’s going on outside, the woman appears listless. she is pensive, alert only to her own movements and thoughts. i could go on for a while about how overwhelming this painting is; i will let you devour the beauty on your own. to an autumn full of change, full of art and full of bathing ourselves clean after swimming in all that negativity. by sv

bouroullec ring the curtain down

tomorrow started bouroullec kvadrat

tomorrow started bouroullec kvadrat curtains

tomorrow started curtains bouroullec brothers textile

we have been big fans of the bouroullec brothers since we saw the cloud modules in 2001. the design duo did an amazing collaboration with the danish textile company kvadrat a while ago, and we just adore the simplicity. hit the link to read more. by kt

david hockney: woldgate woods 9 camera video

this is how the cameras were mounted and operated by hockney himself

thank you chris obrien for the video

love this video series by david hockney of woldgate woods, england where he lived. there were the four seasons captured on video through this 9 panel installation mirroring his polaroids and photographs he’s so well known for. the winter sequence shot on november 26th (2010) is currently at pace gallery new york and seeing it was so beautiful, it made me want to move out of the city for the first time. worth a visit if you can skip a few shows. by uh