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.
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].
THE LOW DOWN ON GAGOSIAN’S NEXT GEN
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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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.
NANCY PELOSI SATIRIZES… PAUL CHAN?
For reasons I’m not totally clear on, Paul Chan’s new piece at Greene Naftali, A 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 Irvin, Jason 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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*** 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-Moore, Miles 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 ***
did i find it, or did it find me? pic.twitter.com/pEf45I4vKW
— eileen (@eileencartter) January 11, 2022
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 Paul, LeBron 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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WET PAINT IN THE WILD
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 QUESTIONNAIRE
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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