The Gramercy Park Hotel Officially Liquidates Inventory, Frank Stella’s Childhood Drama and More Juicy Art World Gossip

Every week, Artnet News brings you Wet Paint, a gossip column from original scoops. If you have any advice, email Annie Armstrong at [email protected].

IN THE LAST DAYS OF THE GRAMERCY PARK HOTEL

If you follow me on instagram, you know I’ve been busy the past two weeks in Europe making those still in (and loving) old rainy New York envious. My sadism was met with instant karmic retribution, however, as I roamed the ‘gram and – filled with jealous rage – watched my friends in town effectively loot the Gramercy Park Hotel via a clearance sale, where everything from art on the walls to light fixtures was available for a steal.

The legendary hotel has hosted more than a few art-world affairs (business and otherwise), so I figured the memorabilia up for grabs might just give some raunchy details. (Hunter S. Thompson famously organized orgies in his bedroom there, and the rose bar the interior remained a breeding ground for celebrity gossip). Helpless to afford even GPH-branded slippers ($50) or a robe ($100), I sat in a detective internet cafe.

“Prices are apparently made up on the spot,” a self-proclaimed TikToker/vintage watch specialist, mike newsaid in a video which covered some of the iconic hotel’s original artwork, framed photographs and crystal chandeliers. “Asking two different workers for the price of an item gave two different results,” he added.

Velvet chairs for sale at the Gramercy Park Hotel clearance sale. Courtesy of a tipster.

Art market watchers might be more interested in the fate of the former hotel owner, real estate mogul’s art collection Aby Rosen. Rosen and his partner Ian Schrager signed a 72-year lease on the site in 2006, and brought in Julien Schnabel to transform the century-old building into a destination hotel. Along the way, Rosen, who is a prolific art collector, has established a unique revenue stream: hanging artwork on hotel walls and efficiently distributing it to its wealthier guests. Over the years, pieces from his collection have turned the walls, top-notch names like Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Fernando Botero, Tom Wesselmanand Damien Hirt among them.

That is, until the hotel doors shut with the rest of the city during the depths of the COVID-19 lockdown. And alas, they never reopened. Last year, Fresh paint reported that Rosen had been fined for contempt following a complaint by the owner of the building, and he and his real estate company, RFR Holdings, were ordered to pay $3.9 million in overdue property taxes and interest. Rosen’s finances have taken a few hits lately, as he was famous for his involvement in the Anna Delvey scandal, and recently erect the building she attempted to buy, at Park Avenue and 22nd Street, to sell.

Sadly (to us), it doesn’t look like Rosen is desperate enough to sell her premier rate in a seedy hotel liquidation sale. Best Auctioneers, which handles sales, confirmed that they will not be selling any of Rosen’s fine art. They also declined to share how many greenbacks this fire sale garnered. (“We don’t have that information,” a rep named Joe told me matter-of-factly. Indeed, Christie’s, it’s not.) Still, it can’t hurt to keep an eye on the catalog for November’s upcoming New York auctions. (Rosen could not be reached for comment).

The sale at the Gramercy Park Hotel clearance sale. Courtesy of a tipster.

According to TikTokers, the art that remained inside sold for between $500 and $800, and an insider said Fresh paint that most of the “good stuff” (nice furniture, better prints, etc.) went to friends in the hotel for $100, before the sale even started. What remained seemed to be largely daily. “I got an umbrella for $100,” an art collector who asked to remain anonymous told me. “I usually browse estate sales so I wasn’t very impressed, although the nostalgia factor was there… They weren’t selling rugs or curtains or wine that day, that’s what I wanted.” He added that photo prints sell for between $300 and $500.

Myrtz eraDirector of 56 Henrywas tempted by a $180 side table but dismissed it as a bit too much jonathan adlerscoffed at the $75 price tag on a Franz West paperback, and I couldn’t find any of the framed photos of celebrities that decorated the hallways to the bathrooms. Overall, she said the sale was “perhaps the most aggressive male space I’ve ever been in”, adding, “All I saw was some kind of trash.”

INTER-STAR DRAMA

After Trump, we all probably know of at least one family whose dynamic reached a boiling point due to differing political opinions. If you somehow missed this phenomenon, you can pull a bench to watch one unfold in real time on ICT Tac. And curiously, he is part of the family of none other than the famous abstractionist Frank Stella.

Let me back down. Last June, I got wind of a controversy on the social networks of Hannah Stellathe self-proclaimed “content creator and housewife” based in New York, who is married to Patrick Stella, son of Frank. Hannah has responded to rumors that her husband has donated to Ted Cruz through a selfie with superimposed text: “My husband donated to Ted Cruz before I met him and when he seemed like one of the GOP candidates most likely to beat Donald Trump in the primaries.” She added: “Plus, it really drove her parents crazy.” Obviously, Wet Paint’s ears perked up, and I also found some Open Secrets that Patrick donated $1,000 to Ted Cruz in two installments of $500, while Frank donated more than $22,000 to the DNC.

@artlust Frank Stella and Hanna Stella and Other Stellas #duo #arthistorytiktok @hannahstella #contemporary art #artlust #arthistoryfacts #masterpieces ♬ original sound – Seema R

Well, the latest in this scandal seems to be that Hannah and Patrick are no longer together. According to a TikTok posted by @artlust, the two parted ways, as she described Hannah as “Frank Stella’s future ex-daughter-in-law,” before diving into an explanation of Frank Stella’s legacy.

A preview of Hannah’s page confirmed this, as her most recent video is titled “A day in the life as ??? At New York,” in which she says she stayed at Chelsea Hotel. Patrick seems to have moved on already and is now dating an art student with an eye for NFTs appointed Elena Carterwho uploaded a since deleted TikTok of meeting Frank (“When you meet his artist dad, but you’re not nervous because you did a year of art school” reads his video, which was overlaid with footage of some of Frank’s sculptures. Frank).

However, not everything seems so gloomy. The best comment on @artlust’s video comes from Hannah, who wrote, “I’ll never say anything bad about Frank, he’s a saint, put that on record. (My ex is also a wonderful person).

WE HEAR

Rhythm apparently sells Robert Nava prints for $65,000 each, a significant markup of Phaidonthe sale of his work last year, which cost $5,000 each… A total of three employees left the Cultivated Magazine team over the summer… The highly collectible Plaster the sixth issue of the magazine was published with company drawings Perron-RoettingerDavid Zwirner is looking for a new event managerand i hope this one will remember to include dear Fresh paint on the guest list for their parties (did I say that?)…Danziger Gallery had his Instagram account stolen and ransomed, only to have to revive on a new account..

POINT

The famous and fashionable American tennis star Reilly Opelka turned out to be a burgeoning art collector with ambitious views on the work of Adrien Ghenieas revealed by a profile of Samuel Hine at QG… Speaking of famous collectors, Kendall Jenner recently toured the chelsea more galleries…Sigourney Weaver, Jeff Koon, Robert Nava, Max Hollein, Lauren Quin, Arlene Schechet and Mary Boone at the star-studded opening of Arne Glimcherthe new pet project space in Tribeca, 125 Newbury***Annie Leibovitz, Fabrice Moretti, Sonia Guajajaraand Lelia Wanick Salgado at Sotheby’s annual Impact Galawhich benefited a Brazilian non-profit environmental organization Terra Institute***Marta Pozzan,Ben Friedlander, Nephew RKXand Tividad Harmony at the launch party for sex magazine in Los Angeles *** A sloppy, half-joking “museum” dedicated to the titans of slacker-rock Curb arose in soho with a whole jumble of paintings by Steve Keenand was curated by filmmaker Alex Ross Perry***

WET PAINT QUESTIONNAIRE

I missed you guys, did you miss me? After my long vacation, I wonder: Who in the art world had the best summer vacation? Write in your response to [email protected]

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