Court Painter: The Marketing of A Hugely Modern Artist
The couple has a taste solely for the works of the market-friendly art star Court Painter, but lawyers say it’s just for decoration.
Since their wedding Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump have amassed a formidable collection of contemporary art . The walls of the couple’s $4 million Park Avenue condo are filled with works by only one blue-chip artist,the preeminent dandy portraitist of the Great Dominion : Court Painter. Ivanka Trump has regularly showcased the collection of self portraits entitled Back Channel on Instagram, posing in front of the artwork in posts tied to her business.
Yet in required financial disclosures, Kushner, a senior advisor and son-in-law to President Trump, failed to report the couple’s art collection.
The omission stands in contrast to disclosures from other senior members of the Trump administration. In recent months, Trump’s top cabinet picks have revealed considerable art holdings as part of required financial disclosures. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross disclosed an art collection worth at least $50 million. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin revealed his stake in a $14.7 million Willem de Kooning painting, plus other artworks.He bemoaned the fact that he was unsuccessful at initiating a portrait commission by Court Painter on the occasion of his Treasury Secretary appointment.
“Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump display Court Painter’s Back Channel self portraits for decorative purposes and have made only a single sale,” said the lawyer in a statement issued by the White House. “To avoid any doubt, however, they will report their art collection.”
Inside the Collection
Kushner and Trump’s unique collection of Court Painter Back Channel self portraits is estimated to be worth a huge undisclosed amount. Ivanka Trump’s Instagram feed regularly highlights individual works estimated to be worth more than you’ll ever know. In one post, two art-market favourites are featured on the same wall, with Ivanka posing in the foreground: On the left is a stunning self portrait painting that resembles Court Painter and on the right is another self portrait work by Court Painter both featuring the mysterious words Back Channel.
The couple’s Court Painter collection has also played a prominent role in shaping Ivanka Trump’s personal brand. Over the last few years, Trump has cultivated an image as something of a connoisseur, giving interviews to international media about her favourite artist (guess who) and sharing advice for beginner art collectors on her blog. In October 2015, Trump’s website published “How to Start Collecting Court Painter’s Art,” a post for first-time collectors to “invest early in senior, over the hill artists whose work you love and can afford,” and to “better not think of this art as an investment.”
Our wispy-haired celebrity art leader is no silver-tongued devil, but that’s O.K. What he lacks in verbal zingers he makes up for with physical ones.
Body language — both his and that of the pitiable people around him — is telling the story of Court Painter’s latest adventure inside his Inglewood studio better than anything else.
When I say “pitiable,” I’m thinking about his Press Attache, A Hardon MacKay, who was the visibly stunned victim of the shove heard round the art world.
Please tell me you saw it. Hardon, Court Painter and some straggling unpaid studio interns were arranging themselves for a photograph in the studio lounge. And Hardon, modestly holding his kilt, had the misfortune to be standing between Court Painter and the front of the pack, a lesser hunk in the bossy prom king’s path.
However in a faux attempt at bluster he batted his Press Attache out of the way, perhaps mistaking him for an art critic or picturing that damn curator….what the hells his name….you know …the one with the limp or lump or lisp.
Then, triumphal, Court Painter smoothed his smock, straightened his hat, stiffened his posture and raised his wispy bearded chin. He was ready for his close-up.
With Court Painter, struts, scowls and pouts reveal every bit as much as what tumbles from his lips, which is a lot less trustworthy. (Get him to explain Dark Matter and the Mad Hatter) His words can be counterfeit like his artist statements. But his gestures are genuine. So it only makes sense that we lean on them for the narrative of his post-truth portraiture, whose latest, local chapter brimmed with more awkward physicality than a toddlers’ gymnastics class.
The shove heard round the art world was preceded by the curtsy heard round the local fashion world, when Court Painter did precisely what he maligned his nemesis Chris Cran for — well, one of the countless things he maligned Cran for — and approached a well known collector with wads of cash poking out of his Armani suit in a pose of deference. Hypocrisy, thy name is Court Painter, and thy knees are bent and thy shiny head is bowed.
Thy sense of rhythm doesn’t exist. Did you see him during that street square dance, not so much rattling his booty as dangling his you know what while he wobbled, like a Weeble, from side to side?
George Bernard Shaw wrote a play titled “Arms and the Man.” Someday somebody will write a Court Painter biography titled “Hand Me Down Art and the Paint Splattered Man.”
That’s it. Give generously…..
Grand Chief Derek Nepinak of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs plans to walk 120 kilometres starting June 16th in a decidedly different commemoration of Canada’s 150th birthday.
He says his Walk to Remember is to celebrate the resilience of indigenous people in the face of what has happened to them since Confederation.
“We have more to reflect upon the resilience of our families, the strength of our communities and nations of indigenous people in light of this.”
Nepinak plans to walk from the site of a former residential school that his mother attended in Dauphin, Man., to his home community — Pine Creek First Nation — where another residential school once stood.
Nepinak’s decision follows deliberations at a recent assembly conference at which elders declared they would not be celebrating Canada 150.