Saturday, July 11, 2015

Mrs Keating's Raincoat

Min Keating and our Paul Keating portrait
The Keating clan assembled last week at St Patricks Catholic Church in The Rocks to farewell their beloved matriarch Min Keating who died at the grand age of 94. Min was the mother of former Prime Minister Paul Keating and notable businesswoman Anne Keating. Whispers & Min had a long association first formed via our own late mother who was a long time pal of Min's.
 In the late 90s Whispers held an exhibition of Warholesque style photographic screen prints on a blustery June night in Kings Cross. It was a huge success with many of the portraits being snapped up by their subjects including Kylie Minogue and Elle McPherson along with Lady Mary Fairfax's daughter Anna and brother Charles purchasing a picture of Lady Mary for the family art collection.

Unashamedly influenced by Andy Warhol (he was an old friend) the famed New York society photographer Patrick McMullan who had two regular social pages on Warhol's Interview Magazine flew out for the opening night of the exhibition. Patrick was chuffed to meet members of Sydney society including Lady Sonia McMahon and Min Keating who was pleased to see a portrait of her son Paul in the exhibition. As we all dined later in a nearby restaurant Min finally left at around 2am.

McMullan was startled to receive a rather frantic phone call from Min at his hotel at 7am the next morning. Min had left her raincoat at the restaurant but it was a very special one- purchased by son Paul on one of his Prime Ministerial trips to the UK.
"I dined out on this for weeks to come when I got back to New York" said Patrick later. " Having the PM's mum telephone is like having the US presidents mum on the blower.".
But what has he done with those photos from the night?,  Somewhere in his extensive archive is a series of pics taken after Min left the dinner, of each of the guests parading in Min Keating's fetching leopard print raincoat, including Lady Sonia McMahon!
" I seriously though of holding an exhibition in New York titled The Prime Minister's Mother's Raincoat" said McMullan. "It's the sort of arty thing that goes down well in the Big Apple"