Wet Paint: Art Advisor Philippe Ségalot Wants You to Meet His Baby Horse, Spencer Tunick Has a Risqué Zoom Scheme, & More Art-World Gossip

Which celeb-critics sold a book that was personally inscribed to them by Jordan Wolfson? What artist is the face of Balenciaga? Read on!

Philippe Ségalot. Photo: AMBER De VOS/PatrickMcMullan.com

Every Thursday afternoon, 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].


“The Magic of Life.”

What fun skills have you learned during quarantine? Maybe you’ve mastered the art of making a french omelet? Memorized some new poems? Or perhaps you’ve pivoted from selling paintings to billionaires and to personally delivering horse babies on a farm? It appears that art advisor Philippe Ségalot has made such an unorthodox switch. The man who once snuck into Art Basel days early after enlisting a Hollywood makeup artist to disguise him into a balding exhibitor has now gone full-on farmhand in rural Normandy, France. Last week, he posted a picture of a newborn filly that he evidently midwifed from a mother horse. “The Magic of Life,” he captioned it. How does one go back to sneaking into art fairs after something like that!


A new work from Spencer Tunick’s series “Stay Together Apart.” Courtesy Spencer Tunick Studios.

One artist whose practice has been undoubtedly disrupted by the age of hyper-cleanliness and social distancing is Spencer Tunick. The American photographer’s entire output consists of gathering large numbers of people together to stand completely naked for mass photo shoots. Sometimes, they even stood close enough to touch each other or—gasp—shake hands! Certainly, Tunick won’t be able to get away with that ever again—or at least, not for a very long time. But he’s pretty quickly found a way to keep on making art involving a lot of people in their birthday suits (and without having to worry about pesky Instagram censorship to boot). He’s calling the project “Stay Apart Together,” and he’s asking people in isolation to all come on video chat at the same time, making the same pose. When shown as a grid, it creates the illusion that the people are together and, voilà, it’s a Spencer Tunick for the COVID era. One small difference: They’re naked apart from their masks


Ana Mendieta didn’t get enough acclaim as an artist during her lifetime—which, of course, was cut short in 1985 by a fall from the high-rise apartment she shared with her partner, the minimalist sculptor Carl Andre. (The artist was acquitted of murder charges in 1988 when a judge said guilt was not proven beyond a reasonable doubt.) But in the years after her tragic death, her work has been shown prominently at Galerie Lelong in New York, the Brooklyn Museum, and in the new rehang of the Museum of Modern Art, among many other institutions. 

The offending Facebook conversation.

And yet there are some artists and scholars who don’t exactly see her work in the same way—a reality that was on full display during a frank discussion in Facebook comments last week. The critic and professor Lane Relyea took to his profile to update followers about how he’s adapting to teaching remotely. Explaining that he was teaching “Art Since 1960” over Zoom, Relyea joked about how he would start the lecture: “Okay class today is about minimalism, boxes in different industrial materials, you might need an extra cup of coffee for this one…” Fellow professor Martin Patrick commented below, saying that he has trouble teaching minimalism mostly because of what he called “the Andre/Mendieta question.” And that’s when Jorge Pardo, the MacArthur Genius Grant-winning artist repped by Friedrich Petzel in New York and Victoria Miro in London, chimed in: “most generative work mendieta ever did was getting herself thrown out the window….” Pardo said. 

Careful before you post during quarantine, folks—Wet Paint is spending a lot of time online.


Let’s cut to the chase here. The pint-size artist in the picture I posted last week was none other than Cady Noland, who was social distancing long before it was cool. I thought the fence and the cowboy hat might have made it too easy, but just five loyal readers got it right. Because it’s such a small number, we’ll name everyone: University of Minnesota professor Gregory Smith; Hassla Books founder David Schoerner; gallery owner Jeffrey Deitch; dealer Neal Meltzer; and Luhring Augustine co-founder Lawrence Luhring. Congrats to the winners!

Here’s this week’s quiz. Who is the rock legend in the photo, and what is the artwork in the upper left corner? 

Usual rules apply this time—just the first respondent wins. So get it in quick: email your Wet Paint proprietor at [email protected]. Apologies in advance that management can’t respond to all submissions; if you win, you will know!


The installation of Parker Ito’s show “Longetivity Buns 2.” Courtesy Parker Ito.

Christie’s sold an Andy Warhol photo via Instagram DM just hours after it posted it on its feed … After Jordan Wolfson signed and inscribed a copy of his book for the married critics Jerry Saltz and Roberta Smith, they promptly sold it the Manhattan bookstore The Strand—where it was picked up by Artnet News columnist Kenny Schachter Parker Ito recreated a show that was supposed to be up at LA gallery Chateau Shatto in the backyard of his dad’s place … Antwaun Sargent, the critic and curator, will partner with Gagosian to contribute regularly to its print quarterly as well as put together four gallery exhibitions; his first interview is with photog Roe Ethridge in conjunction with the artist’s debut in Gagosian’s Artist Spotlight viewing room … 


La Lohan. Photo courtesy Instagram.

*** Lindsay Lohan sharing with her 8.3 million followers on Instagram a still from the Richard Phillips work Lindsay Lohan (2011) after the film was screened by Kino Süd, an online viewing initiative put together by Basel gallery Weiss Falk *** Konrad Fischer Galerie in Berlin installing a show of new work by Thomas Schütte that will actually open in real life, to real people in public, on Saturday *** an artist named Mitchell Johnson buying a very pricy ad to take out the full back cover of the New York Times Magazine to try and sell a landscape painting for $20,000 *** Artist Eliza Douglas appearing in one of the mysterious caption-less Balenciaga Instagram posts—scenesters have been trying to figure out who’s behind the account for over a year ***

The mysterious Balenciaga Instagram.



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