Brideshead Revisited / Visiting David Spear


One of my favorite novels is Brideshead, as much for the tight writing as the perfect capturing of emotion.  The story of British Catholics I’m less interested in, but it’s a nice backdrop to the whole tale.  Waugh knew the issue well, since he struggled with it his whole life–when he wasn’t arguing with everyone.  Me?  I’m just a vulgar spiritualist.

Anyway, whenever I’m in an artist’s studio, I often cop Anthony Blanche’s line to Charles Ryder, the painter, when Anthony arrives at one of Charlie’s openings in London.  He puts an arm around Charles’ shoulder, guides him among the paintings, and says, “Here, allow me to explain the art to you.”  Artists always howl when I crack that one (although a painter took offense once, thinking I was serious, but then he was a very serious dude).

So this photo is of David Spear “explaining” the art to my wife after I made the crack, when we were looking at the oils he was doing for Block.  Now he’s working on a piece for another one of my clients.  I’ll let him explain that one to you when he’s done.

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