Pack of Wild Models Descends on T.O.’s CheeseburgerThe models were so starved they snatched food from Dallas Cowboy Terrell Owens, plus, some dude dares calls Andy Warhol a “gnome,” and Chloë Sevigny continues to be Chloë Sevigny, in today’s short but delicious gossip roundup.
Beyoncé’s Reps Are Kind of AwesomeIs Beyoncé pregnant? “We’ll perform an ultrasound and get back to you,” her reps say sassily. That and the results of other probing in our daily roundup of the city’s juiciest gossip.
Bruce Willis Acts Like Liz Smith Was Born YesterdayBruce Willis says he’s dating a model because she’s pretty on the inside. Plus, Kirsten Dunst and Ryan Gosling go on a date, as do Silda and Eliot Spitzer, in our daily roundup of the juiciest bits from New York gossip columns.
real estate porn
Andy Warhol’s Townhouse Goes on the MarketThe hippest house on the Upper East Side offers a luxurious rooftop terrace, four bedrooms, a library, chef’s kitchen, staff suite, gym, seven wood-burning fireplaces, and serious élan for a mere $38.5 mil.
Buyout Exodus at ‘Newsweek’A dating blogger seeks a book deal, trading desks think recession, and Jean Nouvel wins the Pritzker in our daily roundup of media, finance, law, and real-estate news.
in other news
Ingrid Sischy and Sandra Brant to Helm ‘Vanity Fair’ AbroadDon’t cry for Ingrid Sischy. After she abruptly departed her eighteen-year position as editor-in-chief of Interview magazine, and her girlfriend Sandra Brant (you remember her – she used to be married to Peter Brant) sold her half-ownership stake in the parent company Brant Publications, people were wondering what she was going to do with her life. After all, for nearly two decades her name was synonymous with Andy Warhol’s gritty, authentic magazine. But it turns out she’s had a great plan all along! Condé Nast HR mouthpiece WWD tells us that both Sischy and Brant will be international editors of Italian, Spanish, and German versions of Vanity Fair. And, what’s more, they’ll helm any future glamorous expansions abroad. Which is great news for them, probably, but it also raises the question: Is this the biggest lesbian sellout since Anne Heche ditched chicks?
Sischy, Brant Join Vanity Fair International Editions [WWD]
Jose Mugrabi Has a Lot of Toys He Never Plays WithIsn’t it weird how people, especially, it seems, men, have this impulse to collect things? The Journal today profiles Jose Mugrabi, the owner of the world’s largest private art collection in the world, of Andy Warhols. The son of a grocer and a textile importer, Mugrabi tells the Journal that “art became a refuge” for him while growing up in Bogota, Colombia. His first major Warhol get was Marilyn Monroe (Twenty Times), for which he paid a record-breaking $3.96 million in 1988. Although he has been offered much, much more for it since, he still has it. And how many other Warhols has he amassed?
Mr. Mugrabi furrowed his eyebrows and stared off into a corner of the room. “Esty!” he bellowed. “Warhols, how many do I have?” Less than a minute later, his longtime assistant, Esty Neuman, popped through the door from the reception area holding a printout.
“Eight hundred,” she said, matter of factly.
Mr. Mugrabi, looking slightly surprised, smiled and glanced over at his sons, who were sitting across from him. “So many,” he said quietly.
You see, he keeps them all in a warehouse in Newark.
Norman Mailer, Warhol’s Inverse, Helped Invent Modern FameIt’s safe to say, now, that Norman Mailer did not become the heavyweight champion of fiction — safe to say because he’s no longer around to take a swing at you with his cane. Even in his last year, Mailer would vigorously defend his reputation if he heard something he didn’t like. After this magazine recently published an innocuous chart chronicling his many highly entertaining feuds, he called to deliver a loud, hearing-challenged verbal pummeling. But, though he doubtless wouldn’t fully concede the point, even he must have realized that his greatest work was not fiction.
Moving an Upper East Side Wine Institution
Think moving is a pain? Try doing it with 60,000 bottles of wine. That’s what the venerable Sherry-Lehmann Wine & Spirits shop did this weekend when they left their famous Madison Avenue space for new digs on Park Avenue and 59th Street (it’ll open tomorrow). Just before the big day, we chatted with owner Michael Aaron about the store’s history in hooch. “Andy Warhol used to come by all the time,” Aaron said. “When he designed the Mouton-Rothschild label for the 1975 vintage, we put the bottles on display. I called Andy and said, ‘Please stop by, because the bottles are so fantastic-looking.’”
Maria Bartiromo Feels Pretty, Oh So PrettyBefore Maria Bartiromo was on MSNBC and flying on private jets, she lived a life out of West Side Story. Speaking of Bartiromo, Citigroup head Charles Prince may have leaked the jet-ride scandal to the media. Former Philippines first lady Imelda Marcos uploaded some unintentionally funny government-propaganda films to YouTube. Financier Henry Kravis complained that he wasn’t invited to Stephen Schwarzman’s blowout birthday party. Brad and Angelina needed beads and masks to escape from a New Orleans restaurant.
If Wolcott Did It…The owner of former meatpacking S&M club–cum–celeb hangout the Vault is shopping a dishy tell-all. James Wolcott got his hands on the O.J. Simpson book, wrote about it in Vanity Fair. Naomi Campbell is leaving her agency to join IMG. (She was also named ambassador to Rio by the Brazilian city’s mayor.) Being Anna Wintour’s assistant really is as difficult as Emily Blunt made it seem in The Devil Wears Prada.
in other news
Banking With Warhol and the Jews
The Warholidays we previously noted didn’t stop with Christmas, or with Barneys: The lobby of the Park Avenue Bank, at 350 Park, is now home to ten Andy Warhol paintings, as AM New York reports today. Normally, combining a business with an art gallery is the province of ex-hippie real-estate agents, but the bank is actually drawing kudos for the inventive use of its lobby space. (Since you don’t have to be a customer to get in, it’s also providing a free public service, of sorts.) The improvised gallery works, we think, for several reasons. First, if you’re going to stage an art exhibit in a Park Avenue bank, you could do much worse than Andy Warhol, the one dead painter who would have probably been tickled pink about it if he were alive. And second, if you’re going to stage an Andy Warhol exhibit in a Park Avenue bank, you could do much worse than displaying “Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century.”
Warhol Silkscreens on Display in Lobby of Swank Manhattan Bank [amNY]
Earlier: Department Stores Don’t Know It’s Christmas
Now It’s Condi’s Turn to CryKatie Couric may have made Condoleezza Rice cry during an interview, and a tape of it may exist. Bob Dylan is suing the producers of Factory Girl for defamation over their portrayal of his relationship with Edie Sedgwick. John Mayer and Jessica Simpson might be dating after all — at least according to a spy who saw them making out at a New Year’s Eve party. Even Harvard alums aren’t immune to high-profile, high-cost divorces. In a shocker, Donald Trump was named “Most Annoying Money Personality” by AOL users. A former model is suing real-estate honcho William Haines for sexual harassment, despite his best efforts to quash the suit. Billy Condon made an embarrassing faux pas in his bid to garner support for a Best Director Oscar for Dreamgirls. Governor Eliot Spitzer watched the ball drop from his new home — the Executive Mansion in Albany. Access Hollywood host Billy Bush is looking for a new job, and it probably won’t be at NBC. MTV retread Kristin Cavallari has a new boyfriend, and her old boyfriend is jealous. Former trashy talk-show host Richard Bey will play a sanitation worker in his Off Broadway debut. Liz Smith has some New Year’s resolutions for 2006’s leading ladies: Lindsay, stay out of harm’s way; Britney, keep your panties on; Paris, get off the red carpet.
Bob Dylan Criticizes What He Can’t Understand (At Least Until He Sees It)Bob Dylan claims that upcoming Edie Sedgwick biopic Factory Girl falsely portrays him as the cause of Sedgwick’s suicide, threatens to sue unless he is allowed to see the film before it is released. Chuck Schumer wrote a book. An employee of Wyclef Jean was kidnapped in Haiti and held for ransom; he was released for free. An L.A. Times reporter scored an “exclusive” interview with Martin Scorsese, featuring quotes that are actually two years old. Popular Greenwich Village drinking hole Boxers lost its lease, is shuttering. Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s restaurant partner, Phil Suarez, put on quite the culinary show at an apartment party he threw. Access Hollywood host Billy Bush might be leaving L.A. for the Today show here. Tom Brokaw made an “insensitive” joke about public housing that doesn’t really seem to be that offensive. Uma Thurman was bailed out of a stuck elevator by her buff bodyguard. Marc Jacobs and Jason Preston are officially broken up, according to Jacobs. The high-octane friendship between Paris Hilton and Britney Spears is over, because the latter was told to stay away from the former if she ever wants to make a comeback. Nancy Sinatra celebrated what would have been her father’s 91st birthday at his favorite restaurant, Patsy’s. Peter Boyle’s greatest regret was not taking the role of Popeye Doyle in The French Connection. Mariah Carey is pitching a “lifestyle-type book-cum-pseudo memoir.” Let Meryl Streep eat steak!
Department Stores Don’t Know It’s Christmas
The consolidation of department stores a trend cooling only because there’s nothing left to merge leaves Manhattan as the last hospitable environment for that Norman Rockwell tradition, the holiday window display. The city’s flagships Barneys, Bendel, Bergdorf, Bloomingdale’s, Saks, and Macy’s began unveiling their windows over the weekend, and, as usual, they’re secular spectacles. Out: Santa, model trains, gingerbread men. In: scary, postmodern vignettes.
So which ones are worth wistful gazing? We’ve rated them according to four categories: holiday cheer, narrative, a sense of childlike wonder, and set design. Check back daily for three installments, culminating on Wednesday when the winner is revealed.
Soup Is Good ArtAs if last week wasn’t big enough for Andy Warhol — the late Pop artist’s works pulled in more than $88 million at auction, including that Mao silk screen that went for a record $17.4 million — on Friday he also got a brand-new tchotchke. Barneys will this year be celebrating a “Warhol-iday” season, including just-unveiled Christmas windows at its Madison Avenue flagship rife with Warhol-inspired paraphernalia featuring, more ironically — limited-edition Campbell’s Soup Cans all dolled up with bright Warhol-esque labels. Stop for a moment to savor the double-reverse appropriation going on here (as Warhol himself no doubt would have): He famously made art by faithfully reproducing the iconic soup cans on canvas, and the soupmaker is now putting his art back onto the cans. Campbell’s has an ongoing relationship with the Andy Warhol foundation, according to a company spokesman, with gift-shop kitsch like plates and scarves already on the market. These new cans — containing actual, real, good-ol’-fashioned tomato soup — will be available exclusively at Barneys stores nationwide (and online). At $12 a pop, we’re sure it’ll be delicious.
— Rachel Wolff
Auction Season Breaks $1 Billion; New Stars Anointed on Insider Info
New York’s big annual art-auction season broke $1 billion for the first time in history last night, and nearly two dozen artist’s records have been set in just the past two days. Amid the skyrocketing prices, new stars are being anointed left and right. New geniuses suddenly discovered? Hardly. The artists hitting record prices are often either backed by a network of powerhouse alliances or their buyers are betting on the art world’s version of insider information.
The sales crossed into ten-figure mark late last night at Christie’s, where the main sales room featured every major art-world player from Jeffrey Deitch to Aby Rosen to artist and Louis Vuitton handbag designer Takashi Murakami. (The auctions are something like the Oscars of the art world: There’s campaigning and backroom deals, and everyone in the room has gotten a new haircut for the event.) The waiting list for seats, the auction house said, numbered more than 1,000.