'our creation is that guru; the duration of our lives is that guru; our trials, illnesses and calamaties is that guru. There is a guru that is nearby and a guru that is beyond the beyond. I humbly make my offering to the guru, the beautiful remover of ignorance, the enlightenment principle that is within me and surrounds me at all times.'
Guru Stotram

Friday, 3 October 2008

A somewhat cheesing off turn of events has unfolded. An impostor has hove into view. Or, more accurately, a whole flagoon of impostors. The humble diary of a thirty something art dealer finds itself the victim of a most unsavoury rip off attempt.

Some six or seven months ago now, an art publication I was unfamiliar with plopped through my letter-box. It had been suggested to me by one or two avid readers (OK, OK my old Pa and Great Aunt Agatha) that I should attempt to get the diary published. So, with my usual rejection of opportunism in favour of obsessive forward planning, I immediately emailed said publication two recent articles and asked them if they’d like to publish them in the name of PR for me and free copy for them. “Oh yes please,” they responded and fairly snatched my arm off. A pleasing result all round then. Nice. All proceeded apace.

A few months later I get a phone call saying their gallery advertisers have seen my somewhat scintillating and not un-droll column (if I do say so myself) and fancy a go themselves. As advertisers come first apparently, they can’t say no to this, so in the interest of saving my column would I care to advertise?

Firstly, I do not advertise and secondly, I may be vain but I am not that vain. So, the answer from Knowlesy, was a resounding, no thank you.

In that case ‘my’ column would be published three times only, after which one of their advertisers would be offered the back page. Fine! I retorted. What I had not understood from the conversation was that my fellow gallerists, along with the back page, were also to be offered my very own diary of a … format, as written by me for the last two years and as appears in various other periodicals.

I showed the offending text to the celestial Yvette - herself a well respected and published art historian of ten years standing, whose article on Foucault change hands for not inconsiderable sums. “Very derivative isn’t it?” she remarked, laconically, “the writing’s turgid though.”

People see something done well and assume it’s easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy, you see. Well, the proof is in the Eton Mess, what what.

However, after an initial burst of irritation, I’ve decided to take this whole business as a huge compliment. Does Barbara Streisand feel threatened by the orange wenches warbling out ‘the way we were’ to the accompaniment of a poorly synthesised electric keyboard in the cocktail lounge of a four star hotel in Sharm el Sheikh? My bottom she does. And neither shall I over this.

Rather, it shall be an opportunity to learn not to rest on one’s laurels, full of self-congratulation for successes achieved, but to do what I do best and crack on undeterred with a few more good ideas. No one trick pony, I. Certainly not. There’s no use holding on to your one decent idea out of fear that a second or third might never appear. No, one must have the confidence and the bottle to let go and make room for the next triumph. I’m not English for nothing you know. In these times of doom and gloom, of credit crunch, housing market collapse and redundancies by the thousand, the Dunkirk spirit shall prevail.

To that end, although not from that beginning, significant changes are afoot at Beverley Knowles Fine Art. Before long a leaner, fitter and altogether far edgier figure will be cutting the mustard around these parts. More on that anon. In the meantime, watch this space, dear reader…. and be vigilant - only the real McCoy will do!

In Bed With The Girls, until 1 November 2008

The Girls are emerging British artists Andrea Blood and Zoe Sinclair, both alumni of Central St Martins who met at school aged 16. The Girls work consists of staged portrait photography, including self portraiture, and performance art. The duo have previously exhibited at The Photographers' Gallery, The ICA, The National Portrait Gallery and the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art.


Since its launch in 2002 Beverley Knowles Fine Art has been developing an international reputation for championing women artists, dedicated to assisting the development of talented young graduates into successful challenging artists, as well as showing the work of more established contemporary masters. The gallery programme promotes interrelations between artists, curators and collectors to bring into being a platform that explores exciting new creative possibilities.

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