(K. Brent Tomer),
IN A crisp white shirt Christopher Isherwood, by then a famous writer in his sixties, stares across at his lover Don Bachardy, an artist thirty years his junior, in their house in Santa Monica. It is 1968, a year before the Stonewall riots in New York sparked the gay-rights movement across America. The double portrait of the two together in their living room, painted by the then-unknown British artist David Hockney, would go on to become known by many as the image of “the first gay couple” (Armistead Maupin). Yet, as “The Animals”, an 11-part podcast based on 250 letters between the two me, reveals, at the time the portrait was painted their ten-year relationship looked likely to crumble.
It did not; instead, the pair stayed together for three decades, until Isherwood’s death. Yet the partnership between Isherwood, whose “Berlin Stories” were adapted into the musical “Cabaret”, and Mr Bachardy, a portrait artist, was at times fraught, often intense, and frequently involved many other lovers. The letters between them,…Continue reading