From the get-go, guests gathered last night at the stately old manse that art collector Kenny Goss shares here with British pop star George Michael could sense the place has a liberated, unconventional, down-home feel. Take, for example, the big picture of two naked guys in the dining room. (“Oh, my,” one matron gasped. “Sausages everywhere.”) Or the neon sign that reads: “George Loves Kenny.” Or the side-by-side images of the dynamic duo (shown in photo by Jeanne Prejean) that continuously change colors.
The sound system, meantime, was playing “Don’t Come Home a-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ On Your Mind)” by Loretta Lynn, then Tammy Wynette’s “Stand By Your Man.” Joyce Goss, Kenny’s beautiful sister-in-law and executive director of his Goss-Michael Foundation, said that was reminding her to update her brother’s taste in country-western. “I’ve told him I’m going to get him some of the music we grew up with in South Texas: Ray Price, Buck Owens, Freddy Fender,” Joyce said. “He likes the women’s songs, of course.”
The Goss/Michael property in straight-laced Highland Park has been renovated to a T, and filled–but not overly filled–with work by the so-called Young British Artists.
As Peter mentioned on FrontRow, Rachel Whiteread’s latest piece (see photos in the first link above) was commissioned by Goss and has just been installed in the front yard–Whiteread’s first U.S. installation.
Kenny said he likes to sit on the piece’s little stools (or whatever it is you call them) and enjoy the ambiance.
Out in the backyard, not far from the pool, there’s a statue of a huge, King Kong-looking gorilla in a three-point stance, like a football lineman waiting for the snap. But, wait, there’s something wrong: the gorilla’s left arm has been torn off, and it’s lying on the ground in front of him. A poignant commentary on hobbled masculinity? (Or maybe sometimes a gorilla is just a gorilla.)
Inside the house there’s a variety of work by Damien Hirst and others (one of the pieces is shown here, as is Kenny, in photos by Prejean).
There’s also a big “poem” of some sort written out in white neon against a gray wall. It reads: “When I think about sex/I think about men-women/Dogs Lions Group Sex/(And I love you all).”
That ought to give the Parkies something to talk about.