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SAN FRANCISCO — After Ugo Nonis was eliminated from the first episode of this season’s Work of Art: The Next Great Artist, I didn’t see the point of watching the show anymore. The hottest dude just got kicked off and the only reason I watch television is because everyone on it is pretty. And now that Christopher Meloni is no longer on Law and Order: SVU, I have no idea what to do with my life.
With all this extra time to daydream about the perfect relationship, I’ve composed a list of the top 10 art world figures I’d like to do the nasty with. Some are expected, some are not. Some are for social climbing purposes, some are not. But really, all are for love.
10. Matthew Barney
OMG, the classic pale male Yale. How could I not want to sleep with a former footballer and J.Crew model? I don’t care what his art is or isn’t about, but it oozes creamy liquid and his actors are always doing creepy things in sexy places and it always makes my privates tingle. My crazy old art professor from undergrad once said that a great first date takes place at a haunted house or a museum. Why? Because it’s filled with dead things and your physiological reaction to these things — dilated pupils, rapid heart rate, sweating — are the same things that occur when you’re in love. I also heard that Barney was in a fraternity during his college days. I was, too, and it’s no secret that a fraternity house is the gayest place on Earth. Matty, I’m whenever you’re ready, bro.
9. William Powhida
If there’s an emerging artist who has some serious online buzz coattails I’d like to ride, it’s Billy Pow. From his superficial signifiers — aviators, simple T-shirt, buzzed hair — he’s a douche. Even his self-portrait character that emerges from time to time and played by an actor (most recently in his live-action Marlborough Chelsea gallery project this summer, POWHIDA) is a VIP douche, complete with velvet ropes and a bouncer. But the seemingly sunglasses-at-night guy is an overall well-meaning dude. He teaches art to high school kids and his more notorious artwork is delicate watercolor, graphite and colored pencil drawings on paper. A hard and soft man. That’s what she said.
8. Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla’s David Durante and Dan O’Brien
Have you ever wanted to f*** a work of art? I assume that’s the reason why nudity is so controversial: too much sex and what not. I just imagine horny dudes in the 1920s going to galleries in suits and bowler hats literally leaping at surrealist paintings of naked ladies. “But it’s so real!”
Jump cut to 2011 and thank God for the United States pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Allora and Calzadilla did good: they brought sexy back with the ridiculous bodies of 2007 US All-Around gymnastics champion David Durante and 1996 Olympic decathlon gold medalist Dan O’Brien. I’m glad I didn’t go to Venice this year or I would have accidently climbed onto the overturn military tank and accidently thrown myself on Dan. U-S-A!
7. Prabal Gurung
There isn’t a huge amount of information on the internet about this up-and-coming fashion designer, but he’s hot and his clothing has draped the most well known women in the country. When First Lady Michelle Obama donated her white Jason Wu inaugural gown to the Smithsonian (cue: At Last), she wore Prabal Gurung. She also wore Prabal at the 2010 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner and the 2011 Governors’ Dinner. Oprah and Demi are fans, too. Now that The Met’s Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty has cemented the place of fashion in the institution of high and fine art, I’m pretty sure Prabal will mark his place in art history with his own Costume Institute exhibition in a few decades. At the gala opening of that retrospective, I’d like to be able to say “I f***ed Prabal Gurung” as an ice breaker with Mary-Kate Olsen.
6. Bruce Nauman
The Man, The Myth, The Legend! It’s like f***ing Superman! ‘Nuff said.
5. Eungie Joo
I assume that it’s absolutely clear at this point in the post that I like dudes, but I wouldn’t mind swinging the other way for this lady. Joo is the Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Programs at the New Museum as well as the curator of the museum’s The Generational triennial. At this moment in my career, six months out of my MFA program and looking for my first solo show and major group exhibition, the emerging artist triennial is an amazing route to take. If I had to sleep with anyone to upgrade my career, she would be it. She received a doctorate in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley — just a short train ride away from me in San Francisco. Maybe I can woo Joo with some sweet talk of my “racially-marginalized” Filipino heritage and the fine selection of Napa Valley wines in my wine cellar. (I don’t have a wine cellar, but you know, I’d just say that to get her into my apartment.)
4. Yigit Pura
This San-Francisco pastry chef was the first winner of Bravo’s Top Chef: Just Desserts and has had a huge following ever since shirtless pics of him standing on a beach began circulating the internet. Once upon a time, I wanted to do a project where I was in a power couple with a celebrity, so Yigit was my first choice. I sent him a message on Facebook explaining the project and asked him if he’d be my pretend boyfriend. Some projects never see the light of day. Anyway, since Marina Abromović’s Volcano Flambé earlier this year, I’m desperately hoping that I don’t read about Yigit’s collaboration with famed artist James Franco until I’ve had my chance at him first. My heart will simply melt like an uneaten Godiva Caramel Apple Tarte truffle sitting in the sun!
3. Will Rogan
Speaking of James Franco, he collaborated with the next guy I want to f***: my former San Francisco Art Institute graduate critique seminar instructor and The Thing co-creator, Will Rogan. The Thing is a quarterly hand-wrapped periodical “in the form of an object,” and is co-created by Jonn Herschend. Based in San Francisco and becoming a big deal in the art world, annual subscribers pay to receive four limited edition items that are created in collaboration with artists, writers, musicians or filmmakers, which have included Miranda July, Tucker Nichols, Trisha Donnelly, Jennifer and Guillermo, Matthew Higgs and Martin Creed. I’d sleep with Will not only because I’d love to one day participate in The Thing, but because Will is the coolest guy, ever! See? There’s at least one genuine, non-superficial, non-social-climb f*** on this list. Okay, he also has the best arms of anyone on this list. Sigh.
2. Chip Kidd
This cool guy is someone who most people don’t know but everyone has seen his work. TIME magazine has interviewed him and Rolling Stone has hired him. To name a few street credits, Chip designed the book covers for Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park, Augusten Burrough’s Dry and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. I wanted to f*** someone in the text-based world but it would be too easy to pick an actual writer, like Jerry Saltz or Tyler Green. Do you remember that scene from The Devil Wears Prada when Anne Hathaway accomplishes the impossible task of getting an unpublished copy of the newest Harry Potter book for Meryl Streep? Do you remember how Anne got it? “Oh, yes. A friend of a friend does the cover art and she happens to have the manuscript.” And if you don’t think book covers are fine art, then you should watch the third episode of last season’s Work of Art: The Next Great Artist where the challenge was to design a book cover for Penguin Book classic novels. If it’s “gallery-worthy” art on reality television, it’s obviously gallery-worthy in real life.
1. Anthony Goicolea
Finally, my crush of all art crushes! Tony Tony Tony! Mr. Anthony Goicolea is the cutest artist ever, and at a shorter height than the average dude, we’d make the perfect power couple. I first heard of Anthony when I was in college and people compared my digital self multiplications in Photoshop to his work. We’re both awesome, so it’s no question that we’d be rambunctious and maniacal performers with a knack for theatricality. I’m so excited to follow his multi-medium career, whether or not I get to see his face in his artwork.
Side note: On the first day of one of my first internships, my boss said he owned one of Goicolea’s photographs and that the artist’s boyfriend was wonderful. Ugh. That night I went home, flipped through his super slick hardcover self-titled artist’s book (which was my first artist’s book purchase ever) and cried myself to sleep.
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They say that being an artist is a pretty torturous existence. Sometimes, the only way to get through it is to fantasize a little. Some artists like to fantasize about solo shows at the Guggenheim or huge sales at Basel. If this sounds like you, maybe you could try fantasizing about being in a power couple with someone from the art world. Imagine cuddling after an agonizing opening reception. Imagine sitting in a messy studio listening to Chopin’s Waltz in A Minor while you watch him watching you watch him. Imagine discussing Anish Kapoor’s “Orbit” while gesturing the lines of the red structure like Patrick Swayze and Demi do at the beginning of Ghost. OMG, Art and Love — so romantic!