Arts / Galleries

Rising Art Star Reveals His Real Estate Guilty Pleasure, Coffee Table Truths and Museum Loves

Preferential Treatment With Cary Leibowitz

BY // 11.26.19

Art world darlings, Hannah Fagadau and Hilary Fagadau, present their second exhibition for their gallery’s (12.26 — named for their shared birthday) inaugural season: A solo exhibition of New York City-based artist Cary Leibowitz.

The show’s title The Queen Esther Rodeo and Leibowitz’s new works pay tribute to the biblical post-feminist icon and heroine of Purim: Queen Esther. The famed beauty was the wife of Persian King Ahasuerus and was responsible for foiling the plans of the chief advisor to have all the Jews in the kingdom killed when he was insulted by Esther’s cousin, Mordecai.

This on the rise art star’s (who BTW is also known as Candy Ass) first comprehensive career survey and solo museum exhibition, Museum Show, originated at The Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco in 2017 and traveled to The Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, and The Contemporary Art Museum, Houston in 2018. Leibowitz’s work has also been shown at The Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis; the Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt, Germany; the Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York;  The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge.

For The Queen Esther Rodeo, Leibowitz has brought together more than 20 works that range from a ceramic platter to paintings on wood (editioned mud flaps are also part of the mix). And for the wild card? A 20-foot inflatable pool populated with cardboard cut-outs of public figures such as President Barack Obama, Princess Diana, Queen Elizabeth, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been created specifically for the show.

The moment we heard of that last installation for the exhibition we thought what a great candidate to answer our insightful PaperCity Preferential Treatment questions.

Where are you right at this moment: Typing at my desk.


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The zip code you call home: 10031

Style of residence: Upper-middle-class squalor.

Pajamas or in the buff: Buff

Early or late riser: Early

Coffee or tea: Coffee

Morning beauty/grooming ritual: Shower and teeth— I don’t like mirrors and I don’t like thinking about my fleshy parts.

Evening beauty/grooming ritual: Teeth and pills.

Go-to daytime ensemble: I keep a lot of options available at all times.

Ideal evening look: Evening as in going out? Usually what I wore that day but dressed that morning knowing I would still be interacting with people.  An evening as in staying in —  if I am making stuff in the studio (or pretending to) very unglamorous sweatpants and sweatshirt.

One thing you always keep in mind when getting dressed: Waistline

Your happy place destination: Is this meta or just physical?

The hotel you call your home-away-from-home: I have been staying at the Westbury in London the past couple of years  — I know it’s not very English but it is sort of Rome ca 1965 or ’85 or 2005 and I get good points.

Travel bag: I might hand carry a lot. Oh, do you mean brand? I do have a couple of T. Anthonys and a nice pricey duffle from an English hunting shop  (I do try and ‘pass’ when traveling).

Last person you cocktail’ed with and what was your poison: I am usually a Manhattan person, but we (my husband Simon, and friends Kelly and Kathrin from Zurich) were at the Mexican restaurant at the Soho House on the lower east side so I had a sort of avocado margarita meets bloody Mary — I still prefer bourbon or scotch drinks. 

Dream concert: Typing fast — not in any order: Marlene Dietrich, Judy Garland — smaller club Frances Faye. We saw Debbie Harry at the Carlyle — she called it her Carlysle crisis but she was amazing (tears in your eyes). Asterisk — I once saw Pinc Loud (young very very very talented person)  playing on the street — so amazing and I bought the CD and amazing — but I still haven’t gone to a live concert

Store where you wish you had an unlimited charge account:  Charge account isn’t quite free is it? Hhmmmm, Kapital in Japan seems to suit me well — really really free? Can I say Gucci, please.

Items currently on your coffee table: I have about 200 books (no I am not exaggerating).

Last movie you saw: Just saw JoJo Rabbit (A+)  and can’t wait for Greta Gerwig’s Little Women movie opening on Christmas day,

Hall pass for a dalliance:  Ugh this seems like a post-democratic primary question — but dalliance is a tough word — and so is hall pass —  haha next question, please.

Who would play you in the movie of your life (living or dead actor is fine): I guess most people would say Bea Arthur but I vote for Fran Drescher

Secret skill: Choosing a shirt and tie combo.

Guilty pleasure: Real estate brochures.

Artists you look to for inspiration: Survivors and honest people — I also like people with the confidence to do anything. I am impatient and neurotic which slows down the process most of the time … I don’t think I want to type anymore about this…

What’s on the playlist currently in your studio: I don’t listen to anything in the studio. We have a CD player in the car — lately listing to Elaine Stritch live at Liberty over and over and over ( I feel a bit guilty because I didn’t know I would be such a fan of hers and when she was alive I basically ignored her, sorry). PS: I seem to like ‘live’ CDs lately

Favorite exhibition of the past few years:  Museums? Gainsborough at the National Portrait Gallery in London and Marsden Hartley at Met Breuer.

The Queen Esther Rodeo will be on view at 12.26 through January 4, 2020, 150 Manufacturing Suite 205, 214-533-8263,

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