Nude, Not Rude at Sothebys

by Michael Gross Photographed by Joe Schildhorn and Darian DiCianno/
Wednesday, October 10, 2018

“Tonight gets my blood going,” a pink-clad Brooke Shields was saying at the 27th annual Take Home a Nude Art Party and Auction to benefit the New York Academy of Art

at Sotheby’s in New York–and it wasn’t (only) because of the Bollinger Champagne being poured. The evening included both a silent and a live auction, cocktails and dinner catered by Sant Ambroeus, and celebrated eleven artist’s muses.  They were Jerry Hall (muse to Lucian Freud, Francesco Clemente, Andy Warhol, Ed Ruscha and Antonio Lopez); Helena Christensen (muse to Herb Ritts, Peter Lindbergh and countless designers);  Brooke Shields (muse to Richard Avedon, Eric Fischl and Keith Haring–as well as Calvin Klein), David Croland (muse of Robert Mapplethorpe), Racquel Chevremont (muse to Mickalene Thomas), Rose Dergan (muse to Will Cotton), Zoya Loeb (muse to Damian Loeb) and Anh Duong (who amuses herself).  

“I’m in awe of the talent” at the Academy, Shields continued.  “Four years ago, I was drawn in by Will Cotton as an honorary muse.” It was the beginning of a love affair, she continued, that saw her join committees, meet artists and “become the muse that would not leave,” she joked.  “I need attention.”  But with that, she ceded the spotlight, introducing David Kratz, the Academy’s president.  

Amused and no less amusing guests included Mickalene Thomas, Alina Cho, Kristy and Jim Clark, Oliver Clegg, Bob Colacello, Will Cotton, John Demsey, Sante D’Orazio, Griffin Dunne, Princess Alexandra of Greece and Nicolas Mirzayantz, Jan Frank, Vincent Fremont, Alexander Gilkes, Eric Goode, Eileen Guggenheim, Zani Gugelmann, Hugo Guinness and Elliott Puckette, Kilian Hennessy, Stephanie and Tim Ingrassia, Gabby Karan and Gianpaolo de Felice, David Kratz and Greg Unis, Lukeand Xela Janklow, Padma Lakshmi, Tali Lennox, Adam Lindemann and Amala Dayan, Damian  Loeb, Nicole Miller and Kim Taiple, Nicolas Mirzayantz, Colby and Tico Mugrabi, Rupert Murdoch, Alan Patricof, Ippolita Rostagno, Peter Thomas Roth, Liev Schreiber, Billy Sullivan, Robert Verdi, OPam Taylor, Ann Bexamat, Jennifer Creel, Mary Snow, Tom Cashin, Jay Johnson, and Naomi Watts.

The evening raised more than  $900,000 dollars from the auctions featuring works from Judy Chicago, Jessica Craig Martin, Duong, Eric Fischl, Jan Frank,  Guinness, Loeb, David Lynch, Santi Moix, Herb Ritts, Walter Robinson, Mark Tansey, and Rob Wynne. The highlight of the live auction was a study for the painting “Sleep” by Academy faculty member Vincent Desiderio. This painting, which depicted over a dozen nude sleepers, became iconic when it inspired the notorious Kanye West music video “Famous.” Proceeds from the sale go to student scholarships and programs at the Academy.  


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