In November 2009, the German art collector Udo Brandhorst agreed as part of a child custody agreement with his former mistress, the art dealer Venetia Kapernekas, to put his Soho apartment—then valued at $5 million—in the name of the couple’s daughter. It’s unclear whether the third-floor condo at 104 Wooster Street that sold earlier this month for $5.5 million—a touch shy of the $6.25 million ask—is that same apartment, but the seller, according to city records, was most assuredly Mr. Brandhorst himself. The property, which was listed with Meg Siegel at Sotheby’s, has passed into the hands of the mysterious and comically-named Makwooster LLC, which sounds like a front for a comic book villain.
On Saturday, the 28-year-old fashion designer Divya Anantharaman struck a coy pose in the doorway of her kitchen. “I’m going to take the bird out of the fridge so it gets to room temperature,” she breathed, as if the “bird” were perhaps a roasted turkey, and not a pair of dead finches in a Zip-loc bag.
When she’s not traveling for her day job as a shoe designer for women and tweens, Ms. Anantharaman spends her weekends doing taxidermy. She answered the door in high-waisted black shorts, oversize glasses studded with rhinestones, sparkly green stick-on fingernails and bare feet—a bit of Brooklyn, where she lives, meets Miami, where she grew up. Ms. Anantharaman, who is dark-skinned, curvy and full-lipped, is gorgeous enough to pull this garish combination off—even as she clears a model of a human skeleton from the dining room table. “Last night I had some friends over and we were going to do taxidermy stuff, but we ended up just playing with my anatomy model,” she apologized.
Ms. Anantharaman has stuffed about 50 animals, and collected many more off eBay and from friends, who know that animal remains make an ideal house gift. The young fashionista tried to stuff her first mouse about four years ago on a whim, an experiment that evolved into an obsession with the rite of animal preservation. She’s using her winnings from Lifetime’s 24 Hour Catwalk, a grand prize of $10,000, to create a new line of taxidermy-themed footwear: high-heeled bunny slippers with real bunny heads, pumps covered in white mouse skin, that kind of thing. She has yet to name the collection. “Probably either ‘Ampoule’ or ‘Friends Forever,’” she said.
The Art Scene
Earlier this month, the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton raised $675,000 at its glitzy annual fund-raising gala—the last to take place in its present building. Meanwhile, a few miles away, in Water Mill, the skeleton of the Parrish’s new home, an elegant, barnlike building designed by Swiss starchitects Herzog & de Meuron that’s as long Read More
There is a long and honorable tradition of eateries and watering holes where artists can settle their checks with their work. And there is about to be another. Francesca Gavin, art curator for the London-based Soho House brand of private clubs, is heading here to amass a collection for the New York branch, bar tabs Read More
What’s creepier than a platinum, diamond-encrusted human skull? A platinum, diamond-encrusted infant skull, of course!
Shock-jock artist Damien Hirst is notorious for his 2007 sculpture “For the Love of God,” a human skull cast entirely of diamonds which he tried (unsuccessfully) to sell for £50 million.
Now, he’s at it again. Perhaps out Read More
A princess begins work at Christie’s, ancient apostle paintings discovered in Rome, and work by Stephen Vitiello and Yoko Ono take root in New York. It can’t be a slow summer when there is this much action in the art world.
1. Princess Eugenie of York Interns at Christie’s
Princess Eugenie, the 20-year-old daughter of Read More
Even outside the huge Basel Art Fair, there was a lot going on in the art world this week: A flurry of criticism for the Brooklyn Museum, Thomas Kinkade gets a DUI, and Jeff Koons’ art car breaks. With Damien Hirst looking to displace puppies and Sotheby’s selling off Polaroid’s collection, this was a week Read More
It’s time we had a talk about Damien Hirst. I know, I know. Mr. Hirst, who was born in 1965 and came to prominence in the London art scene of the late 1980s as the first among equal of the Young British Artists, has for so long been ascending to the kind of fame perversely Read More
MoMA Director Glenn Lowry is the second most influential person in the art world, according to the “Power 100″ in ArtReview‘s November issue–he’s topped only by Hans Ulrich Obrist of London’s Serpentine Gallery.
Artist Damien Hirst was ranked first last year, but has since fallen to number 48, a precipitous decline that Read More
Now that he’s worth an estimated $364 million, Damien Hirst is ready to admit that the art market, which has taken quite a dive in recent months, has been "over-priced."
In an interview with the UK’s Independent, Mr. Hirst said that he would be willing to lower his own–often Read More