Monday, August 07, 2006

DeKooning

Last Tuesday we were invited to dinner at the home of Lisa DeKooning. Her daddy was a very very famous painter, and the house she lives in now was the same house her daddy lived and worked in. The party was incredibly unusual - the huge group of 7 year olds that was also invited had a pony and a pot bellied pig...a parrot, a juggler, and two massage therapists. Balloons and party favors were on all the tables. When I asked one of them what the special occasion was, he looked me confused and said "there's nothing special about this. we always do this." Just another day in the Hamptons, I guess.

This was NOT, however, just another day in the Hamptons for me. I spent the majority of the evening in DeKooning's studio drinking wine with my friend Carlos and taking photographs. The space is exactly as he left it in 1997...complete with color swatches on the walls, half-worked canvases on easels, and dirty brushes in cans of thinner.

I have never spent much time thinking about DeKooning's paintings. To be honest, I have never been very drawn to them. His sculptures have always been more intriguing to me. There's always something about seeing an artist's working space that can inspire a lot more curiosity about what they're doing. The history of his work and his legacy was heavy in the air of the space...and you couldn't help but acknowledge its importance once you roamed through the studio.




PS: Jack told me that Willem De Kooning was so undeniably attractive that women flocked for miles to catch a glimpse of his charm. I suppose his bibs gave him a certain something...

18 Comments:

Anonymous Mindy Sue said...

I got choked up from looking at these pictures. De Kooning, Mike. De Kooning. I think I probably would have had a heart attack in there. I can't believe this. Calvin Klein, William De Kooning... this is so amazing. You were drinking wine in De Kooning's studio... someday my darling you will be drinking wine in my studio recalling the time you drank wine in De Kooning's studio and then we will recall my ranting of excitement on this blog you once had. I love you, you lucky bastard.

8:01 PM  
Anonymous Mr. C said...

This is amazing. I agree completely about being in another's working space as well. It's revealing and personal in a lot of ways. I'm curious too as to what Lisa was like, and if you had much of a chance to talk with her.

2:29 PM  
Anonymous ali said...

1) Wish I was THAT Alison (for THAT moment, anyway.)
2) You weren't drawn to DeKoonig's paintings, because, Mike, he was all about the boobies...and you're not.

-signed, your favorite women's studies professor.

6:59 PM  
Blogger fondmemories said...

Mike, I have the exclusive to sell one of the most important Willem de Kooning collections in private hands. If you are still in contact with Lisa de Kooning and know how I can communicate with her, I would make it well worth your while. I look forward to your reply.

4:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey everyone,
I just was looking up these strange articles on my mother who has just recently passed. My name is Lucy de Kooning and the studio you speak of is my home. I know this was from a very long time ago (2007) but I can't express to you how happy I am to see that someone has recognized the strange sense of chaos among my family and home. Your right, it isn't "just another ay in the Hamptons" and actually my mother hated referring to it as "The Hamptons." Though I used his paintbrushes as the support structure for my pillow forts and first identified the paintings as the best hiding spot, I still truly appreciate reading other reactions.
Thanks for the blog post.

I was one of the wild seven years olds running around :)

Lucy de Kooning

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