Brian Sewell – one of Britain’s greatest living critics and possibly one of the most controversial – came to Kensington Central Library on Thursday 21 February 2013. He was interviewed by Michael Volpe, Opera Holland Park’s General Manager. It was a fantastic evening and in case you missed it don’t worry as the interview was filmed. Over to Michael Volpe to tell us more….
Brian Sewell in conversation with Michael Volpe
In these short films, we present highlights of an evening in conversation between Brian Sewell, art critic and author and myself. I have known Brian for over twenty years, dealing with him both as art critic and as an author for our in-house publications at Opera Holland Park. I never doubted Brian’s ability to engage an audience – he has made a career of that – but the evening revealed a deeper and more nuanced personality that the public rarely see.
The films present a clear-eyed Sewellian view of the arts world at large, the Arts Council, museums, the education system and a plethora of other subjects. He is never shy of giving his views and as one might expect, expresses them beautifully (and with an acute comic timing too!). Sewell is revealed as a passionate advocate for art and art history, possessing a fierce commitment to connoisseurship and a deep reluctance to have any truck whatsoever with cultural vacuity.
The discussion lasted nearly two hours with questions; we present a selection of threads from the evening and in total the films last approximately 45 minutes.