DON’T CHANGE THAT DIAL! I see the stats – I know many of you switch off when I write about art, but I think you will be interested in this one. Dean Chamberlain is a longtime friend of mine (and my ex-husband’s), who did the mega cool video for Arcadia’s Missing, I think it is quite possibly the most exciting music video ever.

Julie Anne Rhodes

Portrait of Julie Anne Rhodes by Dean Chamberlain, Paris 1985

It was the summer of 1982. I was hanging out with my friend Swish in New York, about to join my new boyfriend, Nick Rhodes, in Ibiza for a holiday, when she took me to the studio of an artist she knew. I was blown away – Dean literally paints with light, fire, colored gels, and anything else he fancies to create the most exquisitely brilliant and original photographs I’d ever seen. I knew instantly that Nick would share my enthusiasm, so when I saw this portrait he did of David Bowie I knew I had to buy it for him.


Portrait of David Bowie by Dean Chamberlain

It was the first gift I ever gave Nick, and one of the few he was ecstatic over – it’s hard to buy for someone like him. As Duran Duran backing vocalist, BJ Nelson put it when we were doing some Christmas shopping together, “girl how do you buy for that man? He’s got style coming out his a**!” Sorry – I digress.

Portrait of Julie Anne Rhodes, Paris 1985

Fast forward a year. Nick and I are living in Paris, and get a call from Swish informing us that Dean is also currently living in Paris. It didn’t come as much of a surprise that Nick and Dean became fast friends, talking photography, art, and music endlessly with creative sparks flying everywhere, often spilling into late night impromptu photo sessions with yours truly as the subject, or whatever friends happened to be around (everyone wanted to be immortalized by Dean).

Portrait of Francesco Clemente by Dean Chamberlain

Nick and I rented the fabulous Great House (my favorite home anywhere in the world) for New Years in Mustique in 1986. Dean, British fashion designer Antony Price, artist Francesco and wife Alba Clemente en famille were our house guests, and the Jaggers were a just a stones throw down the road. That trip resulted in many of Dean’s portraits including an after dinner pose of Nick and me with, Jade and Karis Jagger, Jerry Hall (Mick was away recording in Barbados), Francesco and Alba, and Antony Price. I can’t for the life of me find where I have that stashed away, but I know I have it somewhere!


Kay Saatchi and Dean Chamberlain at Peccadilloes Opening


Lisa Borgnes Giramonti from A Bloomsbury Life and Jewels at Peccadilloes Opening

Here I am attending Amanda Eliasch’s Peccadilloes opening, nearly thirty years after first meeting Dean, with a friendship that has spanned both three decades and the globe. Can you believe Dean and wife Stacy are living in Los Angeles now too? For me, soul mates are not necessarily romantic liaisons – they are the friends that weave in and out of your life, often changing it’s course. I marvel over how our paths have crossed, and we often talk about how our lives might have turned out differently if we’d never met, yet ours is such an effortless friendship.

The Great House in Mustique, West Indies

The chef at the Great House was not terribly fond of the extra effort involved with Dean’s macrobiotic diet, and the fact the rest of us didn’t want to eat the same way, so he dubbed Dean, General Brown Rice. This is one of my favorite rice pilaf recipes that you could certainly make with only brown rice in Dean’s honor.

CINNAMON RICE BLEND PILAF

Since the cleanse last summer I’ve been trying to incorporate more flavorful whole grains into my diet in place of processed starches. The cinnamon adds an exotic aromatic dimension to this side dish, without overpowering the naturally chewy, nutty texture of the rice blend and almonds.

SERVINGS: 4

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 red pepper, finely chopped, optional
1 large shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup rice blend (see note below)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 cup almond slices, toasted
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice, optional

DIRECTIONS:

1). Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add red pepper (if using) and shallot. Cook until softened, about 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cinnamon stick, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

2). Add rice blend, stir to coat rice well and let it toast in the oil for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.

3). Add vegetable or chicken broth, stir once, and bring to boil. Cover with lid, and reduce heat to low; cook for 15 minutes.

4). Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5-10 minutes.

5). Discard cinnamon stick, mix in toasted almonds and five spice (if using), and stir to fluff.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS:

I originally wrote this recipe to go with my Duck Breast in Cherry-Pomegranate Sauce, love it with lamb chops, and it really goes well with just about anything.

NOTE:

I used Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Blend here, but Royal Blend also do a wonderful quick cooking Texmati white, brown, wild, and red rice blend I adore.

Do you have  a friend or friends that you might call a soul mate?

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  • June 20, 2011
    11:02 am

    This is fantastic! I can’t imagine having the opportunity to meet people like this let alone be the subject of their work. Being around that much creativity must be catching… bouncing ideas around, experimenting with ideas… just speechless. Thank you for sharing this.

    Reply
    • June 20, 2011
      11:04 am

      One of the greatest joys of my life, and I have been so blessed in that department.

      Reply
  • June 20, 2011
    12:28 pm

    Great story!!! I am making this rice tonight!!!

    Reply
  • June 20, 2011
    1:16 pm

    Given that I am myself an artist … I am actually *more* likely to click in when you talk about art. :-) Great stories! And I must say … the video for “Missing” is absolutely haunting. Great meeting of music and magic.

    Reply
    • June 21, 2011
      2:08 pm

      Ever since Tatjana hauled my a** to see Art in the Streets a couple months ago, I seem to be a gallery dweller again. Even taking my dog for a walk involves admiring the local tagger’s work (some of them are incredibly talented). It gives me such joy, and I only like to write about the things that do in life.

      Reply
  • June 20, 2011
    1:19 pm

    Hi Julie Anne,I always remember your wedding pictures taken in Savoy,they are really unique and you were beautiful then and still are.I´ve followed Duran Duran for 30 years.What was it like back then with Nick,was it hard to cope with all the hype surrounding them?Greetings to you and your daughter from Finland,Helen.

    Reply
    • June 21, 2011
      2:12 pm

      Wow, Finland! I came there in the dead of winter to do a skin care commercial once. Always wanted to come back in the summertime.

      As for the DD glory days, most of it was fabulously exciting and fun. As for the rest -it was just our life – we took it all in our stride.

      Reply
  • June 20, 2011
    9:23 pm

    Art, art? Did you mention the word art? Like I would turn away from a blog post of yours! Never my friend, you blog about such interesting things, people, recipes, places to see … so much to read and learn here.
    Love this blog and all the memories. You’ve got to write a book someday. It just has to happen, s.v.p.

    Reply
  • June 20, 2011
    3:06 pm

    Hey Jewels,
    I love when you write about art and your fabulous friends in the art world! I am a huge fan of all types of self expression – painting, photography, music, film – you name it! I would say most of us here can only dream of experiencing the people, places and art that you have in your lifetime. It’s wonderful that you share so many of your memories with us, so we can live vicariously through you. Please don’t ever stop! Especially for me, as you have been very close to some of my favorite artists!

    Cheers,
    Dawn

    Reply
    • June 21, 2011
      2:13 pm

      Promise, as long is there is breath still in me.

      Reply
  • June 20, 2011
    3:49 pm

    Those photos are gorgeous! I’m not a fan of brown rice, but that recipe sounds really yummy. I might have to try it!! :)

    Reply
    • June 21, 2011
      2:15 pm

      Make it with white rice if you are not fond of brown, or compromise and make it as written with a mixture of rice (I like the varying textures). Just made some barley salad for lunch that is amazing too – I like the chewiness.

      Reply
      • June 21, 2011
        6:18 pm

        Thanks for the tip. I’ll try it with white for sure :)

  • June 20, 2011
    6:02 pm

    Au contraire, any mention of art will have me instantly alert and paying close attention. ;) I feel starved of it at present, holed up with my books studying for Uni. But I intend to venture out to The Lowry for the Warhol And The Diva exhibition soon.

    Dean’s work is breathtaking, beatiful, warm and sernene. I can only come to the conclusion that is is the expression of his charming and kind soul coming through in his work. I love the vibrancy of his work too, you can almost feel the movement in the still image.

    Reply
    • June 21, 2011
      2:17 pm

      I have to forward this comment on to Dean – you got him in one!

      Reply
  • June 21, 2011
    9:52 am

    You know I’m loving the pic of you at the Peccadilloes Opening (purely selfish reasons, lol!!)

    Reply
    • June 21, 2011
      2:37 pm

      Hehehe – I actually thought about you when I was putting jewelry on – it was intentional.

      Reply
  • June 21, 2011
    9:56 am

    All of your pics are amazing! The Arcadia photos from that time are amongst my favorite photos ever. And to see pics of you in that same signature style, WOW! You look amazing, Jewels!!

    Reply
    • June 21, 2011
      2:39 pm

      Actually, now that you mention it – those are some of my all time favorite photos of me, and all the more reason Dean is brilliant – those are long 5 minute exposures, so it is hard to keep a decent expression on your face, and he is very considerate of that.

      Reply
  • June 21, 2011
    6:52 am

    Julie Anne,
    What a wonderful story of soul mate friends! They are such gifts in our lives. Mine is my best friend Katia. We met in nursery school at the tender age of four. She had just come to the US from Italy with her parents and she barely knew any English. I was also Italian but didn’t know a word of the language. Somehow, we managed to become fast friends and that friendship has lasted for 41 years. There were times on our lives when we drifted apart, most notably when we were away at college, but we always found our way back to our friendship. We still speak almost daily and we can finish each other sentences. Our lives have both taken difficult twists and turns, but we have always been there for each other. You mentioned Dean was on a macrobiotic diet. For my friend and I, our conversations these days often turn to food and diet. She has an 8 year old Autistic son whose symptoms have greatly been helped by a strict macrobiotic food regime. She has really gotten me to think more seriously about what I put into my body when I eat!
    As an avid art lover, I can deeply appreciate the mystical beauty in Dean Chamberlain’s work and have been a fan for many years. It is divine. I enjoyed reading about your friendship. Thanks for sharing it with us and definitely don’t shy away from art posts!

    Reply
    • June 21, 2011
      2:18 pm

      So happy you all are responding to an art post! Yayyyyyyy, because I can’t stop writing about the things and the people I love in life. Both art and friendships are very dear to me.

      Reply
  • June 21, 2011
    9:45 am

    What beautiful memories you share! I try to surround myself with those that appreciate creativity as it manifests itself through art, music, dance, cooking, etc. I too am an artist and truly love the way Dean plays with light and color in photographs. I believe every artist strives to capture light in the most unique way possible. Blessings and thank you for posting this.

    Reply
    • June 21, 2011
      2:35 pm

      Great insight Debi, and I think that is exactly what draws me to any art form – how the light and colors are captured.

      Reply
  • June 22, 2011
    9:25 am

    Your art posts are some of my favorites, and this is no exception. I have two photos from my wedding that were weirdly exposed and ended up looking like Chamberlain knock-offs, and they are my absolute favorites.

    Reply
    • June 23, 2011
      9:30 am

      Would love to see them one day soon!

      Reply
  • June 23, 2011
    8:02 pm

    This recipe looks so easy and I love the idea of a cinnamon stick. I love art and artsy people. Plus, my one weakness is listening to a good story. My middle sister, Mary used to tell me stories all the time when we were little. I have a lot of experience being a member of a rapt audience. Tell me stories anytime. :)

    Reply
  • June 24, 2011
    11:59 pm

    I am also one of those that are wide awake and alert when you mention art. As an art student back in the late 80′s I was very much in tune with what was going on at the time. Now sadly, I get little time to do the art I would love to do (nor have the money or connections). Unfortunately, art for me didn’t pay the bills, so I just admired those who could do it better and had far more creativity than myself. I am also very interested when you talk about all of the friends you have made over the years, people I deeply admired. And its always wonderful to hear that these people are as fantastic in person as they are/were in portraying themselves through their art.
    An artist is always an artist, even if their creativity has other outs. We can’t be suppressed even if we’re not able to do the things we like to do. I now enjoy my local amateur theatre group and participating in each production. I still love going to galleries for admiring my favourites and finding new ones too. I’m lucky that I live in such a cultural country and access to both masterpieces and new art are usually only a train rice away.
    Please continue enchanting us with your fabulous stories.

    Reply
    • June 25, 2011
      12:03 am

      Ummm… train RIDE. I had rice on my mind after you’ve posted such a delicious recipe!

      Reply
  • July 7, 2011
    3:21 am

    Jewels – Thank you for kind words about our life and times, our collaboration continues from the moment we met with dear Susan Swisher – all the light paintings made possible via that initial meeting, Arcadia and Duran Duran thanks to you.

    Thank you for generating such good vibes here through what you always were inside, a real deal people person, a presence, one of the most challenging, bringing the many through the one. Yes, you’ve become the ‘now’ of your true nature.

    I hope this is clear. It’s quite sincere.

    Reply

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