The 5-minute Interview: Rene Ricard, Artist and poet

'Women are really beautiful in their forties'


The Boston-born poet and one-time protegé of Andy Warhol, Rene Ricard, 65, has released four volumes of poetry and held numerous exhibitions. From tomorrow, London's Scream Gallery, co-owned by Ronnie Wood, will host his latest exhibition, "What Every Young Sissy Should Know"

If I weren't talking to you right now I'd be...

Painting. I'm in the middle of two paintings right now.

A phrase I use far too often is...

"Hello." I need to say goodbye more often.

I wish people would take more notice of...

My paintings. They do give them some notice, but they need to give more.

The most surprising thing that happened to mewas...

That I've got a show at all. I'm massively excited and I think Ronnie Wood has the loveliest family – I love his wife and kids, so I can't wait to see them again.

I am not a politician but...

If I were, I would probably be in Mark Spitzer's shoes and be impeached. I think the most grotesque thing is they make such a big deal about it and drag his wife into it. People are shocked at all the money he spent – I think it's good that he spent money on good whores.

I'm good at...

Parties

I'm very bad at...

Saying goodbye

The ideal night out is...

Staying home, as it's almost impossible to do.

In moments of weakness, I...

Work. My work is all that I think about because I spent so many years not doing anything. Therefore, work pleases me, which is success in itself.

You know me as a poet, but in another life I'd have been...

A rich kid.

The best age to be is...

For a woman, the forties; for a man, the fifties. Women are really beautiful in their forties, and men seem to come of age around the period of their second wife.

In a nutshell, my philosophy is this...

I don't have a philosophy in a nutshell; I would go on and on too much.

Toby Green

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