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Naked City
Heather Graham and More Vie to Take Home a Nude at Manhattan Benefit

Photo: Courtesy of New York Academy of Art


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“They usually have naked people walking around,” Rachel Feinstein Currin said hopefully, peering into the gallery. Well, none that we could see, but there were plenty of bare bods on the walls. The event was the New York Academy of Art’s annual Take Home a Nude auction, held this year at Sotheby’s and sponsored by GQ magazine, and the guest of honor was Rachel’s husband, John Currin, whose hyper-realized portraiture has featured plenty of people in a state of disrobe, some of them engaged in unmentionable activities. “This is our first night out in three weeks,” Feinstein Currin said, looking sleek and svelte after recently delivering baby number three. (“It’s L’Wren Scott. And a girdle,” she told us.) Currin, meanwhile, was recovering from meningitis, but his wife added, “This is such a great cause. We always gather the troops for this one.”

Cue the troops: Padma Lakshmi, sporting a very cute baby bump and a very mini dress; Thom Browne; Will Cotton; and Heather Graham were among the evening’s potential bidders. Would Miss Graham be buying anything? “We’re more just looking around for fun,” the actress demurred, there with a friend. The black Dolce & Gabbana bodice-topped number she’d poured herself into was art enough, we suppose. Liev Schreiber was in more of a buying mood, owing, in part, to the lack of talented visual artists in his own home. “I draw, but badly,” Schreiber allowed. As for Sasha, his two-year-old son with partner Naomi Watts: “You should see his turtles. They’re terrible.” Must be genetic.

Speaking of genetics, artist Greg Lauren had a piece on display—a suit jacket, vest, and tie made out of Japanese paper covered in oil paint. Lauren, nephew of Ralph, was wearing another one of his artworks, a patchworked blazer that was very avant-garde Derelicte (higher praise we know not). “People ask me about my jackets all the time,” he said, adding that he likes to wear them out and about as a form of artistic expression. Is a ready-to-wear line in the works? “Maybe made-to-order pieces,” the artist said. “Like you would commission a portrait.” Hey, we can’t be naked all the time.

— Alison Baenen

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