So a few months ago I was reading a great blog, theselby.com, and in their archives I found a piece on the home of one of my favorite French designers, Jacques Grange. His house was both a bit predictable and more exciting than I'd anticipated. Take the mantel still life:
Interesting, certainly, but the passe Damian Hirst splatter painting in the background was disappointing (Really, M. Grange? Best you can come up with? And by the way, it's lost about 40% of its value in the last 6 months), and headgear on statuary has always been a pet peeve of mine. Too self consciously informal ... "Look at me! I can afford this vastly expensive art deco bust, AND I'm just so wacky I'm going to put a headdress on it! or bowler hat! or necktie!" But one item had me completely smitten, and restored all of my faith in M. Grange's esoteric taste:
Now my question is this, do we find this horrible? When I showed it to my brother, he just about punched me in the face, considering the display of such a personal, morbid object as utterly tasteless, the suffering of a person put on show. But I really saw it as more of a tribute, the last object someone great had touched. It reminded me of a test tube I saw once as a child at the Henry Ford Museum that held Thomas Edison's last breath. Or of Cleopatra's mummified asp, the last thing to give her a kiss.