May 2, 2010

De Lempicka in Monaco

We are still watching the 7ème grand prix historique of Monaco. (Click here for the first part of the story). The champagne flows, more up here than down below on the decks of the superyachts. Is this a good or a bad sign?

I suddenly realize (it must be the alcohol) that two suspiciously small paintings of Tamara de Lempicka, the art deco painter, adorn the room. I try to get the message across, but nobody is interested. Tamara had a run of auction records with paintings selling above US$ 7 million recently, much to the dismay of M&’s favorite art critic, Souren Melikian, who never fails to mention “Edelkitsch” in her presence. The paintings here on the wall should be worth millions, I tell the other guests. Still, nobody is interested. One, out of sheer politeness, mentions that one should never insure in France, what with those leaks at the assurances.

Are these de Lempickas real? One is signed, one is not. Closeup, they look suspiciously flat, as if printed. But they do raise interesting questions, like, “where is the kitchen,” and “is this the right or the left bosom?”

The 7ème grand prix historique race continues with a parade of vintage models, while an alien spaceship lands effortlessly on the shining Mediterranean outside, and then transmogrifies into the super cruiser, The World, the home of homeless billionaires.

No, I stand corrrected. It's not The World, it's just some minor cruiser of the Holland America Line, a hopeless outfit for the toiling masses.

Stay tuned. The story continues here.

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