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Dave, Agnès de Gouvion Saint Cyr & June Newton


Here is the fourth installment of Dave’s polaroids. With testimonies from two regulars who later became his close friends: Agnès de Gouvion Saint Cyr and June Newton.

Agnès de Gouvion Saint Cyr:

“I have often asked myself if Dave’s compulsive love for Polaroid color portraits – and self portraits – didn’t emerge from his obsessive desire to progressively erase all references to his Chinese roots, revealing his new identity surrounded by his artist friends, writers or designers, all now looking down on us insistently from this rather chaotic wall hanging.

If upon entering the restaurant, after pushing aside the voluminous velvet drapes, the African lilies are still blooming, winding around the bamboo stalks, the tropical fish have slowly disappeared from the aquarium; their graceful movements vaguely echoing the ripples disturbing the basin’s otherwise calm waters, the final step of the classical Chinese garden before the gazebo. The fish, and soon the aquarium itself will have been sacrificed to make room for photography, memories, and friendship.

The only remaining Oriental elements are the walls, all of the walls, painted red, bright red, the red of joy and happiness, while the portraits of Helmut Newton, Yves Saint Laurent, Nan Goldin, or Peter Lindbergh… all posing cheek to cheek with Dave, sometimes with his sister, infuse the fragile owner, day after day, with new life.”

June Newton:

“Dave is more than a friend for me, he’s family. I remember when his restaurant was the place to be during the Paris collections, there was always a place for us. I’ve never known how he managed to accomodate us for the restaurant was choc-a-bloc but that was part of the magic of Dave and I know that today, many years later, there will always be a place for me and there will always be a place for him at my table.”

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