Professional Brant Booster Derek Hastings Joins Gagosian Mothership

“I’ll pioneer, imagineer, shake up some lazyheads,” said Derek Hastings in the wake of the announcement that he would join Larry Gagosian’s gallery empire as a vaguely defined Coordinator of Sycophancy. “I’ve never met a box that I want to think inside. I’ve never encountered chains that could confine my flexing mind-muscles. My modus operandus is all Blam! Kapow! Motherfucker, the sky is purple, and I’m your real daddy!

Hastings, best known for a recent incest-themed editorial spread in German magazine Oedipus Epic, is a man of many hats. He began his career as an intern at Purple–where his responsibilities included buffing effluvia out of Olivier Zahm’s leather pants–before relocating to a 10,000 square foot East Village loft, where he used his parents’ money to throw lavishly themed birthday parties for NYU undergrads. “Hastings has an enviable talent for attaching himself to important people who basically don’t notice him,” said a frenemy who wished to remain anonymous. “I’ve always thought of him as a turd-y piece of plankton suctioned to a fabulous whale. But not in a bad way.”

It’s Hastings’s paid relationship with the Brants, however, that has truly scorched his name into the book of New York’s elite. (Patriarch Peter I keeps Hastings on a reportedly $12,000/month retainer, leaving him responsible for party chaperoning, make-up retouching, and the occasional advertorial puff piece. In the summer he’s employed as a pool boy at the Brants’ Greenwich compound). “Derek is so cute,” Harry confirms, “and versatile. He’s swabbed up my puke, read me bedtime stories, hugged me and told me it’s going to be all right. Sometimes I almost forget that he has no real life of his own, just a completely vacuous existence flailing among the sad, sloppy seconds of the 1%, paying his own way to fly to Dubai for some despotic Sheika’s dog’s debutante ball.”

“Young Derek will be an asset to my imperial empire,” Gagosian said in a written statement. “His lips were tailor-made by God to kiss ass. He has appropriately nonexistent levels of shame, and his family wealth enables him to seek employment without concern for remuneration. By that I mean I’m not even paying him. Derek Hastings is a golden egg, and I look forward to hatching him beneath the warm weight of my heaving, omnipotent haunches.”

Aby Rosen & Samantha Boardman Dinner At The Dutch




EXCLUSIVE Fashion Shoot With Europe’s Premiere “Family Sex” Magazine

“Of course we have a subscription to Oedipus Epic,” natters Harry Brant, reclining in a Cynthia Rowley-inflected lawnchair and clad in a Daniel Buren-striped pajama onesie and silk slippers from Singapore Airlines’ Ultra-Premiere Class cabins. “It costs basically like a bazillion dollars to ship it over from Germany, but nobody does morally questionable incest-y fashion editorial like they do. Nobody.”

Brant Watch spoke to Harry the day that an 8-page Oedipus Epic editorial was leaked online. The spread features Harry, Peter II, and Stephanie Seymour in a series of vignettes inspired by popular coming-of-age-by-fucking-your-mom films such as Spanking the Monkey and Murmur of the Heart. It will appear in print alongside a 3,500 hagiography co-written by Derek Hastings, an aspiring blogger who is also the Brants’ long-time pool boy. (Hastings also recently made waves with the announcement that he’s joining Larry Gagosian’s gallery empire as a ‘wealth fluffer.’).

Brant2SIZE Brussels-based photographer Frederick Chucklestick conceptualized the shoot; post-production digital retouching was handled over the course of several months by Industrial Light & Magic. “Freddie was basically like, Does anything make you uncomfortable?” Peter II remembers. “We were like, We’ll do anything but sit on a black woman for this shoot. Anything.” That open-mindedness resulted in images like the one above, in which Harry embodies the character of Samiam, Lord of the Peacocks, while his mother portrays Leda, on the cusp of seduction with Zeus. (Peter II thought dressing as a swan would be “too childish.”) “Chucklestick kept asking me to scootch my crotch forward,” Harry laughs. “Connect with the bum, he’d say. Dock your crotch in your mum’s landing pad! It totally reminded me of that one episode of Different Strokes where they go into the bike shop owner’s basement.”

This shot mashes up a variety of pop-cultural influences (“Chucklestick is sooooo fucking postmodern,” Harry says). On one level, it’s a simple portrait of Peter II checking his mother’s scalp for lice while she stares directly at the voyeuristic camera eye, daring it to come and fornicate with her. On another level, it’s a visual rewrite of the Twilight series, combined with the basic plot of Funny Games: Two undead anemic vampire children invade the house of a helpless, beautiful woman, and engage in increasingly bizarre acts of torture and seduction. “You should see the outtakes,” Harry says. “Actually, I wish you could, but you can’t. German customs seized all of them. And when you freak out German people you know you’ve done something right.”

Brant Watch attempted to reach Patriarch Peter I for comment, but when approached near the family’s Greenwich home, he ran away at a brisk trot, yelling that he had “something stuck in his eye” and was definitely “not crying bitter tears of frustration and disappointment at what my life has become.”


The Brants Experience A Cavernous Yawp

“It’s a mind-journey on a neuron-bus, and we’re tunneling right into the gushy swamp of your psyche!” howled Prebius Cocklore, center, self-proclaimed Lord of the Incontinent Tumult. The occasion is the opening night of A Cavernous Yawp, the new Punchdrunk-produced piece of interactive theater loosely based on Shakespeare’s Henry IV and Matthew Barney’s Cremaster cycle. “TBH feeling totes out of my element,” Harry texted shortly after arriving (Yawp participants are not allowed to speak or “gesture in an evocative manner” during the evening-length production). “Just got brought into basement on an elevator sculpted to look like massive pair of descending testicles WTF.”

The production unfurled in the cavernous, recently redeveloped building formerly occupied by leather-daddy emporium/slam-poetry cafe The Silent Duck. V.I.P. participants were treated to a variety of clandestine, choreographed experiences, including a petroleum jelly Slip-and-Slide and the Slapping Chamber, an enigmatic audience favorite. “My favorite scene was definitely the Sad & Fecal Bath Of Henry’s Cousin,” Harry offered. “It was so raw, so real, and the Bjork soundtrack just really completed it.”

“When I was maybe 7 or 8, Patriarch Peter I held a private party at our Aspen glasshouse,” Peter II said after the performance. “The kids snuck out to watch. You know the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan? Imagine that, but replace all the bullets with like, spurts of bodily fluids. And then add some midgets on unicycles and a dozen ski instructors rotating on a Lazy Susan. What I mean is that Yawp really brought me back to that pivotal childhood experience, except in this case all the waiters were trying to fuck me.”

Harry Brant Fasts, Cuts A Rug In Honor Of Jeff Koons’ Marketing Blast

“I’ve consumed nothing more than dandelion water for the past 72 hours,” gasped a buoyant Harry Brant, clad in a Richard Phillips X Playboy baby-T and Calvin Klein jeans professionally distressed by a rabid, free-trade Congolese panther, “and I feel light as air. Seriously, if I fart at some point I might dematerialize and just go whizzing around the rafters like a deflated balloon.” The young Brant is photographed with Ginsu heiress Charline Kang, still reeling from the legal fall-out over last year’s tragically bloody “Sharp As Sh*t, But Will Never Accidentally Kill Your Kids” series of knife safety demonstrations held in public malls across the United States and Canada.

The occasion–celebrating a bold new commercial venture by Jeff Koons–was held at Bottino’s restaurant in Chelsea (the site completely revamped by Tracy Emin neon pieces dealing with sad sex and abortions). “Koons is basically taking the old paradigm of artist/corporate collaborations, and he’s burying it, and then pissing on its grave,” exclaimed a noticeably overexcited junior publicist. “It used to be that, like, some smutty magazine would come to an artist and be all, Why don’t we work together on a promotional project in Texas? Now the tables are turned. And burned, and pissed on! This is about reclaiming the agency of the artist. It’s about integrity.”

Peter Brant II could not attend the fête due to a prior obligation involving a misplaced shipment of live “birthday flamingos.” The Virgins played a special 20-minute set composed entirely of commercial jingles for companies that Koons has worked for, including Chipotle and Vivid Video. By the end of the night, the aforementioned junior publicist could already confirm new corporate commissions from Jaguar, Iams dog food, and Boeing.

Courtney Love, Sol LeWitt, And The Brants In Miami

“You know Courtney’s having a good time when her eyelids go all slothy,” Peter II said, his shoulder bending sclerotically in order to support the visibly melting ex-grunge goddess. Harry and Peter II bumped into the punky cheerleader at Miami Basel’s high-profile Sol LeWitt X Kanye West party, which used one of the late artist’s signature “open geometric structures” as a sort of psychosexual jungle gym employed by nude dancers whose movements were choreographed by Yeezus, Vanessa Beecroft, and Miley Cyrus. “There’s something about Minimalism and twerking that just makes sense together,” Harry tittered, occasionally yelping as Ms. Love’s sweaty hand explored the topography of his inner thigh in the manner of a drunken, sex-starved octopus.

Art Basel VIP Preview 2013
Meanwhile, the scene was decidedly more refined over at the Basel fair itself, where Patriarch Peter I cruised the aisles accompanied by art advisor and Polly-O string-cheese heir Devin Weinberg. “It’s funny,” the Patriarch said, “we’ve cracked the code all these gallerists are using when they see us coming. Eyebrow patrol at six o’clock, that’s what they say. Or sometimes it’s the Patrician Pirate and his tube-cheese deckboy are approaching the harbor, matey.  And then we buy them the fuck out.” Patriarch Peter I consulted his iPad to itemize a few of the purchases that the duo had made during Basel’s unannounced pre-pre-V.V.I.P. sales (pre)preview, held back in the middle of September: a Barbara Kruger wall piece that reads BRING ME THE HEAD OF PETER BRANT (“Barbara’s a real card,” Patriarch Peter I affirmed); a few dozen Nate Lowman “pizza” canvases, which the artist makes by Googling other people named Nate Lowman on the Internet, and then commissioning them to “make something like pizza, using art”; and a number of paintings by Bosco Sodi, created by collaging used tampons into a sculptural picture plane (they “take the expanded field of painting and rip a gaping hole in its diseased kidneys,” according to linguistically playful Belgian critic Piet van der Grook.) “We also hit up the lo-fi alt-fair, NADA,” admits Patriarch Peter I. “But we’ve been finding that it’s easier over there just to buy the whole gallery, rather than bothering with individual works. So I now own a few pretty decent places on the Lower East Side. I’ll sort it out when I get home.”