Seems like yet another celebrity scandal has happened and this time it’s on the prominent art scene. Click below to get the scandal on the supposed affair.
One of the world’s most acclaimed artists has admitted to having an ‘non platonic’ affair with a former Vogue writer, even though both of them are married and even though she has denied it. Abstract painter Brice Marden, 72, admitted to trysts with Helen Lee Schifter, who is 18 years his junior, behind the back of his wife, also called Helen.
The affair is said to have gone on for more than a year and culminated in an extraordinary fight at an exclusive Manhattan restaurant between the two Helens. Mrs Marden is said to have walked up to her at Bar Pitti and said: ‘Are you the ***** that has been ******* my husband?’
At this the entire restaurant is said to have burst into applause.
The row has apparently been common knowledge among Manhattan’s art world cognoscenti for some time, but was only now burst into the open. Marden has since reportedly apologized to his wife of 43 years, who is the mother of his two grown-up daughters.
According to the New York Post the row is over Schifter who is Marden’s ‘muse’ and inspiration for his renowned minimalist works, which sell for as much as $9.6million. Over the last 12 months however their relationship is said to have tipped over into something more, with Mrs Marden all too aware of what was happening.
She is said to have been at Bar Pitti in Manhattan’s West Village recently, when she got up, walked over towards Schifter’s table and began shouting at her.
A source said:
Helen Marden lurched at Helen Schifter and said, ‘You need to go to another restaurant!’ She lurched at her but she didn’t actually slap her.
Marden has two daughters with Helen, Mirabelle, 32, and Melia, 30, along with a son from a previous marriage, Nicholas, 49. He grew up in a Westchester suburb of New York, graduating from Boston University’s School of Fine Arts before receiving an MFA from Yale in 1963.
Critics have called him ‘the most profound abstract painter of the past four decades’ and he has featured in dozens of shows around the world.
Schifter is married to Tim Schifter, co-creator of Gwen Stefani’s L.A.M.B fashion line. She is 54 and used to write for Vogue magazine and is a regular on the New York party scene.
Helen Schifter is a muse for Brice’s artwork, nothing more. She is happily married. Brice has since apologised for his wife’s behaviour.
Mrs Marden, who is herself an artist, said in a statement:
I was cold and calm. I did not lurch. I was not in a rage. I slapped her. We have been married 43 years. I am not interested in this story any more.
Schifter denied any suggestion she was having an affair. She said
It’s platonic, Brice has been a mentor and a friend. Out of respect for their marriage, I have no further comment.
Her husband Tim said:
I stand by my wife completely.
Marden has in the past spoken about his devotion to his family – and how much its members inspire him. In a 2000 profile piece in trade magazine Art News, he claimed that he had little social life outside of his family.
”The children keep you very straight,’ he said, adding that Helen is his ‘best friend’. ‘Her opinion is the opinion I respect the most about my work,’ he said.
Marden’s first wife, whom he married in 1958, was Pauline Baez, sister to Bob Dylan’s then girlfriend Joan. However, when he failed to make it as an artist, the strain took its toll and the couple were divorced by the end of the next decade.
Only after marrying Helen did Marden flourish and earn his fortune with a style that has been described as ‘a preoccupation with rectangular formats and the repeated use of a muted, extremely individualized palette’. His daughter Mirabelle is involved in the art scene in her own right and co-owns the Rivington Gallery on New York’s Lower East Side.