Someone sent me a notice of an auction featuring a “Bernard Buffet” purportedly by Elmyr. The subject: a butterfly. Now, I’ve become accustomed to seeing many garish works sporting the name “Elmyr” scribbled by third-graders for the pleasure of discerning art lovers. However, I believe they have not yet invented a unit of measurement small enough to assign the chances of this painting actually being by Elmyr, or, at least, by the Elmyr de Hory I knew.
Elmyr and I were guests on a yacht (well, a small ocean liner) while in Capri. The owner bought it from Buffet and it still had some Buffet oils hanging inside. Looking them over for a moment, Elmyr turned to our host and said “If these came with the yacht, I hope you got it at a reduced price!” Not only did he loathe Buffet, he was at a loss to understand why anyone would buy his work. I’m sure he thought no self-respecting bordello owner would cheapen it by having a Buffet on its walls. He also told our host “I prefer the buffet in my dining room.” Just trying to put this in proper perspective.