Art collector and cosmetic dermatologist-to-the-stars Fredric Brandt was found dead yesterday in his Miami mansion at the age of 65. While the cause of death is unknown, Brandt’s publicist Jacquie Trachtenberg revealed that he suffered from depression. Sources close to the doctor have also said that he was devastated by an unflattering parody of himself on Tina Fey’s Netflix comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
In addition to sculpting the faces of Madonna, Stephanie Seymour, and a slew of prominent women in both New York and Miami, Brandt spent his time amassing a “MoMA-worthy art collection,” according to a profile in Elle. Both Brandt’s Miami mansion and West Chelsea apartment were littered with work by Keith Haring, Damien Hirst, Richard Prince, Yayoi Kusama, John Baldessari, and Marilyn Minter. (See more artnet content about collectors who have recently died—Leonard Nimoy, Photographer, Art Collector, and Beloved Star Trek Actor, Dead at 83 and Death of Real-Life Indiana Jones Tomb Raider Don Miller Leaves Massive Artifact Collection in Limbo.)
In an interview with the New York Times, he mentioned a 24-karat gold disk by Anish Kapoor, which hung above the bed in his New York pad. “I figured if there ever really was a crisis, I could melt it down and sell it,” he joked.
A savvy collector who spent his free time roaming the neighborhood’s myriad galleries, Brandt smartly relocated to Chelsea from Midtown right before the High Line redo, sensing the area was about to see a surge in property values.
Brandt saw a connection between his fine art collection and his cosmetic dermatology practice. In a 2014 conversation with Amalia Ulman, in which the pair discussed the intersection of art and beauty as well as Ulman’s own surgical enhancements, he likened the desires of his clients to his own desires when in the presence of art.
“I like my art to make me feel good,” he said. “I don’t want a piece of art to make me depressed.”
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