Month: March 2016

insuring your happiness

RECENTLY I had to go to my neighbourhood Social Security Organization offices to get a certain paper. With my son in my arms, I stepped into the waiting room at 8:30am, fresh-faced and smiling. Within nanoseconds, my jaw dropped and my eyes glazed over as I regarded the massive crowd of people waiting to be served by employees at the four desks. “Oh the numbers have already run out!” a woman told me in a warm, conspiratorial tone. “But it’s only eight thirty am!” I exclaimed. “Oh you need to come here at six am if you want to get one! “Six am?? But it doesn’t open til eight!” “Quarter to eight,” she said, “and if you want to get a ticket you need to queue up from six am to do so. The following day, there I was, me and another 80 or so people, mumbling, sipping coffee, smoking cigarettes, cracking jokes about how advanced our country has become. Some waiting patiently, listening to their music, others already enraged by the experience, others still chatting …

tomas watson’s indian depth

TOMAS Watson welcomed me into his studio, housed in an almost derelict old house in the lush village of Menites on the Cycladic island of Andros, and as he painted I asked him questions. Having known him for several years, our conversations normally take place over a dinner table, usually crowded with delicious meze dishes and frosty carafes of hima wine. Never one to put on airs, despite being a successful artist, he regularly and openly discusses his art, the ins and outs of his working processes, the things that perplex, block or catalyze him when painting, but I have never actually watched him paint until this day. I feel quite honoured to be able to sit in a corner of his working space, thick with the dizzying odour of turpentine, immersed as I watch him talk, move and create, as if he is doing something mundane like washing a car or making tea, while in fact, he is producing a magnificent, giant artwork that five months later sold very well in London. It’s somewhat mesmerising to …