With the room, you have the feeling that you are at some granny’s, maybe in the ’60s, ’70s in the Midlands in England. It’s a lot of chintz. And a lot of shoes. They seem a little bit kinky. If you look closer, everything which is made out of a print you are going to see that these flowers are not flowers; it’s more, let’s say, sexual.
So, what I’m trying to say in that room is that sometimes you think you have a pretty good idea of what you see, and then it could be something else.
Do you feel that people feel that about your work, too?
Sometimes I have the feeling that people have a very specific idea of my work. And some people may be right and some people may be wrong.
I remember Helmut Newton, the photographer, telling me one day — he had looked at some of my shoes — “I’m going to give you the best address for dominatrixes in New York.” And I said, “Helmut, I’m just not interested in that.” He was surprised. This is a suggestion from my work to a projection of his own mind. Me, when I think leather and spikes, I’m thinking Haute Époque, 17th century.
What objects are most significant in the second section?
A bench designed by Oscar Niemeyer, the Brazilian architect, where you see exactly the essence of his work: his love of curves. When I met Oscar Niemeyer the first time, I told him that we were sharing a passion: the love of curves. Also kachina dolls, Hopi masks, a Gandhara bust from my own collection.
For me, it’s very important to understand, to look and to be nourished by different cultures because it gives birth to other things. It’s important to be able to be open to other people, to be open to other points of view. And there is nothing bad in being inspired by things which are not coming from your own culture; very much the opposite.