Dad, you will always be our Valentino
My last post was about my late father Valentino and relatives and friends enjoyed seeing a copy of The Little Black Book I can’t believe it has been three years since he died, it seems just like yesterday and it is still tough getting over the loss. His wish was not to have anyone attend his funeral so it was just a family affair. We said at a later date we would arrange a celebration of his life and three years later we have still not done anything.
There has been a fair amount of interest in his work but we have avoided promoting the amazing illustrations and paintings. Now we feel the time is right and almost in a natural way there has been demand and interest in his collages with exhibitions in the pipeline. This has made us revisit his pictures and think about dad a lot more.
Our family is a tad ‘strange’ – in some ways we are difficult to understand, possibly due to growing up in an alternative environment. Dad was a genius and I don’t say this lightly just because he was my father – he really was on another level to most people.
The problem with being children of a genius is that you are left with a massive void when he or she disappears. I remember an article about dad in a magazine which described him as a 20th century renaissance man. And indeed he was. A man of honour etiquette and integrity, he was firm, strong (not physically) who with one look could make someone ten times his size think twice about engaging in battle He had an incredible presence.
He left school at 12 but yet on an intellectual level his knowledge surpassed most graduates. He spoke several languages was a master of mathematics, geometry, knew the history of mankind, the classics, Greek mythology, philosophy and religions. His thirst for knowledge was incredible, he was familiar with all types of arts and artists, he knew over 40 operas by heart, he had seen all the greats, was friends with many people, worked at The Talk of The Town in the golden era befriending the likes of Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. Our childhood was spent seeing hundreds of operas, ballets, music recitals, galleries and churches in the pursuit of art. It would be fair to say that this upbringing was very different to that of our friends.
It was difficult in the aftermath of dad’s death. We had become too dependant on his powerful energy and we found it hard to strike a balance.
But now, finally, it feels like we are now finally finding a way of rebuilding our lives without out dad. And it is for this reason that I am sharing a few pictures I took while he was designing a logo for my business. I was annoying him with my camera as I photographed him. He simply ignored me, occasionally giving me a disapproving glance from the corner of his eye. These images were taken a year before he died, he was ill already at this stage but nobody knew.
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