In Greek mythology, a muse alludes to a goddess, presiding over the arts and sciences. Now, remove the Greek mythology and let’s talk about a modern day muse. Let’s talk about me.
“We all aspire to something.” A simple enough statement, yet to my fourteen year old self, it had been laden with meaning. Thick spreads of meaning, layered, just like the coatings of paint in His pictures, which to me, held the most fundamental meanings of all.
We all aspire to something. It was the opening paragraph of the now infamous interview in Time magazine; He had been named the most influential artist of the decade. The article had been nothing short of a celebration of the exhibition that would cement him completely into celebrity. Aspirations – ah, how I had loved that exhibition! The transparency and need with which he had called on all of us to notice! Take a stand! Feel something, for crying out loud! I’d known, the minute I’d rested my eyes on his rugged features in that magazine, what my aspiration was.
I wouldn’t call it a fixation, merely a… premonition of what I knew had to happen. I developed a knowledge and understanding for his work and persona, thus leaving me excellently prepared for the day of our first meeting. This meeting had all the elements of chance, but of course, chance had nothing to do with it. It rarely does, in the case of ‘serious’ aspirations.
He was guest lecturing at Columbia. Through a friend who worked a deadbeat job in the admin department, I found my in; one fake ID later and I had become the subject of the class’s collectively sensitive paintbrushes. Literally on a pedestal, from that very first moment. And oh – I was naked, too; it was a class in the human form, a session of life drawing. Excellent! Really, I was too good – Lolitaesque, porny, art-worthy, me! I shone in all my naked, adolescent, glory. The Artist, who thought himself so seasoned, so beyond it, so immune… Let’s just say, I LOL:d all the way to his bed.
I had placed myself in his path so he could realise my greatness in order to fully accomplish his own; I knew with utmost certainty that he would adore me. Does this sound completely bats? You hear crazy fans talk like this all the time but this was different; it was the calling of forces far beyond my powers of control. It did become quite the scandal, but hey… it’s nothing really you haven’t heard before. I felt powerful, divine, to walk in such dominant footsteps. This was my aspiration! To be adored, by Him, who could see depths in me that others could not. And when he saw me- the whole world, followed his gaze and looked at me too.
I must have posed for over 40 works of art for him; films, photos, paintings, sculptures… The man is nothing if not multi faceted. Especial attention was given to the short film Dans ma Chambre/dans ma Cherie. As is indicative by the name, it was a rather explicit encounter of me, and our sex life. But you know, all in the name of art.
I crawled under His skin like a benevolent little bug crawling under a creaking floorboard, nestling in the warmth and splendour of his love. And creaking he was… When we got married, plenty of “old enough to be her father” followed the very public speculation regarding the authenticity of my feelings. Snore.
I made him feel young, and as a younger, revived self, he felt it good, invigorating, to spend heaps of his mega-mountains of money on me. Would you believe me if I told you I didn’t care about all that? Sure, my new financial… situation, allowed me to explore and develop my fashion sense and my wardrobe, which I became subsequently famous for. From the natural light of his studio, to the spotlight of the world stage… Celebutante Darling.
But He was the one who wanted me to become famous. That’s why I was surprised when he started getting jealous of all the attention I was getting; was this not what he had wanted? For the whole world to marvel at my supposed marvelousness, of which he had assured me time and time again? But now there were accusations, threats; complete fabrications of his own mind… If once I saw his tempestuous nature as enthralling, emotional, artistic, it now seemed suggestive of a mind more on par with that of the child who had seduced him all those years ago. It makes me bored beyond belief to see him clearly without the rosy tint of scandal and romance and I must withdraw from him, lock myself up in my boudoir. What can I do to make time fly? I can have a drink or two, or ten. Hey, it’s five o’clock somewhere, am I right?
That he should have the nerve to blame me for changing! No longer do I ignite those creative passions of his mind. No longer do I view our difference in age as romantic. How can I, when the other night he fell asleep in the middle of dinner? I mean…
I wasn’t being entirely honest with you a moment ago, and for that I apologise. The truth is, I have taken a lover. But he came after the accusations; it was more or less Him who gave me the idea. The lover is not of great importance, yet he gives me something to do. Hours on the phone, hours in my bed, when He’s out sweet-talking the industry that no longer wants him; his last two endeavours have been utter shit. But I would be deluding myself if I didn’t admit that there are aspects of this I rather enjoy.
Am I not the tormented woman, trapped in a scene of my own creation? Does a touch of melancholy not suit me? I almost wish I could inspire him to leave me; how’s that for a muse? Perhaps I would, had it not been for the uncharacteristically levelheaded pre-nup He made me sign at a time when only He was enough. Today, I am more realistic about material things; my Aspirations have changed. Yet the benefits of youth may serve my purpose still, for wouldn’t it be likely that he should suffer a heart failure or some other suitable complication? I will outlive Him, and His work will outlive me. The art will outlive us all.
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- Location: Artist Residence Pimlico
- Clothes: The Merchant 24
- Photographer: Debarati Sanyal
- Hair Stylist: Ben Noble
- Make Up Artist: Monnie Kaur
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