Rick Rubin May Have Burned Down Donald Judd’s Former Home, Concept Art Thief Hits Miami, and Other Juicy Art World Gossip


Every week, Artnet News brings you Wet Paint, a gossip column from original scoops. If you have any advice, email Annie Armstrong at [email protected].


It really supports that sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction. A few months ago, news broke that a house in Marfa, Texas which belonged to the seminal minimalist sculptor Donald Judd had been destroyed in a fire, reducing it to a pile of rubble (no one was injured). According to property records, Judd, who is known for making the small West Texas town a global arts destination, bought the house in 1990. And according to Fresh paint‘s sources in town, the owner at the time of the fire was none other than… Rick Rubin.

Yes, co-founder of Def Jam Records and apparently the most prolific producer in American music history Rick Rubin. This Rick Rubin.

Just let it sink in.

The local city newspaper, The Big Bend Sentinel, reported at the time a family of three were in the house when the fire happened, but did not name names (Rubin is married to actress/model Mouriel Hurtado Herrera, and the couple had their first child in 2017). A local sheriff who was on the scene, Danny Domingueztold the newspaper that he found a man struggling to breathe on the second floor of the house: “He said, ‘I’m fine.’ I said, ‘No, you’re not.’

According to a source based in Marfa, the house has now been completely razed and Rubin plans to rebuild on the land. The Judd Foundation declined to comment and Rubin could not be reached directly at the time of publication.


In a previous Fresh paint, I made the joke that my ears perk up every time I hear about art theft. And it’s true, the Thomas Crown story will always be attractive to me. However, it absolutely brings me Nope satisfaction when a work of art is stolen before it can be cherished, consumed or otherwise experienced. Unfortunately, this happened last week at Miami to the conceptual artist Jillian Mayer.

It’s funny because it crosses the line of storage theft, art theft and grand automobile theft,” she told me on the phone, before clarifying that it’s not really ha ha funny, but more ironic. Mayer had been working for four years on a piece called Low resolutionwhich was a kind of gesamtkunstwerk premiered in a revamped trailer. “When you open the trailer, you’re thrown into this immersive, abstract little house that’s inspired by the survivalist and prepper culture that I researched,” she said.

Mayer funded the piece through local grants and estimates that at least $20,000 in materials went into it. After its debut, the play would function as a sort of mini-residency program. It was ripped from where it was parked Islamoradawho is next to Key Largo and about an hour and a half from Miami.

Inside Jillian Mayer Low resolution.

“The police believe it was a professional burglary,” she explained. There was a hitch lock on the trailer, which the suspects somehow bypassed and then stole the license plate from a nearby car so as not to attract attention when ‘they left.

Many art cars are easily recognizable (I don’t think you’d get very far in a stolen car Kenny Scharf-portable), but unfortunately Mayer had kept the nondescript van exterior, with the sculptural element left inside the trailer, where she installed a furnace, custom ceramic appliances, a solar panel system and brightly painted walls.

As it stands, the artist is offering a reward for finding the piece she was supposed to unveil during Art Basel Miami Beach in December. Mayer surmised, “I hope it comes back. I wonder if they stole it knowing what was inside, or was it just a very strange surprise.


hong kongcollector based divide by zero apparently had trouble with Friesland Seoul for calling the fair “repetitive” and, according to him, the fair threatened to retaliate by banning it… night gallery hired a painter based in Los Angeles Elaine Stocki Miles McEnery Gallery now represents Jacob Hashimoto Jordan Wolfsonis notorious, polarizing female figure is heading towards the Brant Foundation in the East Village next month, cementing the perfect New York date from a Wet Paint perspective… A new gallery featuring only BIPOC, list of women, Ciera Britton Galleryopened its doors on Broome Street with his inaugural show “keep it cute” by Ham Jewel … According Samuel Hine“Show Notes”, an impostor Emmanuel Perrotin swam at a party he wasn’t invited to in Miami, only to get stopped at the door because he wasn’t, in fact, Emmanuel Perrotin…


*** Dorinda Medley, Hong Gyu Shin, and artist Michi Nogami Marshall at The blonde to celebrate Independent Art Fairopening day *** Adam Weinberg, Courtney Martin, Andrea Glimcher, Alanna HeissJessica Morgan, and Molly Ringwald at the opening for Will Ryman‘s”New York, New York” exposure to Chart in Tribeca *** Tom Sachs break up with james lebron at Nike Headquarters *** Martine Syms, miserly diamond, Arthur Jaffa, and Christine Oyiri old Gavin Brown space for the opening of a new collective exhibition presented with Gladstone *** The New York Academy of Fine Arts led drawing lessons with Does cottonand Eric Fischl, Nicole Millerand walter robinson showed up to draw with the artist *** Sheree Hovsepian, Marc Ronson, Mickalene Thomas, and Kennedy Yanko dance on Chuck D to Rockaway Hotel to celebrate Baxter Street, NXTHVNand The Artist’s Retreat of Last Resort *** Rachel Rabbit White and Emma Stern the two essays written for No agencythe latest newsletter from *** Helly Nahmad, Andy Rifkins, Nemo Librizziand David Komurek at the opening of “New2New York”, a collective exhibition organized by Kenny Schachter and Olesya Ivanishcheva in historic Chinatown Edward Mooney House ***


Wet Paint is going on vacation for two weeks starting next week, so you won’t hear from me for a minute. That doesn’t mean I won’t have my ears glued to the ground anymore, so don’t forget to send me all your juiciest tips at [email protected]. I’ll see you all in London.

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