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Wednesday, March 29, 2017
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Tom Wolfe just published another acclaimed book, The Kingdom of Speech (Little, Brown), a critique of Charles Darwin and Noam Chomsky. It’s his “boldest bit of dueling yet,” according to the New York Times. His wife, Sheila, is continuing her graphic design work, which began with her role as art director of Harper’s. His son, Tommy, has just launched a catering company called Half with beautiful new wife Jena. His daughter, Alexandra, has authored a new, much-discussed book, Valley of the Gods: A Silicon Valley Story (Simon & Schuster). And what has your family done this month?

Alexandra is on a national book tour that was launched at her parents’ home, with a wall-to-wall group of friends, fans and family. She started the book more than three years ago, follows three tech entrepreneurs who “stopped out” of college, in hopes of being the next Elon Musk or Mark Zuckerberg. It’s been called “blistering, brilliant and hysterical,” and is of course, timely. Peter Thiel, creator of the “stop out,” has been front and center in Donald Trump’s ascendancy, and Alexandra is a fan…well, of Thiel anyway. “I’ve always thought of him as a contrarian genius,” she says. “He’s a counterintuitive thinker, so much that many of the trends he foresaw were considered shocking at the time he predicted them, such as the real estate bubble, the higher education bubble and the rise of Trump. Let’s hope his next prophecy is world peace.”

As some lucky folks know, Windsor, Florida, is a pocket of civility and beauty. Roughly 100 miles north of Palm Beach, it’s also 100 times more private. It bills itself as a family community, with both the charm of yesterday and the comforts of today, incorporating new urbanism and sustainability. And of course, this includes art. The Gallery at Windsor has shown Alex Katz, Jasper Johns, Ed Ruscha and now Christopher Le Brun, renowned painter and president of the Royal Academy of Arts. His exhibition, titled “Composer,” references the connection of painting and music and will be shown at the Gallery at Windsor this spring and at Albertz Benda in New York. Windsor founders Hilary and Galen Weston introduced us to Christopher at an elegant lunch at (where else?) the Carlyle. As often happens with artists, his words were as thoughtful as his paintings. “I recently found myself defending Keats’ identification of truth with beauty on the grounds that his statement was made when he was very young. I now feel as if I let him down,” said Le Brun. Nodding in agreement were James Reginato, Fern Mallis, Olivier Berggruen and Milly de Cabrol.

Lest you think all things Oscar are west, think again. There was a quinfecta of premiers last month featuring a gold digger (literal and male), a scheming pope, a billionaire burger flipper, a grumpy kinda comedian, and four girls, in various stages of undress. Sound like your basic UES dinner party? Andrew Saffir’s Cinema Society debuted the movies Gold, The Founder and The Comedian, and HBO’s The Young Pope and the final season of Girls, in a five-week tear that had us rubbing shoulders with Robert De Niro, Matthew McConaughey, Michael Keaton and Jude Law (who purred to me, “My pope is sooo evil!”), and yes, there were socials there too, but who cares? We careened between the Plaza’s Palm Court, the Roxy and the Friars Club, ending with the Girls extravaganza at Cipriani, and, as only girls would do, sending us home with a goody bag full of all a girl’s wants—chocolate, hand lotion and the promise of fake lashes. 


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All Eyes on Art

This Month's Selection of Arts and Culture

by Ben DiamondPhotographed by Billy Farrall