An abstract expressionist of the Bay Area Figurative Movement, Paul Wonner (1920-2008) maybe wasn't Diebenkorn but his early and middle works endure. Above are his Sarah Vaughn Singing (1963) and Woman with Flowers (1961). For more than fifty years he was partners with Theophilus Brown who, at 91, is said still to paint every day in San Francisco. In the 1960s they lived in Santa Monica and were friends with the locals, William Inge, Andre Previn, Isherwood and Bachardy, Eva Marie Saint and her husband. The Guggenheim, SFMoMA, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum are among the many institutions that collect Wonner's work.
The way things are going, Jean-Paul Gaultier is going to be remembered for creating Madonna’s cone bra corset. But he’s been a force in fashion since the mid-1970s and, who knew, he created the best-selling men’s fragrance in the EU. Never formally trained as a designer, he has long had a visionary sense of style, especially in the theatricality of his fashion shows and the boldness of his advertising. Yet his couture collections are as praised as his ready-to-wear. His boyfriend, Francis Menuge, convinced Gaultier to quit his job at Pierre Cardin and open his own studio in 1976. They lived and worked together, with Menuge as business manager until his death from aids in 1990. Gaultier was single for fifteen years following Menuge’s death then began a new relationship with a man who does not live in France.
Born in Des Moines, graduated from a high school in Evansville, Indiana, Roy Halston Frowick had shed the Midwest along with his first and last names by the time he designed Jackie Kennedy’s iconic inauguration pillbox hat when he was twenty-nine. Soon after, he began designing clothes, which were standouts for their elegance and simplicity. As famous for his perpetual partying at Studio 54 as he was for his fashions, Halston was the first designer to understand the power of licensing his brand. His name appeared on everything from scarves to eyeglasses to perfume to the uniforms for airlines and rental car companies, yet because he was a perfectionist unable to delegate any designing to his staff, he cracked under enormous pressure. The firm that bought his company asked him to design a clothing line for J.C. Penney, and when he did so, Bergdorf’s stopped carrying his clothes and many longstanding clients decamped to other designers. Ultimately he was fired from his own company and legally barred from designing under his name. He left New York for San Francisco and died of aids in 1990.
Who’s that star playing his guitar with a bow like a cello? And who sings the end credits song "Sticks and Stones" in How To Train Your Dragon? Why, it’s Jónsi, of course, the lead singer of the other Icelandic musical sensation, Sigur Rós. They followed the worldwide success of their 1999 post-rock album Ágætis byrjun, with 2002’s album called ( ), which was sung entirely in Vonlenska, or Hopelandic, a made-up language of nonsense syllables. Because it sounds similar to Icelandic, it’s an open question whether people in other parts of the world could tell any difference, but those fans would at least have noticed that the accompanying lyrics booklet was left blank for listeners to write their own meaning of the words. Sigur Rós’s songs have been used in movies by Greg Araki, Cameron Crowe, and Wes Anderson, as well as on numerous tv shows, and they’ve sold more than two million albums. Jónsi is 100% supergay and last year released an album called Riceboy Sleeps with his boyfriend under the moniker Jónsi and Alex. This month he releases his first solo album Go.