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Everybody knows Arman loves vehicles. The lobby of his palatial building on Washington Street sports a photograph of his famous compressed-car monument in Paris. Further proof comes in the red Jaguar XJ6 with car collector's club insignia his chauffeur maintains, not to mention a monstrously vulgar silver-gray utility vehicle. This bears the artist's Connecticut address on its side along with huge silver letters spelling out the name "Arman." Now that his close rival César has just died, perhaps Arman will not be obliged to advertise who he is quite so blatantly. Or perchance he's been taking lessons in self-promotion from his new best friend Mark Kostabi, who recently received one of Arman's signed Plexiglas "poubelles" to fill with Kostabi studio rubbish.|
Ellen Cantor, foxy queen of downtown erotica, has scored a cushy grant from the Delfina Studios in London, where she receives free board and lodging with no questions asked. The eponymous Delfina is a tiny octogenarian Spanish heiress, and famously generous to artists -- even after Cantor mistook her for the maid when asked if she needed any fresh sheets. The only drawback to Cantor's plan to reinvent herself as a hot young UK artist is that she's continually being strip-searched every time she goes back to London -- international customs can detect a Bad Girl as easily as art collectors.
According to legendary British artist Steve McQueen ("the Isaac Julien of the '90s"), young Italian conceptualist Maurizio Cattelan, fresh from his Projects victory at the Museum of Modern Art, where most tourists albeit assumed he was Jackson Pollock rather than Picasso, is about to dump poor Gavin Brown for the establishment pleasures of Marian Goodman. Ah, loyalty!
More than a decade after breaking her heart and exhibiting his neo-romantic paintings, Vincent Gallo was back at Annina Nosei showing stills from his film Buffalo 66. An amazingly pure mid-'80s-back-when-N.Y.-was-still-fun crowd turned out for the opening, including such seminal underground artists as Stefano Castronova, Mark Wilson (still plying his impeccable early '70s Peter Bogdanovich look) and even Francesco Clemente, who sat on the floor leaning against the gallery wall in that self-consciously nonchalant way that is his trademark. The only person missing from the throng was young Gideon Ponte, art dealer turned art director who actually chose, composed, painted and constructed all the sets that Gallo was palming off as his own work. Maybe Ponte doesn't need the glory. The teen talent has come a long way, from making the tea at London gallery Victoria Miro to painting all the works for I Shot Andy Warhol. He recently built a backdrop wall for the cover of Madonna's new record. This simple wall itself cost over $12,000 to put up -- we can only imagine his own fee.
At a New Year's Eve party two famous men from the exclusive club of artists bearing the initials "PP," finally met. In this case, it was eminent abstract painters Peter Pinchbeck and Paul Pagk. They immediately set to work listing their fellow members, who include Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Paul Prud'hon, Philip Pearlstein, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, the French collective Présence Panchounette and even East Village survivor Philip Pocock. However, things became more difficult when they started trying to place them in order of importance. Both agreed that Pablo P came at the top, but the bottom end proved harder to establish. (That said, P Pagk is off to China in a group show of star artists such as Gary Hill, Lydia Dona and Panamarenko curated by that Communist fellow-traveller and PLO activist Jay Murphy.)
La diva electronica Laurie Anderson was recently commissioned to create a specific work for a huge show on "time" coming up at the Pompidou Center. The French curator who flew over from Paris to talk to her was firmly guarded by Anderson's gallerist Sean Kelly, who would not let the curator out of his sight. He was providing either real "artiste management" or making sure he didn't loose his slice of her fee. Meanwhile Anderson's Moby Dick opera inches along with the aid of the eternally mysterious Guy Lesser, who has been assigned to write the libretto. Despite his impeccable aura of European dandyism, Lesser is actually a native Californian who used to hang out with Chris Burden and his crew before exile in the other Venice. There he managed to linger in a tiny garret above Harry's Bar whilst acting as unofficial art guide to visiting Americans such as Anderson's soulmate Lou Reed or Harold Brodkey. After nearly a decade of living off nothing but complimentary carpaccio and bellini, Lesser has now returned to Manhattan where he is regularly seen stalking the after-hours art world with close friend Andreas Serrano.
It's a scoop! The Lowlands teenage superstar Wim Delvoye, fresh from his victorious show at Sonnabend (how good it feels to be selling things again) is planning to have a baby with... with... none other than Marie Puck-Broodthaers, Marcel's daughter. Such a perfect coup of interpenetration has not been pulled off since analyst Jacques-Alain Miller managed to marry his hero Jacques Lacan's own daughter. Or as Wim himself puts it; "We're going to be the Michael Jackson-Marie Presley of the Belgian art world."
For a long time whenever people asked what Patrick Callery was up to the reply would be, "Oh, he's drinking-from-home, no, I mean dealing-from-home." Yet now he is back on the scene with a bang as much fabled art-advisor to Leonardo DiCaprio. No doubt it was Patrick who suggested Leo buy a Georg Baselitz portrait of Baselitz's son, svelte gallerist Anton Kern (a man on whose shopping whims Helmut Lang's entire annual stockholder's report depends) who it turns out has long been mistaken for DiCaprio. Surely the young actor is not going to hang this work on his walls in the hope that people assume Baselitz actually painted a portrait of him?
ANON lives upstate.
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