David Bruce: The Coolest People in the Arts — Weight, Wit

Weight

• When Simon Doonan, the world-famous window dresser at Barney’s in New York, began aerobics, one of his fellow enthusiasts was a reporter for theNational Enquirer, and she constantly asked him if he had any dirt on celebrities. He never did, but actress Shelley Winters came into Barney’s one day, and he saw her buy a pair of leather pants — size six. Ms. Winters is a wonderful actress, of course, but she is not a size six. The leather pants were not a gift, and she was not planning on wearing them; instead, she was planning on hanging them on her refrigerator door as a reminder of why she wanted to lose weight: to fit into size-six leather pants. At his next aerobics class, Mr. Doonan told the National Enquirerreporter what he had witnessed, and she took notes. Soon an item about Ms. Winters and her size-six leather pants appeared in the National Enquirer, and soon a check for $50 arrived in Mr. Doonan’s mailbox with the notation “for Shelley Winters item.” Mr. Doonan felt guilty, and he wondered if he had betrayed Ms. Winters. But the next day, some designer aerobics wear arrived at Barney’s. Among the items was a pair of cycle shorts by Stephen Sprouse. They were orange, black, and white, and they cost $50. Mr. Doonan bought the cycle shorts and stopped feeling guilty. He says, “I was the talk of my aerobics class that night.”

• Anton Dolin once danced with Alexandra Danilova at a time when she was overweight. After he had lifted her several times in the Blue Bird pas de deux, he complained to her, “I am a dancer — nota porter!” Ms. Danilova began dieting immediately.

Wit

• The Guerilla Girls engage in activism for artists who are women or people of color. They wear gorilla masks and are anonymous, taking on the names of deceased famous women creators. Guerilla Girl “Frida Kahlo” once was out of costume and talking with some other people to art dealer Diane Brown. By them was a poster that the Guerilla Girls had put up. Diane’s young son read the poster out loud: “Diane Brown […] shows less than ten percent women artists or none at all.” He then asked his mother, “What does that mean, Mommy?” She did not answer him, but later when she appeared in a CNN TV special titled Gender Wars, she complained that the Guerilla Girls had attacked her because she showed less than fifty percent women artists. “Frida Kahlo” complains, “Math is soooohard for women.” By the way, Guerilla Girl “Käthy Kollwitz” was out of costume and talking to a male chief curator and his female assistant when the male chief curator turned to “Käthy Kollwitz” and said about his female assistant, “I think she’s a Guerilla Girl.” “Käthy Kollwitz” asked why he thought that, and he explained, “Because every time we propose a group show, or get an announcement from another museum, she always counts the number of women artists. Don’t you think that’s ridiculous?” Guerilla Girl “Käthy Kollwitz” replied, “Not at all. All women count.”

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Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

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THE COOLEST PEOPLE IN THE ARTS

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