Celebrity Daughter Lands Gig at Gagosian, Paul Chan’s New Show Draws Weirdly Intense Backlash, and More Art-World Gossip

Plus, which auctioneer denounced lockdown measures on Instagram? Which artist collaborated with Reese's Puffs cereal? Read on for answers.

Gagosian gallery. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

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].



Among Gagosian gallery’s numerous strengths, self-mythologizing and personal branding are way up there.

Obviously, Larry has created a cult of personality that’s helped make him the most successful gallerist alive. But his staffers have also been known to have cult-like followings as well: Sarah Hoover‘s maximalist feminism made her an influencer, and Adam Cohen‘s combination online-store and nomadic gallery, A Hug From The Art World, made him buzzy back in 2019.

Now, there’s a new generation of ambitious young art-lovers ready to climb the ranks, and among them is none other than Bechet Allen, the 25-year-old adopted daughter of disgraced filmmaker Woody Allen and Soon-Yi Previn.


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A post shared by Bechet Allen (@bechet_allen)

Bechet—whom I can only imagine is named after the late jazz saxophonist Sidney Bechet, whose music often shows up in Woody’s film—studied art at Bard College, and is now a front desk associate at Gagosian’s Upper East Side location. What a town!

Bechet could not be reached immediately for comment.



For reasons I’m not totally clear on, Paul Chan’s new piece at Greene NaftaliA drawing as a recording of an insurrection (2021), has inspired a lot of internet ire.

Critic Adam Lehrer skewered the piece in his Substack, calling it “wildly out of touch” and “a shocking new low in the contemporary art world.” The Manhattan Art Review (run by Sean Tatol) called Chan “the sole actor in this crime against our collective consciousness, because [the show] simply represents our culture’s downward trend into a senescence that is just as present on the so-called Left as on the Right.”


Last weekend, I went out to the Chelsea galleries and put eyes on the show myself, and left pretty much unchanged. My blood pressure did not spike, nor did I contract Stendhal Syndrome from its beauty. It’s just a bland piece of political art. But hey, I’m a gossip columnist, not a critic.

But apparently, some Internet anon out there is. On January 5, several people including Theta gallery owner Jordan Barse, artists Michele Graf, Nick IrvinJason Hirata, and Tatol, received personalized texts from an unknown number claiming to be Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi

“SEAN – It’s Nancy Pelosi. I’m in disbelief,” the message begins, leading with a headshot of Pelosi with a vacant, almost menacing grin. It then proceeds like a PAC-sponsored call-to-action about the anniversary of the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, which, of course, Chan’s piece directly addresses.

Finally, the kicker: “That’s why I need you to show up at the opening of artist Paul Chan’s new exhibition at GREENE NAFTALI GALLERY, tomorrow on the ground floor, from 6 to 8pm.” 

After a description of the work, the long-winded text continues: “I can’t overstate how grateful I’d be for your attendance at the momentous show of solidarity with the federal government. I need 560 RSVPs before midnight to protect every last inch of Joe Biden, our Democratic Majority, and shut down Trump and the Republicans’ plans to regain power. Can you donate $600,000 to Greene Naftali Gallery right now?”

Both Tatol and Lehrer were both originally convinced that the messages were part of the show, until it became evident that neither Greene Naftali nor Chan were in on the joke. Chan couldn’t be reached for comment, and a gallery rep confirmed to Wet Paint that it was not tied to the show’s programming. 

To me, the prank smacks of Brad Troemel, who is known to let neoliberalism put a pulsing vein in his forehead. I asked Troemel if it was him, but he denied it.

All I know is that the area code indicates the number comes from New Jersey, and when I’ve tried to call/message the number, I get sent to voicemail and my texts show up green. Thus, the mystery continues… who is so incensed by Paul Chan’s art that they would go through all this effort?




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A post shared by Britney Spears (@britneyspears)

*** The recently emancipated Britney Spears posting a Sally Mann photograph to Instagram *** Loic Gouzer taking to ‘Gram to decry Covid-19 quarantine measures *** Leo Fitzpatrick hawking quarters with conspiracy theories etched into them by Ben Werther for $100 a pop at his gallery, Public Access *** Frank Ocean enjoying lunch at Balthazar *** Hipster photographer Cobrasnake re-emerging to take photos of a Drunken Canal party *** Reese’s Puffs cereal collaborating with KAWS, with cereal boxes hitting bodegas around Brooklyn ***Coco Gordon-MooreMiles Greenberg, and Alexandra Marzella at Precious Okoyomon, Juliana Huxtable, and writer Rachel Rabbit White‘s readings through Club Wonder at the Ace Hotel in Brooklyn *** Nathan Fielder zipping around East Los Angeles in his Tesla *** 



Downtown gallery Real Pain has changed its name to Harkawik, the owner’s last name, in an effort to be taken more seriously … Ariana Grande recently payed a visit to popular Bushwick bar Carmelo’s with full security detail, and angered the regulars at the pool tables by booting them from their game … Moràn Moràn now represents Cauleen Smith … Rich PaulLeBron James‘s manager and the boyfriend of Adele, donated a Kehinde Wiley artwork to LACMA … The Succession cast had a party last week at The Nines, an “if you know, you know” cocktail bar owned by John Neidich, son of collector Dan Neidich … Actress Madeline Quinn is apparently dating one of the anonymous hosts of the film podcast the Ion Pack, and the two were spotted at KGB Bar this weekend … Candice Breitz had to cancel her latest film project, the final chapter in a trilogy, due to COVID exposure …


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A post shared by Candice Breitz (@candicebreitz)



I am still (begrudgingly) spending most of my time locked inside my Brooklyn apartment with my dog, staring moodily out the window at trash frozen on the street, which does not make for very interesting photos.

So this week, I decided to send Wet Paint on a trip to the sunny west coast by asking artist Lauren Quin to show us a week in her life. Funnily enough, I’ve known Quin since I was just a kid: we went to the same high school in Atlanta (go Knights!) where she could typically be found in the art room, developing the brush skills that have made her one of Los Angeles’s most-watched artists.

Take it away, Lauren! 


Wet Paint on Wet Paint, here we go.

Most of the week I spend petting this canvas. This is the first half of the first layer, the beginning of the ground. We’re at 5%. My height channels most of my attention into the top third of the painting. It creates a horizon line, something I’ll have to contend with later.

Smizing wide, Christie Hayden, Gabriel Cohen, Anja Salonen greet me at my second stop of the night, Moskowitz Bayse.


Butter, my familiar. She prefers to sleep on the street, in the sun, howling with the fire trucks that cut down to the bottom of La Cienega. She tries to escape the shadow of my studio building until she’s lying squarely in the middle of the road. If there’s no traffic, I put a few orange cones next to her while she sunbathes.

I am naturally a picker and scraper. I let it spill onto my palette while I talk to Micki on the phone.

The bedside stack, sleeping pills and loose ends of 2021. Synchronicity by Joseph Cambray, Mercury by Ariana Reines, How I Became One of the Invisible by David Rattay, Notebook of a Return to the Native Land by Cesaire. Not pictured but also in rotation The Dispossessed by Le Guin and The Razor’s Edge by Somerset Maugham.

This one is at 70%, which my way of saying I have less than half a window to redirect it.

I let these gesso droplets poke out. They look like eyes, buttons, or nipples. This painting is 25% done.
As the order of these pictures implies, I don’t leave the studio until the weekend. I’ve imposed an invisible boundary between the studio and my social world. I don’t want these two zones to touch one another too often.
I leave the paintings to dry and head out for the night.

All hands on Butter. I worry because she ate two whole chickens off of my counter, so I bring her along Friday night for close observation.
I check her pet insurance for the vet and realize it’s her birthday!

Sam Hemmenway and Chas McCarty at Prado. My favorite bar is Prado, my favorite museum is also Prado.

Tabitha Steinberg, who is opening a gallery this spring called Larder.

We move from Prado to Primetime. Adam Stamp, Erin Watson, and Jackson Dill set the next scene.
The floor is carpeted, and the bartender is barefoot for some reason.

Harmony Tividad is in her element.

A couple is curled up in Jackson’s pickup on the way to the next place.

Next night. Daniel Gaitor-Lomack and Sterling Wells at the tail end of the Night Gallery opening. They’re nudging us out.

Aaron Jupin and Michael Angelo Bala.
Aaron is beaming under his mask at his solo show. HIs work is so clean it makes me nervous to be near it.

I walk down LaBrea to Matthew Brown. At Pink’s, across the street, there is a sign that says BETTY WHITE WE WILL LOVE YOU FOREVER. L is very, very still.

The room fills out and Jan Gatewood is caffeinating. Behind him, just to the right of his shoulder is a tiny Stanislava Kovalcikova painting. Small but mighty.

Matthew Brown and Molly Grant wind down after the opening at the Kibitz Room.
A girl on stage is playing a sad, twee acoustic version of I Want Candy by Aaron Carter. Soon the room is getting drunker and the favor is turning against her and the band. The band digs into the divide, adding extra songs to the end of their set with some light hand clapping while another gets into a spoken word bit at the end.

Elana Bowsher, Dalya Benor, and Alberto Cuadros
Dalya and I pick over the cookie selection from the deli counter.

Sedrick Chisom after the doors closed on his show. It was a delicate curation, all paintings, titled “Their Private Worlds Contained the Memory of a Painting that had Shapes as Reassuring as the Uncanny Footage of a Sonogram”
On the right, the ineffable Omari Douglin. Omari moved to LA recently, and I can see the city leaking into his new work.

The seal pup rides with me all night again. We head home.


Last week, I asked you fine folks who you thought could have been the collector that tried to buy the fake Banksys off of @colalex for $25,000.

Writer Helen Holmes wrote in saying it could be a gaff that only new New York City Mayor Eric Adams would be capable of. Collector Scott Lorinsky suggested it was ex Knoedler honcho Ann Freedman, adding: “Ann assures everyone that ‘they’re real… and they’re spectacular.'”

This week, my question for you is: What artist is the least likely to make a NFT?  

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