artlovers’ roving correspondent on the streets (& at the parties) – SIMON CERIGO

SIMON CERIGO RELATES that while visiting an African Tribal Arts gallery on the Upper East Side, 78th St. to be exact – this past Thursday – trying to get some appraisal expertise on a couple of African Royalty ‘hair combs’ – he had recently scored in Washington Sq. Park – he noticed all these over-size professional art crates being delivered to L & M GALLERY, which happened to be next door. And in fact, standing in front of the gallery – a whole townhouse – was one of the owners, a spritely 70-something Mr. Robert Mnuchin and a gallery assistant – “a very beautiful woman” – a typical Upper East Sider, not looking a day over permanently 35, and “maybe a martial artist to boot” – and Simon went up and said hello, having sold him and his son Steve Mnuchin an Ed Albers piece way back in 1986, when Simon had a gallery on Ave A – the eponymous SIMON CERIGO GALLERY – and, “he said he remembered me – he said hi”. Simon then went on to ask him if he, Simon, had missed their DAMIEN HIRST Medicine Cabinet show – which had been advertised recently. Mr. Mnuchin replied “no, we are just unloading the crates now, and you are welcome to come to the opening Thursday Oct 28th”.

. . . “I leave him, go to the corner of Madison and 78th – and who’s getting out of a taxi – with two gorgeous female assistants – clutching the mandatory clipboards – but DAMIEN himself !! Obviously he was on his way to over-see the installation. I said hello and reminded him that I was at the original opening 20 years ago, (1990-91) of the Medicine Cabinets at MICHEL COHEN GALLERY in NYC – when TANYA BONAKDAR was the director. At that point, Damien asked me: “whatever happened to him” as he rolled his eyes. Allegedly Michel Cohen is (still) wanted by Interpol for running off with $50 million dollars – 1999 dollars – worth of Picassos. and then he was off.

Later on, while continuing the Upper East Side rounds, someone mentioned to me in passing, that ‘Bob’ Mnuchin had been the head of Arbitrage at Goldman Sachs, before retiring in the 1980s.”

Anybody in the market for some hand-carved over-size wooden African Tribal hair combs ?

check out: L&M ARTS, NYC
(for blue chip secondary market art !! – not tribal hair combs – that’s Simon’s latest money making gig . . .
and I dunno, but he came home with pocketfuls of money !!)

as for MICHEL COHEN, if you want to have a fun day – google him for yourself !!
there are too many posts – for me to link them all – !! – here’s a brief sampling:

MICHEL COHEN: ‘The Double Dealer’ – Sotheby’s sues Malibu art dealer for $10 million . . . . .

MICHEL COHEN: ‘Art Scandal’ – Cohen’s Con Game . . . .

MICHEL COHEN: ‘French born art dealer Michel Cohen escaped from a Rio de Janeiro prison . . . .’

long story short, Simon says – they were chasing him all over the world, when they finally caught up with him in Brazil, where he had just fathered a child with a young Brazilian woman – apparently it is against Brazilian law to extradite anybody with a Brazilian child – but they incarcerated him in a Brazilian prison, where he got sick, or pretended to, and in the ambulance ride to the hospital – he somehow disappered – never to be heard from again. and as Simon says – “he’s not sending postcards !!”.

. . . wow – this guy makes Alfredo – look good. who knew the art world was so colorful.