Amy Sedaris Kills Goldfish With Only Her Breath. Allegedly.David Gordon Green’s Snow Angels is a movie all about the relationship between a teenager, his older babysitter, and her family. So, naturally, at the event celebrating the movie last night at MoMA, we asked the cast if they ever had the hots for nanny. “Like, all of them,” Green admitted immediately. “I tried [to hit on them, but] they wouldn’t have me! I was a dirty little kid.” As for his techniques? “Lookin’ up skirts and all that. I tried to [use a makeup mirror to look at her] when she was in the bathroom, and it didn’t work,” Green said. “She got pissed [and] sent me to bed with no supper. And beat me.” Connor Paolo, Gossip Girl’s Eric, is just 17 but remembered having an eye on his Iranian nanny’s young daughter. Amy Sedaris, however, had a view from the opposite side. She was always the babysitter. She remembered with a shudder that awkward ride home with the dads, who inevitably had “booze on their breath,” driving you a distance you could walk. And then! “This one kid once accused me of killing his goldfish. I was leaning over it breathing, and he told his parents I killed it, so they never had me back,” Sedaris griped. “I will never let it go!” Man, we wish Amy Sedaris had been our babysitter. Imagine the insanity. And the cupcakes! —Jocelyn Guest
Related: Amy Sedaris Kills Roaches With Her Bare Hands
Our Dinner With Richard
The Museum of Modern Art threw a dinner party last night to celebrate “Richard Serra Sculpture: 40 Years,” its huge retrospective of the artist’s work. Herewith, our complete conversation with Serra at the party:
New York: Hi, I’m from New York Ma —
Serra: [Silently walks away.]
Related: Richard’s Arc [NYM]
Hail Helvetica!The crisp Swiss typeface Helvetica turns 50 this year, and to mark that occasion it’s becoming the first typeface to enter MoMA’s permanent collection, in the shape of an original set of 36-point lead letterforms. (The museum, however maintains its own official type, “MoMA Gothic,” a variation on Franklin Gothic.) Today, MoMA opens “50 Years of Helvetica,” a design show including vintage New York City subway signs, an excerpt from Gary Hustwit’s 2007 documentary Helvetica, and, yes, an American Apparel ad. What makes this neutral font (not to be confused with Microsoft’s pale imitation, Arial) so universally beloved, showcased on everything from the Crate & Barrel catalogue to nineties house-music album covers?
MoMA, Guggenheim Experts Say You’d Be Better Off Buying Real EstateWith the big-money contemporary-art fairs in town last week and the big-money contemporary-art auctions set for this week, we had to wonder whether all these big-tickets works are good investments. “No Picasso is worth what people are paying today,” MoMA president emerita Agnes Gund told us at a party for Joel Gray’s photography last week. “They just aren’t that valuable in comparison. There are really Van Goghs and drawings that are worth more.” So where should you put your money? “Real estate is always the better investment because real estate will always be here, but the prices of art fluctuates,” she said. “Oops, I guess I shouldn’t say that!” Guggenheim director Lisa Dennison concurred. “I’d have to say real estate,” she said. “You can live in it, you can hang art in it, and the prices seem more reasonable.” Real-estate prices seem reasonable? “As a museum director, it’s hard for me to say you should invest in art.” —Justin Ravitz
We’ve already established that today is contemporary- art day in New York. But is it possible that seemingly bottoming-out Britney Spears is actually mounting a shockingly highbrow and witty performance piece? Consider: At left is Ms. Spears on the cover of today’s Daily News; at right is half of Pipilotti Rist’s Ever Is Over All, a 1997 video installation in MoMA’s collection. Coincidence? —Karen Rosenberg
Brit Freaks Again as Train Wreck Rolls On [NYDN]
Pipilotti Rist. Ever Is Over All. 1997. [MoMA.org]
Earlier: Daily Intel’s coverage of the Armory Show
in other news
It’s Good to Be the MoMA Director
MoMA director Glenn D. Lowry is a wealthy man with even wealthier friends. Not only does he have one of the highest salaries in the museum biz, but, as the Times almost gleefully reports today, some of those rich friends set up something called the New York Fine Arts Support Fund (we’ll say!), which showered him with over $5.35 million in gifts from 1995 to 2003. Contributions to the fund came from such massive last names as Rockefeller, Gund, and Lauder, and it was put together with the express purpose of luring Lowry to MoMA. Just how hard were they working to lure him? Check out this one: In 1995, MoMA picked up the down-payment for an apartment Lowry bought; the trust then took care of the mortgage repayments. In 1999, the trust bought that apartment from Lowry, who pocketed $1.3 million on the sale. Did he spend that profit — on an apartment he hadn’t paid for in the first place, keep in mind — on a new place to live? Of course not. The museum then gave Lowry another free apartment, this one in Museum Tower. The man has to live somewhere, after all. Now, finally, we understand the $20 ticket prices.
Donors Sweetened Director’s Pay at MoMA [NYT]
the morning line
• A riot is brewing — or, more likely, the tabloids are picking up some easy populist points — over Mayor Bloomberg’s failure to lift alternate-side parking rules during this week’s snowstorm. [NYDN, amNY]
• Guess which single mayoral action is “tragic and misguided”, and will “degrade societal standards” — the smoking ban, LES rezoning, the 2012 Olympic bid? Wrong: it’s those damnable free condoms, according to Cardinal Egan and Brooklyn Bishop DiMarzio. [NYP]
• We all know about the sex-offender registry, but what does one do with homeless sex offenders? Suffolk Country found one, vaguely medieval, solution: put them in trailers that are periodically rotated around the county. [Newsday]
• MoMA director Glenn D. Lowry is even richer than we (and the IRS) knew: In addition to a jaw-dropping salary of $1.28 million a year, Lowry has been getting millions through a murky tax-exempt trust set up by the Museum’s benefactors. [NYT]
• And in parting, this, from today’s OMG-straight-men-can-cook “trend” profile in the News : “I’m constantly bringing wild game back to my apartment, and my girlfriend and I sit outside and pluck it.” Don’t we all?[NYDN]
It’s Official: Broken Angel to Live On as CondosClinton Hill: The son of the owners of the Broken Angel home says new developers will help keep his parents’ vision intact — and add an arts center on the lot next door! [Clinton Hill Blog and Gowanus Lounge]
Fort Greene: Watchdog says documents show that Empire State Development Corporation blew off Atlantic Yards enviro-impact concerns. [Atlantic Yards Report]
Midtown: Catch media artist Doug Aitkens’s film Sleepwalkers (with Donald Sutherland and Tilda Swinton, no less) on MoMA’s walls tonight. [The L Magazine]
Park Slope: High-tech activists in Greenwood have started filming potentially illegal demolitions and posting them on YouTube. [Curbed]
Upper West Side: Amid a Ben Stiller–inspired frenzy, sleepover nights at the Museum of Natural History are sold out through summer — except girls’ night on April 28. Come on, girls, embrace your inner geek! [
Brice Marden Once Touched a Picasso
Seven things we learned about Brice Marden last night at the Strand bookstore, where he gave a talk promoting his current retrospective at the MoMA and the accompanying book, Plane Image:
1. He’s left-handed.
2. He won a painting by an elephant at a circus three years ago.
3. His first New York apartment was on Avenue C.
4. As a kid, he’d skip school to visit MoMA.
5. He once touched a Picasso there.
6. He was not kicked out for having done so.
7. He thinks New York is no longer the American art mecca because it’s too expensive for many young artists, who are instead moving to L.A.— Kendall Herbst
Brice Marden: A Retrospective of Paintings and Drawings [NYM]