Eric Adams Gets COVID After Partying With the Art World, Skater Evan Mock Gets His Own Cryptocurrency, and More Art-World Gossip
Plus, Chance the Rapper hits up the Chicago gallery scene, and expert tips on rookie mistakes to avoid during the Venice Biennale.
Every week, Artnet News brings you Wet Paint, a gossip column of original scoops. If you have a tip, email Annie Armstrong at [email protected].
GALA SEASON PROVES TO BE ONE GIANT SUPERSPREADING EVENT
On Tuesday morning, I awoke, put the leash on the dog, and stepped outside for a walk around my neighborhood in Bed–Stuy. Loyal readers of this column will recall that our city’s mayor, Eric Adams, is (supposedly) my neighbor, which has given me some exclusive and often-unwanted access to some of his PR stunts and a few bizarre protests against his mandates. Even though he really doesn’t seem to live there at all.
On this particular day, I passed by his apartment and noticed a man ringing the doorbell and holding what appeared to be a carryout bag. Huh, I thought. Why would he have food delivered to his fake apartment in Bed–Stuy? A quick look at the morning’s headlines explained the mystery: he tested positive for COVID-19. (I should add that he is reported to be holing up in Gracie Mansion on the Upper East Side. But really, couldn’t he be just anywhere??)
I had suspected this might happen. Why? Well, Adams was spotted at a number of high-falutin art and fashion events in the days before he tested positive, and some of the attendees told me that they, too, had tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend. If Art Basel Miami Beach 2021 taught us anything, it’s that the art world has a bad habit of generating superspreader events.
Concerned? Take a test! Or otherwise, allow me to act as your personalized contact tracer.
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Last Thursday, April 7, Mayor Adams was spotted at a Valentino dinner held at Bergdorf Goodman’s, where writer Rachel Seville Tashjian spotted hizzoner sitting right next to Sarah Hoover. Also in attendance was Gossip Girl star Thomas Doherty (more on him in our second Wet Paint item, below).
“I basically grilled him for 40 minutes about his arts and culture platform, and he gave me his number to set me up with the deputy mayor to have a meeting,” Hoover told Wet Paint. “I actually found him very engaged and interesting, but unwilling to defund the police for me.”
Oh, and just FYI, Hoover confirmed to me that she now has COVID-19. Yikes!
Next on the docket for Mr. Mayor was the opening of artist Roy Nachum’s new show at at A Hug From The Art World‘s new permanent space on West 19th Street in Chelsea, in the former Timothy Taylor gallery. Also spotted at the scene were artist Darren Bader, Kith founder Ronnie Fieg, and former Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah.
Here, Adams grinned it up with ADFTAW’s founder and Gagosian director Adam Cohen, who told Wet Paint that he does not have any COVID-19 symptoms. Good news on that front.
Then, a few days later, Adams was on the scene at the Brooklyn Artists Ball, where Hank Willis Thomas, Swizz Beatz, Judy Chicago, and, *checks notes* Majority Leader Chuck Schumer were all milling about. (Schumer—he’s still got it!)
The next stop for our absolute flaneur of a mayor was the Reel Abilities Film Festival at the IAC Building on West 18th Street, where he hobnobbed with Robert De Niro and the event’s honoree, filmmaker Victor Calise. Somewhere along the way, he also made it over to the 2022 National Action Network Convention, where he was much closer than six feet in proximity to the Reverend Al Sharpton.
Internet snooping leads me to believe this was the final stop of his action-packed evening, which puts party monsters like me to shame. Mayor Adams, seriously, where do you get the energy for all this? I get tired after opening a blank Google doc.
I was not personally in attendance at any of these events, and am thus safe from our bio-hazardous Mayor (unless his disease can spread through walls). That said, even though I may not agree with most of his policies, I am glad to hear Adams is doing okay. As gala season rages on, remember to test frequently and wear a mask responsibly. You never know who might be writing a gossip column about your life…
A PENNY FOR YOUR CLOUT
I’ve been privy to what historians will one day see as a quaint time in the downtown New York scene when social currency was only social, and not financial. A certain party I attended this weekend, where I learned that downtown darling Evan Mock is set to release his own cryptocurrency, $MahCoin, this month, leads me to believe that may be a thing of the past.
Alright Boomers. Before I get into the deets, here’s the explainer on who this guy is.
Mock is a Hawaiian skater and surfer who rose to prominence when Frank Ocean reposted a clip of him skateboarding in 2019. The clip was shot by Tom Sachs, then on a trip to Hawaii, where he spotted Mock in a skate park and asked him to “say hi to Frank” because of their matching bright pink hair.
Mock obliged, unaware that Sachs’ friend Frank was that Frank, and since then, he’s become one of the most-watched skaters of his generation, a model for Calvin Klein, a star in the Gossip Girl reboot, and one half of a veritable power couple with Gray Sorrenti, the daughter of fashion photographer Mario Sorrenti.
With a CV like that, it’s arguable that Mock has more clout than anyone on the Lower East Side. So it makes sense that he’s trying to figure out how to monetize his celebrity on the blockchain.
Enter crypto-agency P00LS.
P00LS describes itself as “the leading community-first, decentralized protocol for creator social tokens.” Translated to English, this means that public figures can create crypto-currencies to allow their fans to gain exclusive access to whatever these creators have to sell. For Mock, picture backstage footage from the Gossip Girl set, unreleased skate videos, and maybe some hair-dying tips (P00LS at least confirmed the first two).
The coin is earned by engaging with Mock’s content, whether that be downloading a video or signing up for a newsletter.
“We create currencies for creators’ communities,” said P00LS founder Hugo Renaudin, who has already created currencies for DJ Aluna and music producer BLOND:ISH. “Our medium is technology and crypto, but the substance is about culture and community.”
As sort of a soft launch, P00LS threw a party for Mock’s birthday this past Sunday at Lower East Side hotspot Flower Shop. It was attended by downtowners including Sorrenti, musician King Princess, photographer and Faena hotel heir Sebastian Faena, power couple Ella Emhoff and Sam Hine, possible coronavirus vessel Thomas Doherty, and actress Luna Blaise, as well as old-guarders Yvonne Force Villareal and Daniel Arsham.
“I like the fact that I can talk directly and authentically to a focused group of people that really get what I’m trying to do through my token,” Mock told Wet Paint. “That’s what the P00LS team is helping me do with my coin. Plus, they throw a banging party.”
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Film director and occasional surrealist painter David Lynch may release a new film starring muse Laura Dern at the Cannes Film Festival this year … Jim Carrey is rumored to be releasing his own NFT project, to be sold not on the Ethereum blockchain, but in its own, new circle of hell (just kidding) … Deborah Fisher from A Blade of Grass has stepped down from her role as executive director, and is “looking very forward to having the time to deepen my astrology practice” … Night Gallery will now represent painter Bambou Gili, and will present a solo show of her work next spring … A whistleblower that works in Damien Hirst’s Gloucestershire studio told Airmail that employees “worked for low wages, disemboweling dead animals, slicing them in two with giant saws, or standing in full protective equipment waist-deep in formaldehyde, a chemical preservative”—yikes … Lauryn Hill is set to play the after-party for the opening of David Kordansky‘s first New York location later this month …
Chance the Rapper in his native Chicago during Expo week at the opening party for Zohra Opoku‘s new solo show at Mariane Ibrahim, which went well into the night *** Gala season is fully underway, and last week continued with the Poetry Project’s annual fête at St. Marks Church, which hosted Precious Okoyomon, Chloë Sevigny, Andrew Vanwyngarden, Eileen Myles, Telfar Clemens, Nate Lowman, Juliana Huxtable, Dawoud Bey, and Dasha Nekrasova *** On the same night was the Save Venice Ball, which attracted the likes of Ivy Getty, Nicky Hilton, Casey Fremont, Sienna Miller, and Ezra J. William *** Sophia Cohen at the highly publicized wedding of Nicola Peltz and Brooklyn Beckham ***
WET PAINT IN THE WILD
As I am a known narcissist, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to take over Wet Paint in the Wild myself again… Here’s what I got up to.
WET PAINT QUESTIONNAIRE
The Venice Biennale looms ahead, and for anyone who is attending for the first time, I went ahead and crowdsourced what might be the biggest rookie mistakes one can make.
Art advisor Louis-Philippe Van Eeckhoutte offered a throwback to a party foul of years past. “Overcrowd a jetty on the way to an exclusive cocktail party and end up in the Grand Canal, a 2015 classic.”
Jane Glassman, executive director of Los Angeles’s Fine Art Dealers Association: “Not realizing that the main event is in two separate Venice venues: the Arsenale exhibition, as well as the pavilions within the Giardini.” Art advisor and consultant Nazy Nazhand expounded on that one: “Let me tell you: wearing heels to the opening. Even I have had to surrender and wear practical shoes. That said, I remember about a decade ago when I used to wear my Jimmy Choo spikes and run around the streets of Venice and catch water taxis without a care in the world…”
So there you have it.
My question for you this week is: Who in the art world would it surprise you to find out was a total nerd in high school?
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