Dan about town

Don’t get fresh with Betty


Sushi chefs diced thick hunks of tuna on the bar at Happy Ending on 19 April at the Marlborough Contemporary dinner for shows featuring the work of Julius Von Bismarck, Betty Tompkins, Lucas Ajemian. (New artist Ahmed Alsoudani prowled the rooms, along with the other Marlborough crew.) But if fish was on the menu, cock was the subject of discussion: the smashed chickens artist Julius von Bismarck had had to smuggle through customs and, well, the other kind. “My collectors are committed,” said the artist Betty Tompkins, 71, of her large-scale genitalia and coitus drawings. “"Nobody buys my work on a whim, nobody buys it casually. They think about it. Because they've got to hang it! One of the first pieces that I sold, a cow cunt painting, belongs to a family in Tribeca. He was a Wall Street guy before he retired and when they bought it they had three children under nine. And I thought: ‘Well, this oughta be interesting’. Had working so closely with the subject affected her own sex life at all? “No,” she said, with finality.