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HomeEntertainmentOn my radar: Katie Hessel's cultural highlights

On my radar: Katie Hessel’s cultural highlights

Katie Hessel studied art history at the University of California. In 2015, she launched the Instagram account @thegreatwomenartists to increase the profile of gender non-conforming artists around the world; She now has over 300,000 followers, and hosts a podcast by the same name. Hessel has written and presented art documentaries for the BBC and her first book, The story of art without men, published by Hutchinson Heinemann, celebrates women artists from the past 500 years. It has just been named Waterstones Book of the Year.

1. Place

Tarot Garden Niki de Saint Phalle Garavicchio, Tuscany

Paradise Sculpture Park: Nana Fontaine by Niki de Saint Phalle. Photo: Alex Ramsey/Alamy

This is a wonderful and resplendent sculpture garden in the middle of Tuscany that hardly anyone knows about. French-American artist Niki de Saint Phalle’s work over the past three decades of her life is filled with giant tarot figures covered in mirrored tessellations. I went there a few years ago but will be back in January. It is a sculpture garden paradise.

2. book

The scent of flowers at night, Leila Slimani

Leila Soleimani:
Leila Slimani: “She writes brilliantly about the sacrifices you have to make in order to complete a book.” Photo: Ed Alcock/The Observer

I read an advance copy of this book (out in April) by the author lullaby Which is great. Partly a memoir about writing, they are like living biographies of Deborah Levy, and they are my favorite books. Slimani talks about the addiction to writing, the power of words, and what words can do. You write brilliantly about the sacrifices you have to make in order to complete a book.

3. art

Lynette Yadom-Boakye, A Flight in League with the Night, Tate Britain

Storyteller: 6pm Cádiz by Lynette Yadom-Boakye. Photo: Markus Leith / © Courtesy of Lynette Yadom-Boakye

I’ve seen this exhibition three times already, and also when it was at Tate in 2020. It was great to revisit it two years later, when the world is in a completely different place and so are all of us. I saw Yadom Boakye’s characters a little differently this time around, they seemed more contemplative and thoughtful. At first, I thought they were more performers. Yiadom Boakye is an experienced storyteller. I love the artists who build this other world for us.

4. Stage

Orlando at the Garrick Theatre, London

Joy: Emma Korren as Orlando at the Garrick Theatre. Photography: Mark Brenner

This is a new version of Virginia Woolf’s play Orlando Emma Korine stars in the title role, which is totally and utterly amazing. It follows an individual through time, from the sixteenth century to the twentieth century, and explores gender, time, and society. It made me think of the treatment of women over 400 years. I found it really fun, it was like going to a party full of amazing costume changes.

5. Resturant

Dorian, Notting Hill, London

Lobsters with chard in Dorian.
Lobsters with chard in Dorian. Photo: @dorian.nottinghill / instagram

I went one Friday night recently to this restaurant called Dorian in Notting Hill and bumped into quite a few friends. It’s very good. I’ve seen it described as a British bistro and wine bar but the food is a total fusion. We shared a lot of dishes: rib-eye steak, turbot, beef tartare, crab rosti, liver parfait. The chefs kept coming and giving us amazing things to eat. This was fun.

6. Movie

Decision to leave

South Korean movie Decision to leave It was a bit like being in a giant surreal painting, with close-ups of strange fish, and an ending where they made the sea look like a monster. It was a captivating and graphic film, and the story was about a detective who investigates a suspicious death and takes possession of the victim’s wife. But I liked it more for the visuals. It kind of reminded me of my body.

7. Fashion

Bella Freud suit

“Kind of rock and roll, but very chic”: Bella Freud’s suit.

I just bought my first Bella Freud suit: three-piece, navy blue and double-breasted shorts. It looks kind of rock and roll, but also stylish. I saw Bella Freud in conversation last night with artist Celia Ball, who was sitting with her [Bella’s father] Lucian Freud. It was really interesting to hear them talk about what it was like to sit down for a painter on a painting you know so well. I put on the suit to talk. I love the idea that this fashion designer has a connection to the history of art that she brings into her clothes.

#radar #Katie #Hessels #cultural #highlights


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