Wet Paint in the Wild: Gallerist Mills Moràn Goes to Texas to Spend Late Nights at the Midnight Rambler and Days at the Dallas Art Fair

The art dealer takes us through a week of his life in Dallas.

From left to right: Al Moràn, Chelsea Culprit, and Mills Moràn.

Welcome to Wet Paint in the Wild, the freewheeling—and free!—spinoff of Artnet News Pro’s beloved Wet Paint gossip column, where we give art-world insiders a disposable camera to chronicle their lives on the circuit. To read the latest Wet Paint column, click here (members only). 

Mills Moràn, one half of the brother duo behind Los Angeles’s Moràn Moràn gallery, is known and loved by many as the “public-facing Moràn brother.” While Al holds it down in Los Angeles, Mills is a reliable face in the art circuit in New York, often holding court at Corner Bar, where he occasionally invites yours truly join.

A social butterfly wherever he lands, I wanted to see Dallas through Mills’s eyes this year, as Moràn Moràn showed paintings by Chelsea Culprit at the Dallas Art Fair, and took the reigns on the Joule hotel’s annual rotating curated lobby. Take it away, Mills!

Michelle Pobar, the big chief of Lisson L.A. (have you seen that office?), trying to hide from me while listening to John Giorno’s Dial-A-Poem at the Joule Hotel.

I miss you, Nate! Don’t see enough of you these days—but glad I caught you looking like the mayor of Dallas. Nate was in town for a talk and to hand out hugs. I was the lucky recipient of a few.

We published this book for John on the occasion of our exhibition last year. Go buy it. See you at the Bunker for the New York launch. I have keys to the bunker, but lost the alarm code.

Chelsea Culprit keeping it loose and cool after winning the Dallas Museum of Art award in her solo booth. I made them stage this because I missed it when it really happened. It’s like magic.

Anyone who knows me knows I have a unique way of becoming a regular in about five minutes. Kelsey at the Joule, otherwise known as Kelsius (like celsius), kept me in good spirits all week. I miss her already.

On my daily walk to the Katy Trail I passed the American Airlines Center, site of the 2006 Miami Heat domination over the Dallas Mavericks to win the NBA championship in game six. It wasn’t even close. I can’t remember what happened in 2011.

Jose Noe Suro, el jefe of Guadalajara, and his wife Marcela at the Midnight Rambler. The first of many nights down there with Jose. Why does it smell like a sewer there? Jose was in town opening a cerámico suro exhibition at the Dallas Contemporary with my Salvadoran sister Carolina.

Always great to see Rob in the stinky rambler. We learned we own the same car from the early 2000s and nerded out on IMS bearings.

How do you shoot the devil in the back? What if you miss?

The birthday girl, Nicelle Beauchene, dripping in that Twizzy Rich. After two weeks apart, running is mandatory.

Spotted a Becky Kolsrud in the wild at Robyn’s house.

Quick drink with Katherine Brodbeck, from the Dallas Museum of Art, one of my favorite museums.

Today is Patrick’s birthday. Go visit his gallery April April in Brooklyn, you won’t regret it. Start Googling.

Ran into frightened inmate #2 at that other hotel fair. Who doesn’t like a hotel fair? Good to see James in the wild, as he has young twins. I won’t call you Baby James anymore now that you are a father. If you have a chance to sing karaoke with James, you won’t regret it.

Another picture that was completely staged. The Rambler just keeps giving and giving.

Chelsea celebrating the Dallas Museum of Art acquiring her painting into their permanent collection. Derek is waiting for the payoff.

It’s true what they say. Al, Hugo, and Chelsea under John’s famous painting.

I met you at Felix, Annie, when you were being considered to write this column. I remember giving you my number and telling you to call me whenever you wanted to talk about life. I’m really glad you did. I’ll take the rest offline. Day ones.

I believe Antonia snorted water out of her nose laughing so hard. Nicelle’s birthday dinner was a riot.

Joe Cole explains to Annie Armstrong that Beverly’s is the Corner Bar of Dallas. I wonder if the batline works here too.

Too cute not to include. Love these two.

So happy for Chelsea and also so happy to be in Dallas with my brother. We are away from each other a lot so when we can spend time like this it feels special. If you come to my apartment I have a framed baby picture of my brother and I next to a picture of me and my daughter. DM for more details. We are not the disgusting brothers.

Raul de Nieves, here in spirit and apparently being groped. I love Nicelle and Raul’s friendship.

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