CHARLES LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS

Sorry I’m insane

This drawing didn’t sell and after that I’ve had never drawn again.

Lotta was sitting behind me while I was doing it. She was chitchatting with Alban the whole time and they were very happy. I was also very happy. At that time, we were doing ecstasy on a regular basis with Jim. My two little sisters were watching Ab Fab compulsively on my laptop and Fumiko was with my cat in her bedroom taking self-portraits with her imaginary twin. It was 2007. This drawing didn’t sell and after that I’ve had never drawn again. Surely it was a mistake, but the night was young, and Life is a long journey.

 

But obviously, the most important part of the story is that the drawing was saved by Andreas from being thrown to the bin. One day this picture was published on Facebook. A large, beautiful portrait of this young person. The art piece reminded me of something I had seen it before. It was actually my creation. But how did it end up there?

 

Shortly after, Andreas would send me a message asking me if I didn’t mind he had the portrait of Lou, he went on telling me that after I left to Tokyo, I forgot a few things at my studio in London, and just before the remover guys thrown away what was left he saved the portrait. And that’s how he became my best collector.

A very similar message arrived on Instagram a few years later when his flat was finally put on the market. He attached a different picture (I think it was the same actually) telling me it was the last day of the drawing in Stockholm, the flat had finally sold. And I never heard of Andreas ever after that day.

But does Andreas know that Joana Preiss’ son, Lou, got stung by a bee that evening when Persephone and I were babysitting him while taking his pictures for the portrait? Probably not.

 

I called Yoko Ono once in New York, but she said ‘no’. Anyway, her portrait had already been done. I had no idea if she was really famous at that time, but I knew, that as the most hated woman of the second part of the twentieth century, patriarchy had identify her as THE enemy.

 

Her music had been the most important thing in my life since I discovered it thanks to Sonic Youth in 1999. It was a year when we thought we were going to die soon. I did most of my drawings on her music specially ‘Don’t worry Kyoko’. The best version of the song being on the live ‘Sometimes in New York’ and the best cover of the song being by the Child Molester. Another live version exists on ‘Mexico’ but I don’t like it. Yoko Ono had it covered in 2005 by The Flaming Lips (It’s actually a cover of the song Cambridge 1969) and it’s not so bad. I discovered the actual studio version on the album Fly only later but it had nothing on the 12 minutes long live version.

In Tokyo I had the chance to interpret a karaoke version of the song with a live band. It was this weird basement rock bar where Fumiko and I used to go to sometimes. We were 10 that night. The band had no request and was jamming. Fumiko bored started humming “Don’t worry don’t worry don’t worry” I took the microphone and starting singing the whole song. The audience was… well… an Australian guy grabbed the microphone from my hand with a “Are you done singing?” And started a horrible Led Zeppelin song.

But does Andreas know that Joana Preiss’ son, Lou, got stung by a bee that evening when Persephone and I were babysitting him while taking his pictures for the portrait? Probably not.

The most important musician in my life is probably Yoko Ono. People knowing me very well are aware of that fact. I draw most of my things while listening to her music. Specially “Cambridge 1969”. I discovered her work thanks to Sonic Youth in 1999 the first song I’ve ever heard from her being “Piece For Piano”.

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