An Impromptu Interview With Courtney Love On The Occasion Of Her Debut Art Show
Curiosity led us early Tuesday evening toward Fred Torres Gallery in Chelsea. Courtney Love, visual artist? That sort of makes sense. Given Love's unpredictable reputation, we were not expecting to see her at the press preview for her debut art show, "And She's Not Even Pretty," let alone have a sit-down conversation with her.
Inside the gallery, we encountered what seems like a show consisting entirely of self-portraitsjust about every work has a big-eyed blonde in itdone with colored pencils, watercolors, ink, and pastels on paper. Pain, sex, violence, drugs, and celebrities (including a portrait of Gwyneth Paltrow holding her infant son) feature prominently in the approximately 45 works on display. Handwriting is scrawled on every piece, but it's often anyone's guess what exactly Love has written. A few lines we could make out: "It takes sleeping with a snake like you to rip apart my soul"; "Let you bleed all over me." Ouch.
In the back of the gallery, a lace John Galliano wedding dress (which is the only thing not for sale) hangs on the wall. It's emblazoned with the words "NOT MY CUNT ON MY DIME MISTER"; Love originally wrote the words in red lipstick, then had them embroidered over with red stitching. A lace veil is in a nearby case with the words "fuck yes" over and over again beside a broken glass slipper, which we later learn was made especially for her by Disney for $5,000. It's like Cinderella gone sour.
A PR rep informed us that David LaChapelle and Fred Torres encouraged her to show her work and supplied her with materials. The work was all made in the last year. The rep also clued us in about the dress, saying that it was meant for a wedding between Love and Edward Norton.
As soon as Love enters the gallery, the room gets silent, and everyone is still. She walks to the back and the crowd follows. After several minutes of trying to decode another piece, we're told it's our turn to speak with Love.
Wearing black pants, a black top with a white Peter Pan collar, reading glasses, and minimal makeup, she looks smaller and more delicate than the larger-than-life persona she's known for. She looks around for chairs and asks us to sit down, and we begin to discuss this debut show and how it all transpired.