Story Time: Look at Fabulous Me

 

We are in an age in which

form matters far more than substance

 

packaging more than content

 

spin more than sobriety in the recounting of facts or the interpretation of reality

 

celebrity more than sainthood

 

an eye-catching ‘look’ more than a life-enhancing idea.

 

And why not?  

 

Saints have no fun and our reality is so much about having fun, fun, fake or not.  Fun!

Of course, this has been the case always more or less among those with the resources to manufacture fun

 

But now…….its gone galactic!

 

And so I transformed myself.

 

I am very pleased with myself.  l have become my fullest self:  beautiful to behold.

I insist you look at me:  aren’t I simply fabulous?

Look……………

 

 

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 LOOK! 1928,oil and acrulic on plywood

Joe Tilson, born 1928, British

Exhibited at the International Pop exhibition in 2016, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

 

 

 

Portrait of Eugène Coppens de Fontenay

Portrait of Eugene Coppens de Fontenay, 1867, oil on canvas

James-Jacques-Joseph Tissot, 1836-1902, French.  Philadelphia Art Museum from whose website this image

 

 

 

How did I achieve this gorgeousness, you ask?

My adored mother, the Countess of Tournon,

 

 

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 Portrait of the Countess of Tournon, 1812, oil on canvas

Jean Auguste Dominic Ingres, 1780-1867, French.  Philadelphia Art Museum

 

 

raised me to think of myself as without living comparison, the best of the best,  the most handsome, capable boy who has ever lived: an Adonis for the ages………..

 

I think  you will agree how right she is…..

 

 

 

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 Male Nude Leaning on a Pedestal, 1765; black and white chalks prepared with laid paper prepared with blue ground;

Pompeo Giralamo Batoni, 1708-1787, Italian, Philadelphia Museum of Art.

 

 

 

My dreams were of the admiration and desire of those young women so lucky as to see me asleep and dreaming:

 

 

 

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 Armida Gazes on the Sleeping Rinaldo, 1786; colored chalks on laid paper; Guiseppe Cades, 1750-1799, Italian.  Philadelphia Museum of Art

 

 

Wait now……I can feel your skepticism. Or is it jealousy

Like that which developed in my wife:

 

 

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 A Rose (Rebecca H. Whelan) 1907; and detail. Oil on canvas

Thomas Anschutz, American, 1851-1912.  Metropolitan Museum of Art

 

 

 

 

Through the birth of our daughter, Ernesta, my wife seemed content 

 

 

 

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The Meal, 1899, oil on cardboard

Edouard Vuillard, 1868-1940, French.  Philadelphia Art Museum

 

 

 

Difficult to understand her skepticism.

After all, the home I provide for my family is incomparable.

Here is the Chinese salon whose wallpaper is 18th century, French (of course), block printed with not a single panel repeated:  I ask you!

 

 

 

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 The Chinese salon at Winterthur, Delaware, the home and museum bequest of Henry Francis Dupont,  1880-1969, American 

 

 

 

We kept brilliant society with le tout-Every Major City.

And the most exotic dancing boys and girls for our evening entertainment……

 

 

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 Reception, 1958, egg tempera an oil on canvas

Honore Scharrer, 1920-2009.  On loan to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts by Adam and the late Perez

 

 

 

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Stage Beauties, 1944, oil on canvas

Morris Hirshfield, 18720 1946; American, born Poland. Metropolitan Museum of Art 

 

 

 

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 Untitled (Dancer), c.1922, matte opaque paint with gold and silver metallic paints over graphite on board;

Emilio Amero, 1901-1976, Mexican.  Philadelphia Museum of Art

 

For my wife, more clothes than any woman can wear in a lifetime:  French couturiers exclusively, of course!

 

 

 

 

Chanel owns and fosters the work of a number of specialist ateliers whose artisanship is hundreds of years in the making.

 

Chanel displays their work at annual Arts des Metiers exhibitions.  In 2012 to celebrate the work of Barry Knitwear, an 150-year old firm specializing in cashmere and now owned by Chanel, one such exhibition was held at the birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots, at Linlithgow Castle in Edinburgh.

 

 

As Ernesta , a brunette as pretty, I have to say, as her mother, grew up, however,

 

 

 

Cecilia Beaux, Ernesta, Met, NY-4

Cecilia Beaux, 1855-1942, American, painted this portrait of her niece, Ernesta,  in oil on canvas in 1894. 

Metropolitan Museum of Art.

 

 

 

she became as spirited as her mother:

 

 

 

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Detail from a biographical stained glass made by Judith Schaechter, born 1961, American.

  Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia

 

 

 

I noticed a certain ennui develop in my wife’s comportment: evasive techniques, quick escapes from my company

 

 

 

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No darling, thank heavens I can’t remember a wife, and side view, 2006; packaging tape on Plexiglas with light box.  

 Mark Khaisman, born 1958.  Delaware Art Musuem.

 

 

 

especially in the bedroom:

 

 

 

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 Bedroom Painting #36, 1976, oil on canvas

Tom Wessellman, 1931-2004, American.  On loan in 2015 from a private collection to the Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington

 

and sulkiness at the breakfast table:

 

 

 

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 Breakfast, 1920, oil on canvas

Henri Matisse, 1869-1954; French. Philadelphia Art Museum

 

 

 

Until my health began to break down. 

 

I thought I heard her whispering on the ‘phone to her friends, screaming with laughter:  insulting and berating me

 

 

 

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Blues Singer, 1938, color lithograph

Russell T. Limbach, 1904-1971, American.  Published by the Works Project Administration, Federal Art Project, New York.  Philadelphia Art Museum 

 

 

 

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 Untitled (Involvement Series), 1968 oil on canvas

Wanda Pimentel, born 1943, Brazilian.  Exhibited in the International POP exhibition at the Philadelphia Art Museum in 2016.

 

 

 

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Untitled (Involvement Series), 1968 oil on canvas; 

Wanda Pimentel, born 1943, Brazilian.  Exhibited in the International POP exhibition at the Philadelphia Art Museum in 2016.

 

 

 

I know she infected everyone against me.  

 

My wife greeted me one day at her door with a gesture which seemed to say: “You have lost your mind!”

 

 

 

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Woman in Blue, 1937, oil on canvas; Henri Matisse, 1865-1954, French.  Philadelphia Art Museum 

 

 

 

 

until my mental health began to break down. 

 

I felt that I was fading, becoming invisible, becoming faceless,

 

 

 

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The Substance of Natural Things is One, 1990, oil on wood

Thomas Chimes, 1921-2009, American.  Philadelphia Art Museum

 

 

 

fading into the wallpaper:

 

 

 

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Untitled (Uncle), casein tempera on canvas, 1961

Konrad Lueg, 1939-1996, German.  Shown in the International Pop Exhibition at the Philadelphia Art Museum in 2016

 

 

 

I felt people were sneering at me in the street:

 

 

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 Unemployed, 1940, color screenprint

Chet La More, 1908-1980, American.  Published by the Works Progress Administration, Federal Arts Project, New York.  Philadelphia Art Museum

 

and that even our housekeeper was treating me with disdain, lounging about the house:

 

 

 

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 Maid, nylon, cotton, satin, kapok, human hair, plastic, paint, wood, chair, floor lamp, 1966

Jann Haworth, born 1942, American.  Exhibited at the International POP exhibition at the Philadelphia Art Museum in 2016 

 

 

 

I began looking at myself in the mirror creeping about at night desperately trying to see what had changed about me:

 

 

 

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Self Portrait, c. 1546-’48, oil on canvas

Tintoretto, 1519-1594, Italian active in Venice.  Philadelphia Art Museum 

 

 

 

In frustration, finally one day, I punched my wife and left her reeling

 

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 Sorry About That, 1966, acrylic paper on canvas

Rosalyn Drexler, born 1926, American.  Exhibited in the International POP exhibition at the Philadelphia Art Museum in 2016

 

 

 

And yes, I regret that.

I regret my rage with her car. 

 

 

 

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One of my neighbours, very, very angry. Philadelphia. May 2016

 

 

 

The last straw was my wife’s interfering mother flying in and getting in my face to blame me for hurting her daughter. 

 

 

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 Head of a Woman, 1901, oil on cardboard;

Pablo Picasso, 1881-1973, Spanish.  Philadelphia Art Museum

 

 

 

Very soon after she arrived, I took the plane for New York and booked myself into a motel under a false name to evade the celebrity press……….

 

 

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 New York! New York! color lithograph, 1950  

Sue Fuller, 1914-2006, American.  Philadelphia Museum of Art 

 

 

 

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Swan Motel, 1999, plaster wood, Lite-Brite pegs, light bulbs, sockets

George Segal, 1924-2000, American.  Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington 

 

 

 

 

I booked evaluations of my face for cosmetic surgery.

 

 

 

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 Before and After, 1961, casein and pencil on canvas

Andy Warhol, 1928-1987, American. The Museum of Modern Art, New York

 

 

 

Satisfied with what was to be done, I went under the knife. After a short recuperation, I returned home.

 

 

 

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Portrait of Dr. Hayes Agnew (The Agnew Clinic), 1889, oil on canvas;

Thomas Eakins, 1844-1916,  American.  Philadelphia Museum of Art

 

 

 

 

And Ecce Homo. 

Gorgeous.  No?  I can barely step away from my reflection in the mirror. 

 

Of course, I had this portrait commissioned at once.

 

 

 

 

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Detail of Portrait of Eugene Coppens de Fontenay, 1867, oil on canvas

James-Jacques-Joseph Tissot, 1836-1902, French.  Philadelphia Art Museum from whose website this image

 

 

 

New face.  New man.

 

My wife runs towards me, now.  

 

 

 

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 Woman Descending the Staircase, oil on canvas, 1965

Gerhard Richter, born 1932,    German; exhibited at the International POP exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2016

 

 

 

No more evasions!

 

 

 

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In the Boudoir (Before the Mirror),   oil, graphite, metal, photograph and wood on panel. 

Alexander Archipenko, 1887-1964, Ukrainian.  Philadelphia Art Museum

 

 

 

I am so fabulous. I can drink to me!

 

 

 

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To the Universe,  oil on canvas mounted on board, 1918;

Rockwell Kent, 1882-1971, American.  Philadelphia Art Museum

 

 

 

As to why tell this story? 

 

You have to ask my mistress, Sarah. 

She thinks any story short of pornography is worth it for the paintings she posts and so admires. The couture!

 

Even if she does not admire me……

 

 

 

 

 

5 thoughts on “Story Time: Look at Fabulous Me

    1. Thanks, Chris. I am amazed at how brazenly people in high places are spinning the facts! Sarah

    1. Floored by their brazen persistence although nepotism is an probably a strategy of all species and I can understand the urge and all its related shenanigans…..Cheers. Sarah

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