Wet Paint: Biden’s Granddaughter Has a Secret Art-Filled Instagram, NYC Gallery Gets Spiffy New Space, & More Art-World Gossip

Which NBA star drank a $2,000 bottle of wine with the Sotheby's CEO? What fashion blog did a Sackler heir back big time? Read on for answers.

President-elect Joe Biden and family watch fireworks from the stage on November 07, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Every week, Artnet News brings you Wet Paint, a gossip column of original scoops reported and written by Nate Freeman. If you have a tip, email Nate at [email protected].



After four years of contending with Ivanka Trump and her forays into art collecting, what a wonderful relief it is to deal, instead, with President Joe Biden’s family and their way less menacing art-world cameos. We’ve documented in these pages Hunter Biden’s escapades in the downtown scene (even if, alas, the news of him moving to the Forward Building, the most famous residential building in Dimes Square, is sadly a hoax). Hunter is also a painter who’s reportedly getting ready to show his work at Georges Bergès Gallery, one of those mysterious shops situated among the boutiques along West Broadway.

But what of Hunter Biden’s daughters, the first granddaughters? They had their fashion moment alongside second daughter (and Dr. Clark’s regular) Ella Emhoff at the inauguration, but we haven’t heard much more from them since.

Joe Biden hugs his granddaughter Maisy beside former US President Barack Obama. (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

Wet Paint can report that an in-the-know tipster has sent over a public (but very little-known) Instagram account that belongs to Roberta Mabel Biden, who goes by Maisy. While the username is a cryptic run of underlines and single letters, the last image posted is of her grandfather’s campaign jet on election day, and Maisy herself appears in several of the ‘grams. The primary purpose of the account? Posting artwork that the first granddaughter has been making in art classes at the University of Pennsylvania. There are drawings, paintings, screenprints, and collage, much of it signed with the initials “MB” or “RB.”

Let’s take a look at some of the work, shall we? It’s actually quite good!


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A post shared by R (@_________m______e_______)


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A post shared by R (@_________m______e_______)


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A post shared by R (@_________m______e_______)

Frequent commenters include Connor Wright, a Penn grad and the founder of the Say Their Names Cemetery in Minneapolis, and sister Naomi Biden. There’s also a notable snapshot early in the Instagram’s feed taken from behind the windshield of a Mercedes-Benz zooming down a narrow two-lane street that your Wet Paint scribe—as a proud DC native—can identify as Canal Road, the main artery that feeds cars into Georgetown. The caption is “Beemer benz or bentley,” a reference to the classic Lloyd Banks song of the same name, and tagged is the account @drake_and_sashhh. The person in the account’s picture is recognizable, but whether or not this is the finsta of former first daughter Sasha Obama, we can only speculate.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.



Installation shot of “Andrea Fourchy: Girlfriends,” the first show at the new LOMEX space. Photo courtesy LOMEX.

This week brought news that one of the most essential galleries of the last four decades was closing. Metro Pictures, perhaps the only gallery with an art movement’s name on its door, announced a shutdown in a brief press blast on Sunday.

Pretty bleak way to start a week! But there’s a counter-narrative to the doom-and-gloom story of Manhattan’s art temples sinking into the Hudson. Several enterprising young dealers have taken advantage of an unprecedented moment in Gotham real-estate history: The rush of quitters abandoning the city pushed down rent prices and allowed a new wave of kids to take over previously unrentable lofts, storefronts, and gallery spaces. A stroll through Chinatown into Tribeca would be overwhelming for any collector who fled the city a year ago—certain intersections are chockablock with new spaces.

Tribeca from the air. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)

Perhaps the most dramatic of these moves is that of LOMEX. Named for an aborted Robert Moses project that would have steamrolled SoHo, the gallery started by the curator Alexander Shulan first occupied a repurposed attic in an ancient Bowery flophouse. The space was notable for once-upon-a-time being Eva Hesse’s studio, though it wasn’t exactly a spacious white cube. Over the years, LOMEX became an enduring part of the burgeoning downtown scene, nurturing an upstart stable of out-there-bonkers young artists.

Now, LOMEX will bring renegade energy to a new neighborhood. Shulan has snagged an eye-popping expansive Tribeca palace on the third floor of a Walker Street building, adjacent to the downtown outposts of Bortolami, Anton KernLuhring Augustine, and Nicelle Beauchene, to name a few.

Alexander Shulan in the new LOMEX gallery space. Photo courtesy LOMEX.

On a recent visit, a suite of new paintings by Andrea Fourchy filled the third-floor gallery as sun spilled into the room, each color-burst canvas riffing on the John Waters classic Female Trouble, steeped in Pop but also ’80s German conceptual cheekiness.

“I wanted to inaugurate the gallery with a classic big downtown painting show,” Shulan said. The gallery’s at 86 Walker, and there’s an all-day opening Saturday, until 7:00 p.m., or maybe even a bit later. Shulan recommends entering the space by taking—this is new!—the elevator.



Many of you guessed that the image in last week’s clue was Cady Noland’s Untitled (preparatory drawing for a Log Cabin). But the drawing was not by Noland—it is Jonathan Monk’s Restaurant Drawing (C Noland Model for log cabin) (2018). For years, Monk has been sketching classic artworks on receipts every time he goes to a restaurant, and then offering them on Instagram to the first person who responds in the comments. (You gotta be really quick—we’ve tried many, many times.) The price of each? The bill for the meal, which in this case was €21.70. What a steal! Winners also pay postage.

Here are those who got it right: Brussels-based curator Louis-Philippe Van Eeckhoutte; the artist and curator Diego Diez; Helly Nahmad senior director Lock Kresler; collector and patron Scott Lorinsky; Sweetwater, Berlin founder Lucas Casso; lawyer and art specialist Paul Cossu; Marc Selwyn Fine Art director Andy Brown; painter and gallerist Francis Ruyter; Lexi Bishop, founder of the Pittsburgh gallery Here; collector Austin Muller; Yoshi Hill, bookseller at Jonathan A. Hill; Karine Haimo, sales director at Metro Pictures; and the advisor Elie Rizel. Congrats to the winners!

Here is this week’s clue. Name this work, and its owner.

Send guesses to [email protected]. Hats will be coming, just give it time, we are ordering more!



Fashion designer and creative director of Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld at the press preview for "Chanel", an exhibition of the history of the fashion house's history, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2005. Photo courtesy of Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images.

Karl Lagerfeld at the press preview for “Chanel” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2005. Photo courtesy of Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images.

Part of Karl Lagerfeld’s estate set to be auctioned in Monaco includes his world-class art book collection, thought by book dealers to be among the best in the world—Sotheby’s hasn’t announced the lots yet, but sources say the rare photography tomes will be among the priciest … People ordering from Dimes on Seamless—that’s the Dimes of Dimes Square, in case you missed a certain New York Times media column this week—have been asking the restaurant to include a copy of The Drunken Canal with their black-bean-and-kale bowls …

Solid order. Photo courtesy Instagram.

… Former Sotheby’s head of e-commerce Noah Wunsch has segued from selling Supreme skate decks to selling zero-calorie soda with the launch of the bevvy brand Ruby, perhaps the world’s first soda named after an Ed Ruscha painting … Look, we know that thing sold for what could be the equivalent of $69 million, but just saying—a closer look into who’s buying up a lot of NFTs at higher and higher prices paints a picture of an inflated market propped up by just a handful of speculators who are quite possibly in cahoots, so maybe just see Dean Kissick’s excellent column this week for the final word on whatever Beeple is, and look elsewhere than this column for further discussion of it all … Fair Warning is back, and Loïc Gouzer is using Bill Acquavella’s luddite protestations as a strange kind of advertisement …

Good questions, Bill! Photo courtesy Instagram.

… Rest easy everybody, Larry Gagosian is completely vaccinated … Lauren Haynes has been named senior curator at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, which is the fabulous museum at a school that is famously the alma mater of your dutiful scribe … The curator Olivia Shao opens a hush-hush new Chinatown space called Loong Mah today at 210 Canal Street … Sotheby’s CEO Charles Stewart, who last week polled his Instagram followers about the relevance of NFTs, is now hanging with Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love, drinking an ‘82 Moulton

A casual $2,000 bottle of wine. Photo courtesy Instagram.


Stallone’s crib. Photo via YouTube screenshot.

*** Sylvester Stallone putting his $110 million LA mansion on the block, advertising it with pictures of his starry art collection—with works by George Condo, Joyce Pensato, Stanley Whitney—as well as some truly horrible paintings of himself in the ring as Rocky *** Voice-of-her-generation writer Honor Levy at Lucien trying to read the Ben Smith column that featured her quotes as the lead and kicker in print, pulling apart the newspaper and trying to find the business section, saying, “How do you use one of these things?” *** Bella Hadid posting to Instagram an image of her apartment with a poster for the Larry Clark movie Ken Park framed in the back ***


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A post shared by Bella ? (@bellahadid)

*** Copies of the new issue of Civilization out in the wild, as the downtown demimonde parsed through the already legendary Godhead Silo centerfold *** Chloe Wise at the opening of her first New York solo show, which features a suite of gauzy and gorgeous new paintings and sculptures of big chunks of melting butter, at the uptown outpost of Almine Rech *** Designer Joss Sackler of the blood-money-stained Sackler family donating $600 to the GoFundMe for fashion-world bullies Diet Prada *** Playwright Jeremy O. Harris, photographed for Town & Country by Mickalene Thomas in his Green River Project LLC-designed writing room, resplendent in a full Bode fit—the story, by Erik Maza, is a must-read ***


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A post shared by Erik Maza (@erikmaza)


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