‘I’m having a weird, torrid affair with Francis Bacon’s work’

In Conversation: broadcaster and fashion designer Brendan Courtney and Tropical Popical CEO Andrea Horan

 

When did you last cry?

Brendan: Yesterday. A song came on and it made me think about my dad, dreading the first Christmas without him. I’m looking forward to processing a little bit because I haven’t.

Andrea: I wonder if you’re dealing with it in the way that you’re not dealing with it? That’s the way I deal with s***, it takes me three years.

Brendan: You look back in three years’ time and think, “I really didn’t deal with that.”

Andrea: I’m not a big crier, but when I cry, I cry for a year.

Brendan: Okay, Joni Mitchell.

Is there an ambition or project you want to fulfil in the next year?

Andrea: A chat show and a festival. I don’t want to be in the chat show, though! I also want to do a youth club for old people.

Brendan: I’d love to do interiors. That’s a little gay fantasy.

What is your death row meal?

Brendan: Probably lasagne.

Andrea: Could you have multiple stages? I’d have McDonald’s, a Big Mac with a cheeseburger on the side and an apple pie for dessert. Then a steak from L’Gueuleton.

Brendan: McDonald’s makes me feel empty.

Andrea: It makes me feel so happy!

Brendan: No, definitely a really cheesy, rich lasagne.

Andrea: Could your death row meal be in a place? If you can go to Italy, I’d have one of those wedding dinners where they have to go for walks in between it.

Brendan: What about Thai food?

Andrea: Not for death row, cop on. Cauliflower cheese.

Brendan: Yes!

What is your favourite item of clothing?

Andrea: I’ve got a gold coat I got in New York that I love. I feel like a Miami art dealer when I wear it.

Brendan: You young people.

Andrea: I’ve a green sequins dress that all the gays slag me about because every drag queen has it.

Brendan: A navy crew neck. I have a uniform. When I was your age, I really enjoyed the pomp and ceremony of clothes. Now I enjoy sleek comfort.

Andrea: That’s because you’re old: “I love the comfort”.

Brendan: Black crews, navy crews, and black or navy trousers.

Is there any artist you feel particularly connected to right now?

Brendan: I’m having a bit of a weird, torrid affair with Francis Bacon’s work. I always hated it, but was always drawn to it. I love it now.

Andrea: It feels like you’re really growing into life!

Brendan: Gays only get to the age of straight people 10 years later! I mean gay men, now – gay women are born mature. But Francis Bacon, I think the reason I couldn’t connect to his work before is I found it too profound, too uncomfortable. Now I’m not afraid of it.

Andrea: The artist I’m always obsessed with is Tracey Emin and her neon signs.

Can you guess what the other person’s go-to drink is?

Brendan: I think you know what this is . . .

Andrea: Anything wet?

Brendan: Beer.

Andrea: I’ve never had a beer with you in my life.

Brendan: Yours is without a doubt champagne or prosecco.

Andrea: I hate both of those things. I’ll start with a red wine, then an after-dinner amaretto, then I’ll move on to an Old Fashioned, then a Jaeger and Red Bull. I drink gin and tonics sometimes. I love Malbec.

What is your favourite destination to visit?

Brendan: Ireland is my favourite place, hands down, in the world right now.

Andrea: You’re having a real nesting period.

Brendan: I went to Greece for the first time this year, and it blew me away. I’d go back in a heartbeat.

Andrea: I’ve been to Greece the last three years. Love it. But my spiritual home is Italy. I love Italian men, I love the food, the sun, the countryside.

Is there any personal motto you have that you think of when things get tough?

Brendan: “Thank you”. It makes you check yourself a little bit when the s*** is hitting the fan. Coming from a challenging socioeconomic background, something I realised later in life is that when you’re poor, all of your stresses are financial, and all of your decisions are dictated by that. I was poor for most of my adult life. Now I’m not rich, but for the first time in my life I can make choices.

Andrea: I always say “create the life you want to live”.

Do you have any tattoos?

Brendan: I’m proud I’ve got to the ripe old age of 46 without a tattoo.

Andrea: I’ve got three anchors. Clearly I was looking for stability in my life. I got a Tracey Emin one that says “sister” with my sister, just so we remember we’re sisters, you know, in case we forget!

What word do you overuse?

Brendan: Younger gay friends get called “chicken”, with love. I probably say “cool” too much.

Andrea: “Stinger”.

Andrea Horan is chief executive of the Tropical Popical nail bar, and founder of The HunReal Issues (thehunrealissues.com).

Brendan Courtney is a broadcaster, fashion designer and co-founder of the brand Lennon Courtney.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.