It was a beautiful, sunny autumn afternoon when I knocked on Beauford’s studio door. I heard the echo of Beauford’s voice back in the studio saying “I’m coming.” I could hear him shuffling to the door. It opened and Beauford, with hand outstretched, said “Come in.” I did and, as I looked down the narrow corridor, with white sheets hanging on both sides, into the studio, I saw a naked young man standing facing me full frontal reaching for his pants saying “It's not what you think, it's not what you think!” I hadn’t thought anything at that point, and Beauford was unperturbed.
As it happened, the young man (American) had recently been a guest of Jimmy Baldwin at his house in St. Paul de Vence, as had Beauford at the same time. While there, Beauford had started but not finished a nude portrait of him, which was now on an easel where Beauford was continuing to work on it.
My entrance had interrupted this sitting so we all sat down to a tea Beauford made for us. The young man (about 30) was from the western U.S. and lived on a property where the boundaries of three states came together. He regaled us with stories of that region.
That was the only time I saw this young man (circa 1965). But recently, in 2010, I saw a photograph of a group of Delaney paintings in a store room, one of which was a portrait of a nude man. I wonder if it is the finished version of “It’s not what you think”?