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The Artist Formerly Known as Madonna?

Michael Jordan, Mary Boone, Marty Richards, Howell Raines...


With Deborah Schoeneman

If you thought the lines for the Da Vinci exhibit at the Met were long, just imagine what it will be like when Madonna makes her art-world debut next month. We hear that the Material Mom is collaborating with celebrity-fashion photographer Steven Klein on a multimedia exhibition at the Deitch Projects in Soho. The two teamed up after Klein shot Madonna for a staggering 44-page cover story on the singer for W magazine’s April issue, timed to coincide with her new album set for this spring. Sources tell us that the Deitch installation is being designed by Giuseppe Lignano and Ada Tolla’s LOT/EK architectural firm and will include Klein photos of Madonna, illustrated with animation, and audio and visual components edited from video that Klein shot of Madonna during the W shoot. “It’s very artsy,” one insider told us. No word on whether Madonna will be at the show’s opening on March 27. The show is scheduled to run for six weeks, and there has already been talk of making it a traveling exhibition. One Tokyo gallerist has expressed interest in bringing it to Asia in September.

East End Exodus

Can the Hamptons really be losing two of their biggest Hollywood heavyweights? Chicago producer Marty Richards has put his 7.5-acre beachfront estate, By the Sea, on Southampton’s Gin Lane, on the market for $50 million. The property features a saltwater pool, impressive rose gardens, and a Seward Johnson lawn sculpture. Richards is still trying to sell his 8,000-square-foot maisonette at the River House on East 52nd Street, which he put on the market three years ago after buying a $6 million condo at Trump World Tower. Meanwhile, buzz has it that Men in Black director Barry Sonnenfeld is selling his 8,000-square-foot waterfront house on Gardiner’s Bay in East Hampton for $10 million. The Francis Fleetwood–designed home sits on 1.9 acres and includes five fireplaces and a movie theater.

Mary Boone: Give Unto Others

Restaurateur Stephen Heighton recently walked into Mary Boone’s Chelsea gallery and saw Falling Birds, a Ross Bleckner painting that has always reminded him of his late brother, who died of cancer in his early twenties. “The image is of these ghostlike hummingbirds falling from the sky,” Heighton tells us. “It seems to be about mourning.” Heighton says his “heart stopped,” but that he couldn’t afford it. So Boone bought it from the seller herself and gave it to Heighton, telling him to pay her back whenever he can. Heighton, a co-owner of Leshko and Elmo, could have sold some of his other works, but whenever possible, he prefers to donate them to charity. Unfortunately, his generosity sometimes has mixed results. Heighton gave Housing Works, the nonprofit aids group, a Nam June Paik drawing for its ongoing silent auction. It was valued at about $4,000, but Housing Works listed a minimum opening bid of just $1,200 and it sold for a mere $1,320.

Howell Raines: Love Is in the Air

Who says Howell Raines doesn’t have a heart? At around 5 p.m. on Valentine’s Day, the newly engaged New York Times executive editor sent out an office-wide e-mail urging staff members to join him in the newsroom to celebrate the holiday with cake and chocolate kisses. “He was trying to boost morale,” says one reporter, noting that a bomb scare in the building only two days before had jangled nerves.

BIRTHDAY BOY: So what do you get a man like Michael Jordan for his 40th birthday? Music producer Jimmy Jam figured a provocative photo of Janet Jackson would satisfy him. Jam gave the hoops star a four-by-five-foot framed photo of Jackson wearing a bikini with 23, Jordan’s jersey number, emblazoned on the bottom. Jackson’s image is encircled by replicas of six Jam- co-produced platinum albums affixed to the print, and in the corners are photos of Jam and Jordan with their wives.

THE IPAD: We hear Apple CEO Steve Jobs is close to selling off his co-op in the famed San Remo on Central Park West. A source tells us that he’s accepted an offer close to his $14.9 million asking price. He bought the two-bedroom, 3,500-square-foot duplex with 1,200 square feet of terrace over a decade ago—and poured at least $1 million into renovations. Jobs’s broker, Roger Erickson of William B. May realty, declined to comment.

With Deborah Schoeneman


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