Wednesday, August 29, 2012

As Through this Life You Travel ...

Isn't it amusing how childishly competitive many really successful men are - successful in the eyes of the world that is.   I can think of a number of CEOs of major companies, chairmen of high-profile boards, and many well got barristers who demonstrate this trait.  It can manifest itself in sport, especially sailing or golf, but it also springs up around art acquisition, or even who gets the last of the canapes. They just can't stop themselves trying to win all the time.  My house, my car, my yacht, my gorgeous second wife.  And they also respond very badly to any questioning of their sheer superiority in all matters.  Petty petulance is always close to the surface.

I was at a party last week in a very smart part of ***.  The attendees included an arrogance of barristers, the chairman of a semi-state, a famously scruffy film director, a once famous property dealer and a host of glamorous women  - a number of them second wives to fat cat husbands.  My involvement with these people was peripheral - I was there as a friend of a friend.  During a lull in the conversation I provocatively asked if anyone in the company had been responsible for a particularly insensitive piece of development that had spoiled the lines of a nearby group of houses. A canopy had been built over a terrace. A small fat man to whom I'd spoken earlier said that it was his doing and what of it.  This guy is *** of *** and well known in *** circles.  When I opined that it was an aesthetic disaster he rejoined that he didn't give a hoot about the opinions of the hoi polloi.  I let it pass for a while.  As he was leaving I stopped him and asked was he going home to polish his canopy.  He seemed to get annoyed at this and said he wasn't interested in the views of troglodytes.  I do tend to react badly to hubris so I moved towards him threateningly (but theatrically) saying "don't fuck with me fat boy".  At which he turned tail and scuttled off to his desecrated domicile nearby.  A chastened chairman.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Cork is the New Athens

Following Maurice Desmond's auspicious opening in the Vangard Gallery, Macroom - his first exhibition since 2005, an exhibition by Donald Teskey of his Gearagh paintings opened in the Town Hall Gallery up the road.  Twenty-two evocative paintings of that mysterious watery wonderland.  And this was closely followed by Eilis O'Connell's exhibition at the Allihies Copper Mine Museum on the Beara Peninsula.  A collection of 20 pieces mostly in bronze or copper in keeping with the region's heritage. Every work a testament to her impeccable aesthetic sense - all well wrought, some mysterious (see image).

Earth Pillow

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Golden Moments

Maurice Desmond hasn't had an exhibition since 2005 so it was good to see him back in the saddle at the Vangard Gallery in Macroom. The show is based on his reaction to visits to The Somme and Ypres and features his characteristic expressionist landscapes, only darker and more brooding.  The gallery is an impressive space above Quinlan's classy craft shop on the Killarney road. Sales were modest for an artist that usually sells out - sign of the times.  Although the show's sombre theme may not have helped.

The crowd was thin, but old familiar faces from Cork were in evidence.  The unfailingly amiable Ricky Lynch (keeping his hat on as always) and his son Reuben, Rory Kelleher psychiatrist, art lover and property magnate, a couple of notable rat-bags, and various family and friends. Peter Murray did a fine opening speech, even throwing in a little Gerard Manley Hopkins to add further grace to the proceedings.

Afterwards we headed for Golden's, opposite the Castle Hotel, as fine an old pub as you'll find in all of Munster. Good beer, good banter, and the most amiable of barmaids. I tried a pint of Murphy's, then a pint of Guinness, and finally a pint of Beamish.  All perfect.  The local Bakers (the Lynches) were in attendance, art lovers all.  We'll be back.