PRINT December 1997


Diana's Subjects

A PHONE CALL FROM a friend in Milan brought the news that Gianni Versace had been shot in Miami. On Lake Como, where we spent some weeks this summer, an hour away from the Versace estate near Cernobbio and the resting place for his ashes, his tragic death was at once an incessant and evanescent item in the international news, and at the same time, a very local affair.

“Gay-boom-boom,” said Franca, the perfumed and petite woman who cuts my hair, the next day, acting out the curbside assassination, horrified and hungry to talk.

“A beautiful son of the lakes,” I said piously and provocatively, testing the waters in this vacation idyll where the Lega Nord propagates the secession of the North from what it considers the degenerate and impoverished South.

“Yes, si, una sensibilita italiana . . . but he liked a different kind of life, una vita americana, all mixed together . . . gay, drugs, black,

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the December 1997 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.