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Dan about town

Nude attitude

The New York Academy of Art raised more than $1.1m for scholarships and educational programming on 24 October with its annual Take Home A Nude fundraiser, a party and auction at Sotheby’s uptown headquarters that blended high society and a celebration of the human body. The air was less sexy than playful: stilt-walkers carried signs indicating when rooms were closing for the silent auction, and auctioneer Courtney Booth Christensen attributed Emmanuel Di Donna’s bids on Embroidery Painting by Rob Wynne to “the handsome man”. Brooke Shields, one of the evening’s hosts, is of course the subject of one of the most controversial nude works of art in recent history, Richard Prince’s Spiritual America (1983), which features her nude and made up at age ten, and which Prince recreated with an adult Shields in 2005. “I wasn’t self-conscious,” she said of the original. “None of it felt sordid, and I didn’t feel taken advantage of. I’ve always come at it from that perspective.” Then she joked: “I’m so much more insecure about my body now! Two kids later.” Michael McCarty of Michael’s restaurant said his diners are never put off by the nude works by his wife Kim Lieberman McCarty, and that German Expressionism is a harder sell. He’d tried to hang works by Georg Baselitz at his two eateries and people complained they were too dark.