Tuesday, October 17

Celia and Ozzie

Ozzie Clark the designer has been in our house it seems like forever - at least since Sonnet curated an exhibition of his work in July '03. Ozzie dressed the rock stars, actors and celebs of the '70s, and his clothes are instantly recognizable to that era and more generally. Celia Bertwell, his wife and design partner, introduced the fabrics that made Ossie's work so distinguishable. Ozzie was gay and his life ended tragically with drugs and a knife in the stomach in '96; he was destitute. This painting which I saw yesterday, and perhaps David Hockney's most recognised, is on display with other works at the National Portrait Gallery in London until May '07. It shows Celia standing, with Ossie and their cat Percy - normally the woman is in the chair. Also the painting captures the separation between the couple, and indeed they split only weeks after Hockney's portrait of them completed.