While thinking about what I would paint about Free Money (one of my favorite tracks in Horses), I meant to explore the similarities between two icons who seem to have nothing in common : Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's and Patti Smith, at the time of Horses.
The fictional character played by Audrey Hepburn definitely combines the actress' grace and natural elegance with the frivolity and charm of the portrayed young woman in Blake Edwards's masterpiece, a mythical movie in Cinema's timeless saga. Patti Smith, for real, has radically turned the Rock world upside down by making a lasting mark in that musical movement's history. At first glance, nothing seems to link the celluloid character and the punk muse. However, many common points exist between the two characters, including the demand for a better life. Each in her own way symbolizes an era, one characterized by recklessness, optimism and glamor, the other that followed marked by protest, struggle, disenchantment and violence.

The young Patti Smith of the mid Sixties-early 70s, some kind of protopunk wild cat bearing the androgynous looks of a New York Gavroche, decides to storm the Big Apple from New Jersey where her family lives. Smith moves in New York in 1967 with the fierce determination to distance as much as possible from the dull and gloomy future of a factory worker's life to which her suburban life predestines her.

She is ready to do anything to clear her way to art, poetry and music (with the succes we know), in short the vraie vie which she then fantasizes. Years of total hardship of a homeless penniless hobo, most of the time literally starving and skimming the bars, desperate to achieve her dream and fight her way to success with an assumed rage and urgent will to make enough money to live -money which she misses so much during her struggling New York debut. This did not prevent her years later from having a solid sense of humor when she reportedly said: "Once I was with him (William Burroughs) and I asked him this question: “What should I aspire to?” and he thought, and he said: “My dear, a gold American Express would be good.” (Brain Pickings - Patti Smith’s advice on life par Maria Popova).
Holly Golightly (starring Audrey Hepburn), the heroine of Breakfast at Tiffany's, is a young woman with the recherché sophisticated look of the early 60s, who unashamedely has one and only goal : to get rich and to increase her social success. But in the meantime, the girl lives the life of an uprooted bohemian, like the homeless alley cat she has adopted and to whom she strongly identifies. Holly lands in New York straight from her native Texas, that she left in order to put a maximum distance from her childhood tinged by poverty, an immature marriage and the mediocre and monotonous future that her provincial adolescence guaranteed she would live.












© Jacques Benoit. Design, œuvres, photographies et textes par Jacques Benoit et placés sous son copyright. Les contenus provenant d'autres sources sont crédités comme tel, ainsi que leur origine.
© Jacques Benoit. Design, works, photographies and texts by Jacques Benoit and under the author’s copyright. Except when derived from other sources and then mentioned as such.