Back in the early 90s, before we acquired two more children, we had a social life. Our pal D was visiting from London and we all went into town on Saturday morning to get coffee and buns and check out whaaat's happenin'? It was a teeny bit more focussed for D because he wanted to check out the New Apollo Gallery in Duke Street for contemporary art. D was a very successful corporate lawyer [with a heart of gold!] and was acquiring a modest collection of paintings. The Beloved and D dove right in, pulling paintings out of bins and appraising those which were good enough to deserve hanging. The Arts Block is quite outside my wheelhouse, so I chatted in a desultory manner in front-of-shop with The Proprietor, hereinafter "cloaky-bollix", who was
high camp self-consciously artistic in demeanour. I was able to establish that I was The Money - ready to whip out the cheque-book if T.B. saw something she liked. Eventually, they came from out back with a medium sized oil: Still-life with aubergines by Graham Knuttel:
Knuttel's dead now. From one of his supporting galleries an Obit. I guess our aubergines will have another brief spike in 'value' as cognoscenti twig that there will be no more new Knuttels to hang or hoard.
Dau.II was born in 1995; more or less bald but blonde round the edges. This was in stark contrast to her dark curly-haired older sister. A month later was their mother's birthday and I took time off work [I was the Director and Sole Employee of Binfo Ireland so I could] to rustle up a giftie. Heading for Bewley's for chocolates or coffee, I passed Cloaky-bollix's store front and, on impulse went in. I don't piffle about. About 10 minutes later I came out with two Madonna-and-childs by Rachel Strong who had recently broken up with Knuttel. Some people have seen her as Frida Kahlo to Knuttel as Diego Rivera. They clearly shared a palette and way-of-seeing as well as breakfast: