Don Bachardy born 18 May 1934
Don Jess Bachardy is a noted portrait artist.
Born in Los Angeles, California, Bachardy was the life partner of writer Christopher Isherwood, whom he met on Valentine's Day 1953 when he was eighteen and Isherwood was forty-nine, until Isherwood's death in 1986. A number of paperback editions of Isherwood's novels feature Bachardy's pencil portraits of the author.
Bachardy's life and works are documented in Terry Sanders' film The Eyes of Don Bachardy. He collaborated with Isherwood on Frankenstein: The True Story (1973). His book Stars in My Eyes (2000), about celebrated people whom he had painted, became a best-seller in Los Angeles.
Bachardy's career undoubtedly benefited from his long relationship with Christopher Isherwood, however he is a talented and successful artist in his own right and his work has been exhibited and collected in various museums and galleries. However, he has never been so naive as not to acknowledge that the connections of his more famous partner gave him access to a wider public and to the many celebrities and friends who became the subjects of his sketches and portraits.
Bachardy's drawings and paintings are included in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian, the National Portrait Gallery in London, Princeton University, the Fogg Art Museum of Harvard University, and the University of California at Los Angeles, among many others.
One of his most notable works is the official gubernatorial portrait of Governor Jerry Brown hanging in the California State Capitol.
He currently resides in Santa Monica, California.
Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy, 1968, David Hockney
Don Bachardy was a creative consultant on Tom Ford's 2009 film of Christopher Isherwood's 1964 novel A Single Man, a novel which may have reflected certain aspects of Isherwood and Bachardy's relationship, although with a less tragic outcome.
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