NYU Art Student Mortified About Showing the First Lady of France a Random Dog Video


Students in New York University’s visual-arts program were warned last week that someone special might be coming to their studios. “They said that somebody famous was coming,” one senior told The New Yorker, “and that anything could happen.” And yet, when that person turned out to be Carla Bruni Sarkozy — chanteuse, model, First Lady of France, and serious art lover — they were not entirely on their game. “I was a little bit of a deer in the headlights,” NYU chair Nancy Barton, whose job it was to escort her, said. “I kept calling her Carla.” And one of the students accidentally showed her a video of a dog waving.

To be fair, French Poodle, described by The New Yorker as a video of “a poodle in a military uniform saluting the viewer,” is art. But it was still also, you know, a dog video.

Jason Martin, the video artist, said that he’d meant to play a different video, not “French Poodle,” but his computer had crashed and he’d panicked.

Awkward. He shouldn’t feel too bad, though. If she ever came into our offices, we’d probably end up showing her this:

Still-Life with Carla] [NYer]