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Wet Paint: Mary Boone Angles for Early Release From Coronavirus-Ridden Prison, Nancy Pelosi’s Art Co


Mary Boone in 2013. Photo by Neil Rasmus, courtesy of BFA.

BOONE’S COVID JAILBREAK

American prisons have become dangerous breeding grounds for the highly contagions coronavirus, and according to the New York Times, more than 1,300 cases were tied to prisons as of Wednesday, a figure that is probably undercounted due to a lack of testing. One of the most infected hotspots at the moment is

the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury,

Connecticut. Last week, there were nine confirmed cases, which has since ballooned to 50. As a result, Attorney General William Barr said on March 26 that on a case-by-case basis, those incarcerated at FCI Danbury, among select other prisons, could be removed and placed in home confinement if they are elderly or have existing health conditions. Since then, the Bureau of Prisons has placed 566 inmates from Danbury in home confinement—but we still don’t know the fate of one famous inmate: Mary Boone,

the legendary art dealer who is serving time for tax fraud and is not expected to be released until 2021.

Boone is 68, placing her among those most at risk of having a serious reaction to coronavirus infection. Under the current rules, each inmate is evaluated individually based on a series of discretionary factors including age, health, history of good behavior, and the security level of the jail, with the most home confinements granted to low- and minimum-security prisons like Danbury.

But by all accounts, she is still behind bars for now—though sources say a number of supporters are trying to petition to get her out. A database lists Boone’s current location as FCI Danbury, and when reached at his Upper East Side apartment, Robert Fink, her attorney during the 2019 trial, said he did not know whether she had been placed in home confinement. A spokesperson for the BOP told Wet Paint that “for privacy and safety and security reasons, we do not release information on an individual inmate’s specific transfer or conditions of confinement.”

MADAME SPEAKER, MOTION TO REVEAL THAT PAINTING

One fun game to play during the global pandemic is to try and guess the paintings in the background when talking heads go live on TV from their art-filled homes. It’s kind of like looking at what part of the bookshelf your coworker consciously put in the frame while Zooming in for a meeting—like, did

you really read Finnegans Wake? Anyway, dealers such as Mitchell Algus and Matthew Higgs have been on Instagram diligently pointing out what art is installed behind those who go on TV to either offer shallow words of reassurance or horrify a sheltering-in-place nation. Richard Haass, the former president of the Council on Foreign Relations, set up the frame to include his soothing monochrome by the Scottish painter Callum Innes, while former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers has a perfectly fine blue Joan Miro print. And on Tuesday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi went on Rachel Maddow while sitting in front of a large, yellow-washed expressionist painting.

After Higgs put it on Instagram, several guesses were thrown out—could it be the work of Richard Diebenkorn? Or Elmer Bischoff, who lived in San Francisco, which is in Pelosi’s district? Nope. The Chicago artist Wesley Kimler commented on the post to say it was his. “Looks nothing like a Diebenkorn in its entirety,” he added.

Speaker Pelosi on Maddow from home. Photo courtesy MSNBC.

One fun game to play during the global pandemic is to try and guess the paintings in the background when talking heads go live on TV from their art-filled homes. It’s kind of like looking at what part of the bookshelf your coworker consciously put in the frame while Zooming in for a meeting—like,

did you really read Finnegans Wake? Anyway, dealers such as Mitchell Algus and Matthew Higgs have been on Instagram diligently pointing out what art is installed behind those who go on TV to either offer shallow words of reassurance or horrify a sheltering-in-place nation. Richard Haass, the former president of the Council on Foreign Relations, set up the frame to include his soothing monochrome by the Scottish painter Callum Innes,

while former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers has a perfectly fine blue Joan Miro print. And on Tuesday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi went on Rachel Maddow while sitting in front of a large, yellow-washed expressionist painting. After Higgs put it on Instagram, several guesses were thrown out—could it be the work of Richard Diebenkorn? Or Elmer Bischoff, who lived in San Francisco, which is in Pelosi’s district? Nope. The Chicago artist Wesley Kimler commented on the post to say it was his. “Looks nothing like a Diebenkorn in its entirety,” he added.

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Cheers,

Errol


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