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Mrs. Monk's Would-be Diary, should have been written by Mrs. Monk, since she is the "Writer" in the family.
However, since she is a writer only in the conceptual sense, I have undertaken to fill these pages on her behalf.
If not by her, these pages will certainly be about her, and other important matters of the day

Leslie Monk, the long suffering.

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16 May 2004

Eastern Cowboy Boots

Tate Modern for the Hopper exhibition, but too early. Opens next week.

Moved on to the Royal Academy for an unscheduled viewing of a show of Tamara de Lempicka's paintings, about which I knew nothing, but I will describe, as art deco idealised glamorised portraiture. And nudes.

The show starts with a nude of a very large lady. Her technique is to reduce this wonderful woman to shapely globes and tubes. The surface, like most sculpture say, is un-flesh-like, but sexy, nevertheless. The antithesis of Lucien Freud say.

Mrs. Monk reprimanded me for what I was not thinking: that the fat lady in the portrait somehow reminded me of Mrs. Monk.. (Says something about Mrs. Monk perhaps) ....I As we walked around, Mrs. Monk, who checked out ~ the labels against each picture reported to me who owned which painting. Apparently a number of Hollywood stars including Jack Nicholson and Madonna (Does she count as Hollywood?) '. Yes Glamorous indeed.

I spied an oriental

lady in cowboy boots and pointed her out to :Mrs. Monk.. She immediately grabbed my camera to record this happening but was told by a guard that she could not take pictures in the gallery.

She was not about to give up and started to stalk the poor girl. At one point she lost her and came up to me, somewhat frustrated, "Have you seen the Jap in the Cowboy Boots"

Unfortunately the girl was sitting down, no more than two feet away Yes, there is something of the, Duke of Edinburgh. in Mrs. Monk.

In due course the girl was sweet enough to allow Mrs. Monk to take these shots just outside the Gallery.

Have now just read the Observer review of the show.

Laura Cumming in the Observer described Lempicka's paintings as "Shallow and Insincere" I agree Laura.., but also rather wonderful.

Laura also describes the first painting you see, (maybe the fat lady I referred to) as "Wincingly Inept",

But Laura. some of us like a nice fat lady I've said it before.