Chess Club

Chess Club, Mayfair
Mary McCartney in conversation with Maryam Eisler


This week, Marguerite London (see here to become a member) treated us to eggs and pancakes at London’s newest swanky members club, The Chess Club. 

The treats kept on coming, as Mary McCartney (from that McCartney family) entertained us all with stories about her photography and life in conversation with fellow photographer and art patron, Maryam Eisler (who sponsored the Tate Giacometti show along with her husband Edward). Mary’s photographs peer behind the curtain to catch the intimate essence of the person in front of the lens; a difficult feat when people tend to automatically stiffen when the camera is on them – resulting in some fly on the wall behaviour while she waits for that one special shot. Cue Mary living with her photographic subjects until the awkwardness subsides and hanging around in the corner of a bathroom while one of her subjects had a bath. 

Mary vs. Tracey, behind the photo: Mary approached Tracey Emin with the concept of taking a photograph of Emin as herself, and then Emin as Frida Kahlo- and to her surprise, she agreed immediately! Her enthusiasm continued in front of the camera, apparently transforming into Kahlo as soon as she was in bed and in costume.  Mary has a ‘thing’ for beds, which is fitting as Emin and Kahlo are both known for their bed-based works. The result seems more revealing of Emin than if she were playing Emin. 

Mary’s dream next subject would be Dolly Parton 

See more of Mary’s photography here

© Mary McCartney Tracey Emin as Frida Kahlo
Image taken from the National Portrait Gallery website, who purchased this in 2010


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