FIRST GRANDDAUGHTER ART SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL
After four years of contending with Ivanka Trump and her forays into art collecting, what a wonderful relief it is to deal, instead, with President Joe Biden’s family and their way less menacing art-world cameos. We’ve documented in these pages Hunter Biden’s escapades in the downtown scene (even if, alas, the news of him moving to the Forward Building, the most famous residential building in Dimes Square, is sadly a hoax). Hunter is also a painter who’s reportedly getting ready to show his work at Georges Bergès Gallery, one of those mysterious shops situated among the boutiques along West Broadway.
But what of Hunter Biden’s daughters, the first granddaughters? They had their fashion moment alongside second daughter (and Dr. Clark’s regular) Ella Emhoff at the inauguration, but we haven’t heard much more from them since.
Wet Paint can report that an in-the-know tipster has sent over a public (but very little-known) Instagram account that belongs to Roberta Mabel Biden, who goes by Maisy. While the username is a cryptic run of underlines and single letters, the last image posted is of her grandfather’s campaign jet on election day, and Maisy herself appears in several of the ‘grams. The primary purpose of the account? Posting artwork that the first granddaughter has been making in art classes at the University of Pennsylvania. There are drawings, paintings, screenprints, and collage, much of it signed with the initials “MB” or “RB.”
Let’s take a look at some of the work, shall we? It’s actually quite good!
Frequent commenters include Connor Wright, a Penn grad and the founder of the Say Their Names Cemetery in Minneapolis, and sister Naomi Biden. There’s also a notable snapshot early in the Instagram’s feed taken from behind the windshield of a Mercedes-Benz zooming down a narrow two-lane street that your Wet Paint scribe—as a proud DC native—can identify as Canal Road, the main artery that feeds cars into Georgetown. The caption is “Beemer benz or bentley,” a reference to the classic Lloyd Banks song of the same name, and tagged is the account @drake_and_sashhh. The person in the account’s picture is recognizable, but whether or not this is the finsta of former first daughter Sasha Obama, we can only speculate.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
BOWERY UPSTART BETS BIG ON TRIBECA SPACE
This week brought news that one of the most essential galleries of the last four decades was closing. Metro Pictures, perhaps the only gallery with an art movement’s name on its door, announced a shutdown in a brief press blast on Sunday.
Pretty bleak way to start a week! But there’s a counter-narrative to the doom-and-gloom story of Manhattan’s art temples sinking into the Hudson. Several enterprising young dealers have taken advantage of an unprecedented moment in Gotham real-estate history: The rush of quitters abandoning the city pushed down rent prices and allowed a new wave of kids to take over previously unrentable lofts, storefronts, and gallery spaces. A stroll through Chinatown into Tribeca would be overwhelming for any collector who fled the city a year ago—certain intersections are chockablock with new spaces.
Perhaps the most dramatic of these moves is that of LOMEX. Named for an aborted Robert Moses project that would have steamrolled SoHo, the gallery started by the curator Alexander Shulan first occupied a repurposed attic in an ancient Bowery flophouse. The space was notable for once-upon-a-time being Eva Hesse’s studio, though it wasn’t exactly a spacious white cube. Over the years, LOMEX became an enduring part of the burgeoning downtown scene, nurturing an upstart stable of out-there-bonkers young artists.
Now, LOMEX will bring renegade energy to a new neighborhood. Shulan has snagged an eye-popping expansive Tribeca palace on the third floor of a Walker Street building, adjacent to the downtown outposts of Bortolami, Anton Kern, Luhring Augustine, and Nicelle Beauchene, to name a few.
On a recent visit, a suite of new paintings by Andrea Fourchy filled the third-floor gallery as sun spilled into the room, each color-burst canvas riffing on the John Waters classic , steeped in Pop but also ’80s German conceptual cheekiness.
“I wanted to inaugurate the gallery with a classic big downtown painting show,” Shulan said. The gallery’s at 86 Walker, and there’s an all-day opening Saturday, until 7:00 p.m., or maybe even a bit later. Shulan recommends entering the space by taking—this is new!—the elevator.
Many of you guessed that the image in last week’s clue was Cady Noland’s . But the drawing was not Noland—it is Jonathan Monk’s (2018). For years, Monk has been sketching classic artworks on receipts every time he goes to a restaurant, and then offering them on Instagram to the first person who responds in the comments. (You gotta be really quick—we’ve tried many, many times.) The price of each? The bill for the meal, which in this case was €21.70. What a steal! Winners also pay postage.
Here are those who got it right: Brussels-based curator Louis-Philippe Van Eeckhoutte; the artist and curator Diego Diez; Helly Nahmad senior director Lock Kresler; collector and patron Scott Lorinsky; Sweetwater, Berlin founder Lucas Casso; lawyer and art specialist Paul Cossu; Marc Selwyn Fine Art director Andy Brown; painter and gallerist Francis Ruyter; Lexi Bishop, founder of the Pittsburgh gallery Here; collector Austin Muller; Yoshi Hill, bookseller at Jonathan A. Hill; Karine Haimo, sales director at Metro Pictures; and the advisor Elie Rizel. Congrats to the winners!
Here is this week’s clue. Name this work, and its owner.
Send guesses to [email protected] Hats will be coming, just give it time, we are ordering more!
Part of Karl Lagerfeld’s estate set to be auctioned in Monaco includes his world-class art book collection, thought by book dealers to be among the best in the world—Sotheby’s hasn’t announced the lots yet, but sources say the rare photography tomes will be among the priciest … People ordering from Dimes on Seamless—that’s the Dimes of Dimes Square, in case you missed a certain media column this week—have been asking the restaurant to include a copy ofwith their black-bean-and-kale bowls …
… Former Sotheby’s head of e-commerce Noah Wunsch has segued from selling Supreme skate decks to selling zero-calorie soda with the launch of the carbonated bevvy brand Ruby, perhaps the world’s first soda named after an Ed Ruscha painting … Look, we know that thing sold for what could be the equivalent of $69 million, but just saying—a closer look into who’s buying up a lot of NFTs at higher and higher prices paints a picture of an inflated market propped up by just a handful of speculators who are quite possibly in cahoots, so maybe just see Dean Kissick’s excellent column this week for the final word on whatever Beeple is, and look elsewhere than this column for further discussion of it all … Fair Warning is back, and Loïc Gouzer is using Bill Acquavella’s luddite protestations as a strange kind of advertisement …
… Rest easy everybody, Larry Gagosian is completely vaccinated … Lauren Haynes has been named senior curator at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, which is the fabulous museum at a school that is famously the alma mater of your dutiful scribe … The curator Olivia Shao opens a hush-hush new Chinatown space called Loong Mah today at 210 Canal Street … Sotheby’s CEO Charles Stewart, who last week polled his Instagram followers about the relevance of NFTs, is now hanging with Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love, drinking an ‘82 Moulton …
*** Sylvester Stallone putting his $110 million LA mansion on the block, advertising it with pictures of his starry art collection—with works by George Condo, Joyce Pensato, Stanley Whitney—as well as some truly horrible paintings of himself in the ring as Rocky *** Voice-of-her-generation writer Honor Levy at Lucien trying to read the Ben Smith column that featured her quotes as the lead and kicker in print, pulling apart the newspaper and trying to find the business section, saying, “How do you use one of these things?” *** Bella Hadid posting to Instagram an image of her apartment with a poster for the Larry Clark movie framed in the back ***
*** Copies of the new issue of out in the wild, as the downtown demimonde parsed through the already legendary Godhead Silo centerfold *** Chloe Wise at the opening of her first New York solo show, which features a suite of gauzy and gorgeous new paintings and sculptures of big chunks of melting butter, at the uptown outpost of Almine Rech *** Designer Joss Sackler of the blood-money-stained Sackler family donating $600 to the GoFundMe for fashion-world bullies Diet Prada *** Playwright Jeremy O. Harris, photographed for by Mickalene Thomas in his Green River Projects-designed writing room, resplendent in a full Bode fit—the story, by Erik Maza, is a must-read ***